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Growing Sunflower

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
                  P P P

(Best months for growing Sunflower in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

P = Sow seed

  • Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 50°F and 86°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 8 - 12 inches apart
  • Harvest in 10-11 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Cucumbers, Melons, Sweetcorn, Squash
  • Avoid growing close to: Potatoes
  • Young plants
    Young plants

Large showy flowers, available in a variety of colours Giant or Russian varieties are best for seed production

Sunflowers do not like to be transplanted.

Grow to 1 - 2 metres (4 - 6 ft) so need staking or protection from the wind. Protect the seed heads from birds when ripening.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Sunflower

Use seeds fresh or toasted

Your comments and tips

18 May 18, Carol Graf-Haslam (USA - Zone 10b climate)
When should I plant Mammoth grey stripe sunflower seeds? I live in Southwest Florida and the temperature can range from 32 for a few hours during the winter with highs in the mid to Upper sixties but starting in April the temperature goes into the 90 +range. Should I plant them in October or November 4 a January crop or plant them in March for a May crop? I don't want them to burn and I don't want them to freeze. Please help. Thank you and I am glad to see that the friends in South Africa are also in the same predicament as I am.
13 May 18, (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
why sunflower is a popular crop option in marginal areas of South Africa
14 Apr 18, Therese Elizabeth Ries (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi I have planted and grown with some success King Sunflowers . When they have finished flowering and the heads start to drop , should I cut off their heads to dry out the seeds for sowing for the next season ?
16 Apr 18, Mike (Australia - tropical climate)
Let the plant die back a bit before cutting the seed head off.
20 Apr 18, Carol (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Watch out for parrots/cockatoos though! Tie a lightweight fabric bag over the head while you wait for the plant to die back and the seeds to dry
29 Oct 17, Laura George (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Could you please let me know - How big are the flowers on Drawf Big Smile and Primrose Queen F.1. Hybrid, we need them, about the size of a hand, say approx 14cm x 12cm??? For a wedding on 5th February 2018. We were going to plant them around 4th - 11th November, is that too early??? I would really appreciate your help. Thank you Laura
02 Oct 17, Jan Brand (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
What fertiliser is best for growing sunflowers? Do they also need more potasium? Please help!
24 Sep 17, Jaylin Driver (New Zealand - temperate climate)
How long do sunflowers take to germinate?
24 Sep 17, Philip Rathbone (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Hi. Im getting Married in December and my Fiance wants bunches of Sunflowers for the day. I live in Germiston. Where can I buy Sunflowers
13 Sep 17, Gary Barr (USA - Zone 12b climate)
I live in an area with typically 150 - 200 inches of rain (although not this year) and a temperature range of 55 - 85 - but mostly 60-75 degrees. Soil tends to be on the acidic side (volcanic soils) I'm interested in knowing if there are varieties of sunflowers that will grow in these conditions and also are good for honey production. Thanks
Showing 1 - 10 of 84 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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