Bright yellow just like the sun, the sunflowers are aptly named. It’s also a feel-good flower that never fails to brighten up a garden and put a smile on your face.
If you want to add a touch of summer sun to your garden this guide tells you everything you ever wanted to know about growing sunflowers.
What is a Sunflower?
Sunflower, or Helianthus annuus, is an annual flower known for its large bright yellow flowers. Its yellow petals make it look like the sun and the centre of the flower (called the pistil) is usually brown and rests on a strong, thick green stem. There are almost 70 different types of these summer flowers, including some rare species with unique and unique markings.
Sunflowers are native to North America but are now grown all over the world as ornamentals, food plants, and valuable oils. Many people like to grow flowers because they are easy to grow and are a great way to beautify even a small garden.
How to Grow a Sunflower
Sunflowers grow quickly for their size, with most sunflowers blooming in just 80 to 95 days. The largest sunflowers grow over 16 feet tall, while smaller varieties have been developed for smaller spaces and are rarely taller than a foot! Flower heads can reach more than 12 inches in diameter.
Above all, find a sunny spot! Sunflower plants grow best in places with direct sunlight (6-8 hours per day); they need a long summer to flower properly.
Choose a location with good soil. The planting area should not be soaked in water after rain. Otherwise, sunflowers are not full of nonsense about the soil. They have long taproots that need to be stretched; when preparing the bed, dig a hole 2 feet deep and about 3 feet in diameter.
Sunflower plants thrive in slightly acidic to slightly alkaline soil (pH 6.0 to 7.5). However, sunflowers are big eaters, so the soil should have nutrients. Or, work in a granular fertiliser that is slowly released 8 inches into your soil. If possible, plant sunflowers in a location sheltered from strong winds, such as along a fence or near a building.
When To Plant Sunflowers
Sunflower seeds are planted directly in the garden (or in an outdoor container) after the danger of freezing has passed any time after the soil has warmed to at least 50°F (10°C ).
Sunflowers don’t like their roots disturbed, so we recommend seeding instead of transplanting.
Sowing Sunflower Seeds
Sunflowers should be planted 1 to 1½ inches wide and about 6 inches apart as soon as the soil dries out. If you want, you can plant more seeds and make them stronger for strong runners when the plants are six inches tall. Give the plant plenty of space, especially for low-growing varieties that will die out. Make lines about 30 inches apart.
A quick application of mixed fertiliser at planting time will promote strong root growth to protect them from the wind. Check and plant for 5-6 weeks to continue to enjoy continuous flowering. If you see birds scavenging for seeds, spread netting over the planted area until the seeds sprout.
When the plant is small, water around the roots, about 3 to 4 inches from the plant. To protect the plant, it can help to place snail or slug bait around the stem. Once the plant is planted, it is watered abundantly but rarely enough to encourage deep rooting. Unless the weather is very wet or dry, water once a week with several gallons of water.
Feed crops only in small quantities; An excess of fertiliser can cause you to break in the fall. You can add fertiliser diluted in water, but avoid applying fertiliser to the lower part of the plant. It may help to build holes in a circle around the plant about 18 inches in the centre. Tall varieties and cultivars require support. Bamboo sticks are a good choice for any tree that has a strong, single stem and needs support for a short period.
What Does The Sunflower Represent?
Sunflowers represent fidelity, a tribute to the myth of Clytie and Apollo. And, because of their association with the sun, sunflowers are well known for being happy flowers and the perfect flower for a summer flower delivery to lift one’s mood!
How Do Sunflowers Motivate Us?
Sunflowers remind us of what it means to look on the bright side. Even in dark or difficult situations, it is possible to discover lessons that may be hiding around the corner. Because of their bright nature, sunflowers serve as a source of inspiration.
What Do Sunflowers Do At Night?
At night, in his absence, sunflowers again face the east, waiting for the return of the sun. They do this until they are old when they stop “exercising”. Then, still facing the east, the old flowers are waiting for the visit of insects that will spread their pollen and make new sunshine.
Because of their large size and beautiful flower heads, sunflowers are popular ornamental plants. Their rapid growth and ease of planting make them a good choice for kids who want to start gardening. Many species of sunflowers also attract bees and birds that feed on nectar and sunflower seeds, making them a good choice for a garden animal or pollinator.
The fruit contains a lot of oil – 39-49% – and is an important food source. Oil is one of the most popular cooking ingredients and is used to produce margarine. It is high in unsaturated fats, which are considered healthy, and, apart from cooking, it is used in many ready-to-eat foods such as potato chips or crisps. It is known for its nutty taste and is considered good for the skin.
Since the seeds contain protein and many nutrients, they are a popular food in many parts of the world, especially when roasted. Sunflower seeds are used as food for various pets, especially birds and some rodents, such as gerbils. They are also sold as bird food, to be placed in garden bird feeders.
A Sunny Specimen
The sunflower is a tall, sturdy plant that adds a splash of yellow to any space. Some small species with short to long legs can fit in pots or small gardens, so you really can grow them anywhere. If you’re looking for a good mood plant, this is it!
Lily’s love for flowers and plants was nurtured in her grandmother’s vibrant garden. Over the years, this affection blossomed into a full-fledged passion for horticulture.
With formal training in botany and countless hours in her own backyard oasis, Lily has cultivated a deep understanding of plant care and garden design.