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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

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

17 Sep 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Read the notes here about when to plant, how long it takes from planting to harvest. Probably can grow in most places. Animals if hungry will probably eat them. How big the flower grows will depend on how well the plant grows to some extent.( And the variety) If first attempt at growing you probably have little chance at producing flowers on a certain date.
09 Sep 18, Lynda Lepelaars (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Can sunflowers grow at the coast, I was going to grow some up against a fence. Also I have another section at a different location in which I have hundreds of seeds that I would like to plant out. Do you have to keep them away from livestock? Look forward to your help. Regards Lynda
28 Jul 18, Sheryl (New Zealand - temperate climate)
We would like to grow sunflowers for my daughters wedding in late February 2018, I am in Auckland. When would be the best time to plant them? I will buy the young plants from a garden centre I think. We are going to grow them on a friends large property out in Whitford. They may get some wind. Also they are rabbits on the land?? Many thanks
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
24 Sep 17, Jaylin Driver (New Zealand - temperate climate)
How long do sunflowers take to germinate?
17 Sep 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Look up the internet.
02 Mar 17, Bella (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi Yesterday I scraped out a handful of sunflower seeds from a plant in a friends garden. I have them in a brown paper bag. Can I plant them today or do I need dry them out before I plant them. Thanks
03 Mar 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
You would probably be better to buy a packet of seed or get a small handful from a produce store (they would likely give it to you). The seed you have may not be sufficiently dry and is likelt to rot. It is getting late to plant sunflowers unless you are in the warmer north of the country. Save your seed for next season or swap it for something else. Trust this helps.

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

- Laura George

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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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