Sunflower is a vibrantly colored beautiful flower, which cultivates as a crop because of its edible oil and fruits. This flower is basically a wide annual forb of genus Helianthus that is used in several industrial applications as well. It is that one kind of plant, which hugely also uses to inhibit the growth of other plants, and can use almost every single part of this plant for several purposes, whether it is the seeds, leaves, flowers or the stems! Extremely easy to grow eminence has made this plant much popular among the utmost gardeners. It can be grown in any circumstance and in a small container as well! So, let’s check out some precise cultivating methods of this flower along with some important details of it, take a look-
How to Grow Sunflowers:
- Sunflower likes a bit acidic soil in alkaline type to get the ideal growth of it.
- Try to keep the pH level of your soil in between 6.0 to 7.5 to keep the acidic level perfect.
- If you found that the pH level is below the basic level then, add some acid-base compost or planting mix in your soil and if the level is much higher than the certain level then, try some granular sulfur to make it perfect.
- Choose a soil type that has good drainage quality and warm it up before planting any sunflower seeds or germinated sunflower plant into it.
- This plant is heavy feeder so try to select nutrient-rich soil so cater enough nourishment to the roots.
- Soil temperature must be set within 55 to60 degrees F for the right warmth consistency.
- If you are not using rich organic compost then, add slow-release granular fertilizer at least 6 to 8 inches deep into your soil.
- Sunflower claims warm and sunny climate throughout its all growing session, thus attempt to sow your sunflower plant from mid-April to late May.
- This plant can’t stand against windy climate, so plant your sunflower seeds or sprouts where the flow of wind can hit lower.
- The temperature must keep under 50 ̊F for the seeds and it may increase a bit after the germination occurs.
- Sunflower plants require full sunlight during the entire growing session so; try to supply adequate warmth to your plants, if you want to get a handful of healthy crops.
- Starting the plating process after the danger of spring frost would be the best choice for the perfect season of sunflower.
Video: Growing Sunflowers
- To start the planting process, decide the type or variety of sunflower first, as the cultivating procedure sometimes varies by the category.
- However, after deciding the category, selecting the planting spot, and arranging the perfect soil type in your garden, dig some holes in the particular area.
- Holes must contain 1-inch depth and 6-inch apart which are settled in a row pattern.
- Now put some seeds in each hole and cover them up with some more fertilized soil mix.
- Try to add a thin layer of fertilizer after completing the planting process as this will help to grow stronger stalks of your plant.
- Then, water thoroughly over the land or your raised bed garden, whichever you have chosen for sowing your sunflower.
- Adjust the routine of watering is a necessary part of your sunflower planting as water is one more imperative element of its growth apart from the direct sunlight.
- Now, fertilize often and get proper protection from pests or diseases are two other mentionable stages of your cultivation to get healthy flowers. Hence after completing the planting process successfully, caring is the very next step you need to follow!
Sunflower Pest and Care
- Your taking care process must be taken before planting gets start to obtain the best outcome of your crop.
- Take a raised garden bed object to plant the seeds and after a certain height of 6 inches, transplant the plants into your garden, this will give your plants much more efficiency than ever.
- Check the drainage system frequently so then, water couldn’t gather any one spot in the soil and the root stays any kind of dampness free for all the times.
- Loosen the soil using a hand trowel before sowing the seeds inside it; this will help to run the draining system more effortlessly.
- Instigate deep root system for a better growth of your sunflower plants.
- Water regularly at the beginning and after a certain period, provide with many gallons of water once a week depending on the present climate.
- If you want to fertilize sunflower plants then, pick the months of springs season as this time they need lots of nutrition to keep the growth continue.
- Mulch a little at the primary stage to hold a warm or sun heat for a little longer than the ordinary time.
- Once the plants begin to grow, attach bamboo stakes to their stems providing strong support to the base.
- Last but definitely the least tip is to get appropriate protection from the unwanted and disgusting insects, worms, wilts, beetles, fungus, and bacterial infections.
5. Pest and Diseases:
Sunflower is that one kind of plant which attracts not only by worms, pests or beetles but, also by snails, birds, squirrels too! From seed condition to the harvesting period, sunflower plants are not safe at any of its forms, thus, it will be better to take proper protection from every possible trouble that could happen with your sunflower crop.
Downy mildew, Sclerotinia stem, rust, powdery mildew, verticillium wilt, etc. are some common fungal infections that could affect your sunflower plants hugely and harm tremendously to its growth. Use fungicide over your plants, once you see any of these disgusting troubles upon your crops. Good mulch, proper drainage system, adequate sunlight are some imperative elements of sunflower plants that could keep these diseases away from your bright flowers.
Sunflower beetles, cutworms, sunflower borers, sunflower moths, grasshoppers, etc. are some typical pests which widely appear in the sunflower plants and damage the crop entirely along with its stems and leaves. Applying pest management or pesticide would be the best way to get rid of these troubles. Try to keep the planting area weeds free, remove the infected leaves or bloom, take away any kind of shade from your crop and spray some kind of organic insecticide to not get affected by some disgusting pests.
Sunflower Harvest and Storage:
- Your sunflower will start to bloom after two or three months of planting and once you see that the heads of your crops start to drop and the petals look a little dry, you can begin your harvesting process immediately.
- Now, take a sharp cutter and cut them out with a 2-inch stem allowance.
- Remember that the green base of the head will turn yellow first, wait for a few more days then and after they turn into the perfect brown shade, start to pluck them up.
- If you want to harvest the seeds of a sunflower plant then, wait for the fully ripen form of stems.
- Usually, when the flowers seem to loosen from the head, cut the stem almost 1 to 1.5 inch below the head, blows off the chaff and let the seeds dry out completely before storing.
- Sunflower flaunts great in the fresh mode only, but if you still want to store them for a long while then, place some fresh rotten-free pieces in a dry and cool place inside a covered container.
- To hold the fresh form of sunflowers you can place them in a pot or vase that is 2/3 part filled with water. Keep the departed stem waterlog to clutch the freshness of your beautiful flower.
- You can even preserve sunflowers in your refrigerator too; just place them in an airtight container, before placing it in the freezer.
- You can store the sunflower seeds as well after putting them in a heavy-duty freezer bag or airlock container. Glass made or ceramic container would be the best choice for such purpose.
Remember that if you can store sunflower seeds carefully then you can preserve them for at least 4 to 5 month easily!
Sunflower Growing Tips
Growing Sunflowers in Pots:
- To cultivate sunflower in a pot take a repurposed container first and fill it up with the required fertilized soil and potting mix.
- Usually, a different type of sunflower grows in different height, yet 12 ̎ to 16 ̎ garden pot with a wide face or 5-gallon container could be a perfect pick for cultivating sunflower in an indoor area.
- Place some layer inside the pot while filling the soil in the pot and for that, add the drainage element first like terracotta pieces or pebbles; then add compost or commercial soil mix and the add the potting mixture on the top layer.
- Now, put the two to three seeds or one stem cutting in each container and sow into the soil with a depth of 1 to 2-inch and sprinkle a thinner layer of organic compost.
- Then add at least 25ml of water to the each pot on a daily basis and ensure that the drainage arrangement is working appropriately.
- After that, place the pot in a very sunny location in your house to provide at least 8 to 10 hours of full sunlight to the seeds.
- Your seeds must germinate within the next one 7 or 8 days; and then, proper care of your plants until it reaches the harvesting period.
- Water often instead of regularly once the plant reaches the height of 1 feet and fertilizer monthly if you see the stem or flowers seem thin or weaker.
- Now all you need is just take ideal care and protection as we have instructed above to get loads of healthy crop in your hand!
Growing Giant sunflowers in pots
Types of Sunflowers:
Sunflower contains several varieties which are technically and methodically different from each other. Let’s check out the top most varieties of this flower, which are highly noted than their other equivalents and mostly picked by the new age gardeners to cultivate at home, take a look-
Autumn Beauty: This category produces a large type of flower that comes in a large stalk as well along with a vibrant bronze and mahogany shade. The fully ripen plant could reach the height of 7 feet, thus, it is mostly preferred to cultivate a sunny garden space rather than a small indoor area.
Little Becka: This one can easily grow in a small garden space or garden pot with a small height of 3 feet. The flower blooms with deep red petals and comes in a measurement of 6-inch in diameter. You can cultivate them in normal sunny and well-drained climate with a very few consistency of fertilizer.
Sunbeam: Sunbeam is another mentionable category in the sunflower variety that comes in a medium size measurement. The stem could grow till 5 feet tall and beautifully flaunt with the amazing flowers that have asymmetrically designed petals and yellow colored center part. This plant is the best choice cultivate at the garden area.
Earthwalker: Earthwalker sunflowers are the best choice to cultivate in your garden if you want to renovate the view of your backyard! This category grows with bicolor blooms, which originate with rusty earth tones like orange, mahogany, brown and gold shade. It could grow 6 to 9 feet tall and grow with multiple side branches.
Teddy Bear: This is one of the famous miniature variety of sunflower plant which generally grows till the 3-feet length and comes in a vibrant yellowish-orange shade along with a brownish central part. The easy to cultivate the quality of this plant as made it one of the preferable species of sunflower plant among the utmost container gardeners.
Ms. Mars, Goldie, Soraya, Maximilian, mammoth, etc are a few mentionable categories of this flower which are also very easy to grow in any garden circumstance.
Nutrition and Calories:
Sunflower not only looks awesome but, seeds and its healthy extract also benefit our body from several aspects. This plant and its corps enhance various favorable nutrition value in its every croon. This product contains carbohydrates like glucose, fructose, lactose, maltose, Galactose, dietary fiber; proteins like tryptophan, Threonine, valine, glycine, etc. minerals like calcium, phosphorous, sodium, copper, selenium, magnesium, and numerous types of vitamins, which are hugely work for good conditions of our various organs. This product also valuable because of its high-calorie value as every 100 grams of sunflower seeds holds 584 calories in amount!
Health Benefits of Sunflower:
Whenever we mention the healthy benefits of sunflower, it automatically indicates the value of the seeds of this advantageous plant. Let’s check out some top advantages of having this edible plant and its seeds in your life
- These seeds contain sufficient vitamin E in its every corn thus, consistently performs as the natural source of antioxidant in our body.
- They can control the cholesterol level and work for diabetes in our blood.
- The deficiency of magnesium works for a great brain system for us.
- This product works to control the thyroid level in our gland and can reduce the trouble from our body surprisingly.
- Sunflower oil and its seeds contain essential nutrients that benefit our body directly and works to control our mood swings as well!