Growing sunflowers will be very fun and satisfying for many people. They are such beloved plants and they really stand out in any garden that they have been planted in.
However, it can be very disconcerting when you have issues with your sunflowers.
If you have noticed that your sunflowers are droopy or if they seem to be dying, then you might be wondering what you have done wrong.
Sometimes this has even happened to people who were sure that they were following the right directions while raising sunflowers.
Read on to learn about some of the common reasons why sunflowers die as well as a bit of what can be done about it.
1 – The Roots Don’t Have Enough Space
When the roots of your sunflowers don’t have enough space, then they are going to encounter health issues.
The roots of your sunflower need plenty of space to spread out and you shouldn’t plant them too close to each other or other obstacles.
It’s best to check the soil before planting and to turn it over to remove any obstacles that could negatively impact your sunflowers.
If your sunflower can’t get enough space to spread out, then it will be in danger. It won’t thrive when competing with other plants for water and food.
Do your best to alleviate these problems so that your sunflowers can grow healthy.
2 – Not Enough Nitrogen
You might not know this but sunflowers need more nitrogen to thrive than many other types of plants. How much nitrogen is present in the soil is going to impact the overall health of your sunflowers.
This can have repercussions when it comes to seed yield, sunflower size, and even the leaf development of your sunflowers.
Sadly, too much nitrogen can also be bad for your sunflowers and it will lead to fewer flowers than normal. You want to find the right balance when using fertilizer.
Finding good fertilizer for sunflowers and putting it in the soil before you even plant the sunflowers will give them a head start.
3 – Not Enough Sun
These flowers are called sunflowers for a good reason. If you have planted your sunflowers in an area that is too shady, then they might not be able to get what they need to thrive.
Sunflowers need to be exposed to ample amounts of sunlight so that they can grow strong.
Ideally, your sunflowers should get between six and twelve hours of strong sunshine each day.
You might need to consider planting sunflowers in a different area entirely if they aren’t getting what they need. Sunflowers that don’t get the right amount of sun can wind up withering and dying very easily.
4 – The Environment Is Too Hot
When things get too hot, it’s going to have a negative impact on your sunflowers.
If you’re going through a really hot summer, then your sunflowers could wind up getting scorched leaves and you might notice the flowers wilting.
If things get really bad, then the flowers will droop and they might eventually die completely.
Too much heat exposure can really harm your sunflowers and you should try to protect against this however you can.
Planting your sunflowers in a spot where they get enough sun is important but it might be best to plant them somewhere with western or southern sun exposure.
This should limit the potential for the sunflowers to get harmed by the heat; however, you can also plant them somewhere with partial shade.
5 – Watering Too Much
Too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing.
Many new gardeners who plant sunflowers will make the mistake of watering sunflowers too much. When you water these plants too much, it can lead to issues such as root rot.
Root rot can most certainly kill your sunflowers and you will want to avoid having this happen at all costs.
It’s true that sunflowers are deep-rooted and that they need to be watered thoroughly. However, it’s also true that you have to pay attention to how much you’re watering and that you should have soil that drains well to get the best results.
6 – Pests
Pests can cause sunflowers to die too, and this can be very problematic.
If you notice holes in the leaves of your sunflowers, then you can likely blame pests such as the sunflower beetle or cutworms. Other pests such as the sunflower moth and the sunflower borer can damage the stem of your sunflowers.
You can take precautions to protect your sunflowers from these pests. Using pesticides is a common way to deal with this issue.
Just make sure that whatever it is that you buy for your pest problem won’t negatively impact your sunflowers.
7 – Bad Soil
Planting your sunflowers in bad soil can be a big issue as well.
If you plant sunflowers in soil that doesn’t drain well, then this can lead to numerous problems that can cause your sunflowers to die.
Also, some types of soil are too hard and it becomes difficult for your sunflower to get what it needs because of it.
The ideal soil for sunflowers is going to have a good nitrogen balance and it will be filled with lots of organic matter. You also want to find soil that will give your sunflowers the drainage that they need to thrive.
Paying attention to the type of soil you’re using is one of the most important aspects of growing sunflowers.
Make the Necessary Changes
If you have noticed that your sunflowers are dying, then acting now might be able to save them.
You could potentially relocate the sunflowers or you can adjust the nitrogen levels. You might also need to change the watering methods for the sunflowers to get better results.
This is mostly going to come down to identifying the problems that your sunflowers have so that you can deal with them.
Use the information above so that you can make good choices when growing sunflowers. You can save the sunflowers from the brink of death sometimes but even if you can’t, you’ll know how to protect the sunflowers when you decide to grow them next time.
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.