There are so many people who are interested in growing sunflowers because of how big and beautiful they are. Seeing a garden area where sunflowers are growing tall will definitely make you happy and you might be considering growing some at your home soon.
If you’re new to the idea of growing them, you likely have many questions. Lots of people are curious about how fast they grow because they want to be able to enjoy the sunflowers as soon as possible.
Keep reading to get all of the information you need about growing these beautiful plants. You’ll be able to learn about how fast they grow as well as methods to help you get the best results.
When it comes to determining how long sunflowers take to grow, it’s going to be important to look at averages. Most sunflowers are going to reach maturity sometime between seventy and one hundred days after they’ve been planted.
This is influenced by how well the sunflowers are being taken care of and other natural factors that can speed things up or slow them down slightly. Overall, you will find that sunflowers are plants that grow incredibly quickly when compared to others and it’s even possible for these gigantic flowers to reach twelve feet in just three months.
Anyone who likes to garden will be able to get a lot of satisfaction out of growing these plants. They look very impressive and the fact that they grow so fast is only going to make it easier to make the decision to grow them in your garden areas.
With that being said, you do need to ensure that you’re doing things right if you want the sunflowers to grow healthy and strong. The rate of growth will be impacted by the choices that you make and there are a good few things that you need to consider.
Choosing Your Sunflower Variety
You might not realize this yet, but there are actually quite a few different varieties of sunflowers out there. If you want to grow the kind that grows fast and becomes very tall, you’re going to want to find traditional sunflowers.
Recent years have seen botanists introduce new varieties of sunflowers that are different colors than the ones that you already know. The standard sunflower is actually the variety that will give you the best results if you’re looking for impressive, rapid growth.
Before you go through with planting sunflower seeds, it’s going to be ideal to figure out what type of sunflower you are planting. This will give you the specific information that you need to care for it.
Newer types might have different requirements or growth rates when compared to traditional ones. If you’re dreaming of those big sunflowers that spring to mind first, you’ll want to buy the right standard sunflower seeds.
Preparing the Soil
Preparing the soil for the sunflowers is going to go a long way toward helping you get good results. Ideally, you’re going to want to choose a spot in your garden area that gets a lot of fun.
As you might expect, sunflowers require a lot of sun to be able to grow tall and strong. A traditional sunflower is going to require between six and eight hours of full sunlight each day.
After choosing the proper location in your yard to plant sunflowers, it’s going to be time to prepare the soil. The soil that you’re using needs to have good drainage and you might need to make alterations to the landscape to ensure that things are right.
It’s also going to be important to dig out the soil so that it will be ready for you to plant the sunflowers. For a traditional sunflower, digging out an area that has a three-foot circumference and two feet of depth will suffice.
Some experts say that mixing in a little bit of compost with your soil will help the sunflowers to thrive, too. This makes sense because sunflowers need a lot of nutrients to be able to thrive since they grow so big.
When to Plant Sunflowers
Planting sunflowers at the right time of the year is also going to be imperative. It makes sense that you wouldn’t plant something such as this during the autumn or the winter, but some don’t realize that you need to plant sunflowers in late spring to get the best results.
Sunflowers are going to be able to germinate when the soil has reached a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit and the ideal range is between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The reason why you plant in late spring is that it gives it just the right time to do what it needs to do.
Many sunflower enthusiasts have noted that you want to plant your seeds around three weeks after your last spring frost. If you manage to do this, you should be able to get very good results.
Planting sunflowers at just the right time will make it easier to enjoy them for longer periods of time. You should get the best possible growth rates if you do things such as this.
Maintain Soil Moisture
Growing sunflowers will require you to pay close attention to soil moisture because sunflower seeds need a lot of moisture to properly germinate. You need to try to keep the ground consistently moist so that things will go as they should.
If you water the soil consistently, germination should occur before too long. You don’t need to go overboard, but light watering to keep the soil moist is going to help the process to go smoothly.
The amount of water that your sunflowers need after they have grown is much less. In fact, you will only need to give them approximately one inch of water each week when they’re in their growing period.
To get the best results, you should just water your sunflowers until the top six inches of the soil is moist. It should be easy to check this and it won’t be a problem to give them the water that they need.
Fertilizer might be able to help your sunflowers grow faster but whether it is needed or not will depend on a few things. If you decided to mix compost into the soil before planting your sunflower seeds, you likely won’t need to use fertilizer at all to get good results.
You can still use fertilizer if you would like to, though. If you’re going to go this route, you should try to use a slow-acting granular fertilizer.
Some gardeners might find that fertilizer will help sunflowers to grow a bit more quickly than normal but your results might vary. You should be able to use a basic type of plant fertilizer to get good results and there are also specific sunflower fertilizers that you can buy at retail stores.
Keep Weeds Under Control
Keeping weeds under control is going to be one of the most important things that you can do for your sunflowers. Weeds are going to keep them from getting the moisture and nutrition that they need to thrive.
You could weed your sunflower garden by hand consistently to keep weeds from becoming a big problem. If you don’t wish to have to do this frequently, utilizing mulch might be in your best interest.
It should be simple enough to lay down several inches of mulch in your sunflower garden area. This will keep weeds at bay and it’ll make it so that you won’t have to worry so much about sunflower nutritional issues popping up.
Remember that organic mulch is going to be the best type to use for this. It’s also a good idea to leave an area of bare soil around your sunflower plant to try to keep pests away from it.
Handling Pest Issues
Handling pest issues that might happen will be the final obstacle that you need to consider. Try to keep sunflower moths, cutworms, and sunflower maggots at bay by simply being careful about how you’re using mulch.
Generally, you don’t want to use insecticide since sunflowers rely on pollinating insects. It’s also worth noting that insects that are attracted to your sunflowers will usually only cause minor damage.
Birds can be much more problematic, but the best thing to do is place scarecrows if you’re worried about them. Depending on what area you live in, this might not be a huge deal at all.
You know that sunflowers are capable of growing very big in a short period of time. Now you understand what you need to do to get the best results while growing them.
Overall, these plants are very satisfying to grow and they aren’t all that hard to grow either. If you love the way they look, you’re going to have a fantastic time growing them in your garden.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.