A planter full of bright yellow sunflowers can brighten up any yard, growing sunflowers in pots are not hard and is a wonderful flower to grow if you want to get the children involved.
The simple answer to can sunflowers be grown in pots it, yes, but in our article, we outline some tips and tricks that will help you get stunning results and avoid the little pitfalls that can trip you up.
Container grown sunflowers are a great way of bringing color into your yard or home, whether you are growing them from seed or buying at your garden center, there are a couple of things to consider when growing them. If you follow some basic tips you will get the most out of your sunflowers.
What sunflower seeds to choose for pots?
Choosing the correct sunflower seed verity for your flower pot is the first thing to consider and below we have given you a few different popular verities that should suit different pot sizes.
Pacino is a single multi-stem variety that will fill an 8-10inch plant pot they will grow 24-30inch in height.
The music box is a sorter verity sunflower that grows to a maximum 18inch that will fill an 8-10inch flower pot. The music box sunflower has a 6inch flower that is a two-tone orange and yellow.
If you want smaller sunflower verity then you would want to look for Big Smile and Teddybear Variety that are ideal for growing in pots there are lots of verities on the market but we have found these are great for growing in pots.
How to plant sunflower seeds in pots
Once you have decided upon your sunflower verity and chosen the correct flower pot to go with your sunflower seed it’s time to plant your seeds.
The first thing to make sure is that your flower pot has at least one drainage hole, the type of flower pot is not a problem plastic, clay or wood will all work as well as each other but the flower pot will need at least one drainage hole.
If you are going to be placing the flower pot where water that drains off thought the drainage hole will cause a problem you will want to add a drip tray something like a kitchen plate will fit the bill very well.
Drainage – Sunflowers require well-drained soil, it needs to retain the moisture but not become soggy. Adding a layer of pebbles to the bottom of the pot will help with drainage.
Soil – Any general-purpose potting compost will be fine, garden soil can be used but may hamper growth as garden soil compacts when putting into flower pots and this will not allow the roots to spread as well and will hamper the growth of the sunflowers.
Planting – You should follow any instructions that are on the seed packet but a general rule is that you should plant seeds 4inch apart and 1inch deep into the soil. Sticking to this rule and you won’t go far wrong.
Sun – Place your flower pots in direct sunlight, as your seedlings grow they will need as much sun as possible this will help the sunflower grow to a big strong sunflower plant.
Water-stage one – watering sunflowers every day when they at the seed stage is key, you should keep the soil moist but not soggy. Sunflower seeds should start to show (germinate) within 10days continue with watering the sunflower every day.
Support – Some verity of sunflowers will need some support or they will topple over the seed packet should tell you if your verity will need support, it’s easy to give your sunflower support by pushing bamboo sticks into the soil and tying the sunflower to the bamboo stick.
Fertilizer – Giving sunflowers fertilizer is not necessary to successfully grow sunflowers but the reason some people like to use it is that it can help give a brighter flower if you are going to be showing your flowers it is worth using a fertilizer.
Water-stage 2 – Once you have a fully grown sunflower then watering can start to get less frequent, how you can test if your sunflower need water is if the soil feels dry when you put your finger on the soil it would be best practice to give the sunflowers a water this is in most situations is every other day.
Sunflower Pests – sunflowers are a hardy plant and are very rarely affected by pests, the only problem that you could have with sunflowers is root rot this is caused by soggy soil this is why it is important to follow the above steps on how to help the water drain away and using a free-draining soil.
Following the above steps should allow you to grow sunflowers anywhere the things to keep in mind when growing the beautiful sunflower plant is that you want well-drained soil and a very sunny spot and you will find it hard to go wrong.
Can I use bird food sunflower seeds for planting?
This is something for someone who has a bird or someone who likes to feed birds that have sunflower seeds and is wondering if they can use the sunflower seeds in the bird feed to grow sunflowers the answer is yes.
I can remember my first ever experience of gardening was when I was a child and my gran who had a bird said ‘should we dry growing these sunflower seeds’ as a child this was extremely exciting we went with the simple method of placing them in the flower bed.
The excitement when I first saw that shoot had me hooked on gardening it wasn’t long before bamboo stick was out supporting this large stalk and then the blossom was great.
I would only say with the bird feed method you don’t know what type of sunflower seed that is in the bird feed but as a child this was all part of the fun.
Show off your sunflowers
If you have taken the trouble to grow sunflowers from seed then why would you not want to show them off, I like to cut them down once the flower if showing with a sharp pair of Pruning Shears and place them in a pot of water.
I have found that they will last a long time in water around about 3 weeks, don’t forget to regularly change the water to keep it fresh.