Tips for Growing Easy Sunflowers

Tips for Growing Easy Sunflowers


Sunflowers can be excellent fun to grow. Given the right conditions they can grow quickly and provide excellent height and flower in late autumn.

Sunflowers are considered easy to grow and are often considered to be a good plant for children. (see: Growing sunflowers with children) However, to get the best out of sunflowers requires a few careful points.

Grow as a Fence. Sunflowers can make an excellent impromptu screen for late summer. The height can divide a garden creating a natural sense of rooms. – something top garden designers often go for.

  • H. ‘Pastiche’: available in mixed shades of reds, and yellows. The flowers appear on multi-stemmed plants that make an effective multicoloured fence in late summer – from 1.2m to 1.5m (4ft to 5ft) high.


Proper Staking. Preventing sunflowers from falling over is one of the great challenges of growing them. Individually, you need a strong cane well dug into the soil. If you grow sunflowers in blocks it will be easier to provide staking for the group; they will give each other support as they grow.

Feeding. Sunflowers enjoy a rich well fed soil. If going for height, use a nitrogen based fertiliser, switching to potash (tomato food) as the buds begin to appear.

Watering. Sunflowers don’t like drying out and they can soon start to wither. Make sure they are well watered; each watering should aim to reach its roots, rather than just touching the surface.

Starting From Seed.

  • Popping 2 or 3 seeds straight into well prepared ground in a sunny site will allow you to choose the strongest seedling and pinch out the others.
  • Use copper grit or coffee grounds to protect seedlings from slugs.
  • To get the best start for sunflowers sow 2cm deep just covering with soil and place in a 3 inch pot. When big enough you can plant out, hardening off if necessary. If you live in the colder regions delay planting the seeds.
  • Do not start too early a cold spell can severely check a sunflower plant.

Best Location. Sunflowers like a sunny position and preferably not too windy.


Choose the right variety.

    If you want to grow a tall sunflower try a specific variety such as

    • H. ‘Moonwalker’: grown for its yellow face with a chocolate-dark centre; reaches a height of 1.2m to 1.5m (4ft to 5ft).
    • H. ‘Russian Giant’: If you are just interested in height and entering the record books.
  • Sunflower Seeds at Thompson and Morgan
  • Childrens sunflower – Russian Giant – only £0.99!

Eden Project sunflower

77 thoughts on “Tips for Growing Easy Sunflowers

  1. Hi
    I have been growing sunflowers for a couple of years now and just grew a beauty measured last at 9ft 9in… it has 6 heads in total and the new ones which are about to open are probably half a foot higher than last measurement. Really proud of my acheivement, but just arrived home from work and the wind has snapped it at ground level leaving only a few roots left on. I have replanted it in desperation but she is looking quite sad…..
    I just thought I would share my despair with you. Big hello to my fellow sunflowereres…. cant wait for next year x

  2. Hi,

    I’m hoping to grow as many sunflowers as possible for next August for my wedding (and we are going to give the guests sunflower seeds as wedding favours) when would be the best time to plant, where is the best place to plant them?

    I’m a real novice when it comes to gardening so any advice would be much appreciated.


  3. Hi

    My Sun flower now is about 3 ft tall, no sign of flowering, just growing about 2 inches a day (In a big pot, water every day, in the Sun, Tied to a cane)

    I have noticed it has about 5 large black ants on it all the time, they don’t appear to be damaging it or eating it, are they after sap? I have never seen this type of ant before?

    When can I expect a flower?

    I live in Jersey, so getting plenty of sun!



  4. Sounds like a Jersey ant! We don’t get them in the North of England but they shouldn’t cause any serious damage unless they are a beetle.
    They should be flowering very soon – end of August

  5. Hello

    This is the first year i have ever grown sunflowers, i would like to collect as may of the seeds as posible .
    Some of the flower heads are showing seeds.

    when is the best time to take the flowre heads/seeds.


  6. is there a limit to how may head the sunflower can grow at one pint on the same stalk as mine has 12 heads on the go at once? thanks

  7. Hi, this is a question to Nickie Blatch who needed sunflowers for a June wedding. I also have a similar problem – could you tell me what sunflowers you grew, in what conditions you grew them and any other tips for getting them to bloom in June?
    Many thanks

  8. I gotta do a science project on useing different types of liquids on a sunflower. Im wondering if olive oil will work better than water. Any suggestions??????? What about coca-cola??????

    Solkate, thanks!!!!!!!!

  9. hellowe are going to grow some sunflowers and we dont know when to grow them can anybody help us to grow them or give us some tipd please

    from abigail x

  10. Do not sow too soon or jack frost will get the seedlings. April outdoors or March in a pot inside.

  11. Hi there!
    I will be growing seeds this year in pots indoors then transfering them out doors next month when they have started to grow.

    Just wondering, can i plant them in normal soil in the garden and do i need to feed them with any specail food like Tomato food?


  12. If your soil is in good heart you can get away without feeding. Annuals don’t usually need extra feeding. I like to give a feed through a spray which is called foliar feeding in the middle of summer. Miracle-gro seems very popular for crops. Tomato feed is not really suitable for green leaf veg.

  13. I have 17 sunflower seedlings planted early, they are in seed trays and are about 4″ tall and its now the 22nd March they are a bit but weak and falling over. How should I go about re-potting them into bigger pots to grow on in the green house? we are in Devon and we have a nice warm sunny corner ready for them.

  14. Hi, I have a Russian Giant in a pot indoors. Its about 4 weeks old and 4inches tall. Some of the leaves seem to have a foamy, clear liquid leaking out of them. Any ideas?

  15. Hi There.. I want to plant some sunflowers in bit tubs outside. How far down do you need to put them in the tubs before covering them with soil? Got some in pots that weve grown from March inside so want to see how well they grow from being straight out side int he garden!

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