How to Grow Sunflowers and Other Flowering Annuals

Annual bedding plants are great in pots and window boxes, but they also offer a quick and colorful way to fill bare patches in new gardens.

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Add Sunflowers to Garden BedEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

When to Start: spring
At Their Best: mid- to late summer
Time to Complete: 20 minutes to sow; 20 minutes to plant

Materials Needed:

  • sunflower seeds
  • 3-1/2 inch pots
  • seed soil
  • garden stakes
  • string

Plant Seeds

In spring, sow sunflower seeds indoors in a light, warm spot. Sow a single seed in each pot; the seedlings will be large. Peat pots or other biodegradable seed pots can be planted whole, straight into the soil.

Sunflowers Planted in Coir PotsEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Water Frequently

Water seedlings regularly, and keep them indoors or in a warm greenhouse until mid-spring. Then put them outside during the day, bringing them indoors at night, to harden off.

Water Seedlings RegularlyEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Support Your Plants

Prepare a garden bed, and once the risk of frost has passed, plant the sunflowers out into the garden. Their young stems bend easily, so tie them to short stakes. For extra big sunflowers, choose a large cultivar. Feed and water your plants all summer.

Stakes Support SunflowersEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited
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Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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