Family Gardening: Growing Sunflowers

Sunflowers are colorful giants and are one of the first flowers many children will recognize. A sunflower-growing competition appeals to any age of gardener. 

From: DK Books - Family Garden
Growing Sunflowers in Backyard Family Garden

Growing Sunflowers in Backyard Family Garden

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 1: Fill Biodegradable Pots with Seed Compost

Fill Biodegradable Pots with Seed Compost

Fill Biodegradable Pots with Seed Compost

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Fill a 3½ in (9 cm) pot with seed compost. Biodegradable pots, such as those made from coir fibers, are particularly useful as they can be planted directly into the ground, but seedlings will do just as well when grown in plastic pots.

Step 2: Plant Seeds

One Seed Per Pot

One Seed Per Pot

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Plant one seed per pot, pushing it just below the surface. Sow in spring indoors or in a heated greenhouse. Seeds can also be planted directly into the ground in late spring and early summer, but for the largest plants, start early. 

Step 3: Keep Well Watered

Water Pots with Fine Mist to Protect Seedlings

Water Pots with Fine Mist to Protect Seedlings

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Once the seeds have germinated, keep the plants well watered. If you have started early, you may need to transplant into a larger pot while the plant is still indoors, in order to keep it growing strongly. 

Step 4: Repot or Plant in the Ground

When Roots Protrude Time to Repot Sunflower Plants

When Roots Protrude Time to Repot Sunflower Plants

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Pot your seedling into a larger pot or out into the ground when roots start showing through the bottom of the pot. When all danger of frost has passed, plant into ground that has been prepared with plenty of garden compost. 

Step 5: Tip for Success: Brace with Bamboo

Brace with Bamboo

Brace with Bamboo

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

As your sunflowers grow, tie the plants to bamboo canes to stop them from being blown over. Water them regularly and, for the best results, give the plants a regular feed. 

Next Up

How to Plant Sunflowers in Decorative Pots

Make sunflowers even more cheery with this step-by-step guide to designing fun pots to plant them in.

Family Gardening: Create a Miniature Garden

Using small plants to make a miniature garden fires the imagination and reduces the garden to a child’s scale. Plastic farm or jungle animals, fairies, or dinosaurs bring the scene to life. 

Growing Sunflowers: When to Plant and How to Grow Sunflowers

Learn the ins and outs of growing sunflowers. Planting these bright and breezy bloomers is a snap — growing them is even easier.

Family Planting: The Giant Garden

Large plants that dwarf little people can be a wonderful addition to a children’s garden.

Family Planting: Tropical Garden

A tropical border is one of the most exciting plantings, filled with bold, colorful plants and reminiscent of a child’s fantasy jungle.

How to Design a Family Garden

Need a garden that leaves room for kids and adults? Check out this guide for design tips suited to the whole family.

Family Planting: Pond in a Pot

Those with a small yard can enjoy the aesthetic and wildlife benefits that a pond can bring.

Fast-Growing Flowers and Plants

Young children have short attention spans, so to get them interested in gardening, choose plants that do something spectacular, fast. While no plant gives instant results, many germinate and turn into something recognizable quickly enough for your child to remember sowing them.

Plant a Child-Friendly Garden

Even 2- and 3-year-olds can help plant their own little patch, and watch as life unfolds around them.

Striking Sunflowers for Every Garden

Their sunny, cheerful nature makes sunflowers a fun and colorful addition to any outdoor space.