Sunflowers are some of the most gorgeous flowers you can grow! They make amazing cut flowers and are very easy to start from seed and maintain. They come in all different varieties, colors, and heights. There’s one for everyone and every size garden.
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Where to Buy Seeds
With so many retailers that sell seeds the world is your oyster when It comes to where to buy seeds. Here are some of my favorite places to shop online for seeds.
Inside or Out?
Whether you start your Sunflower seeds inside or out is up to you. Both options are wonderful depending on your situation. Starting your sunflower seeds outside will be the easiest by far but you will have to deal with pest pressure.
Birds, chipmunks, squirrels among many others will be after your seeds as soon as your plant them in the ground. Aside from watering nature will take care of them for you. You will have stronger seedlings that grow into healthy plants.
Follow the planting guide on the seed packet for planting outside in ground. You will likely need to plant your seeds about 2 inches apart and and inch or so down in the soil.
If you also love Zinnias you can learn how to grow them here!
To grow sunflowers indoors you are going to need patience and space because sunflower seeds sprout and grow very fast! Here’s what you need to get started.
Seed Starting Supplies
Seed Starting Mix
You can get high tech with seed starting if you want, but you can totally do it low cost. All you need is what’s listed above. Using seed starting mix when starting seeds indoors is important because seed starting soil is sterile. Potting soil can have bacteria that can aid in seedling death called damping off. So you need to keep clean tools, pots and soil.
How to grow
Fill your pots with seed starting mix then depending on the size of your pots plant your seeds 1/2 inch down, cover with soil and water in. Be prepared to keep your seed mix moist. You don’t want to let your pots dry out.
If you don’t have strong window light or overhead grow lights you will get leggy (stretched) seedlings. While you can grow your seeds in a window sill but I highly recommend you get a grow light or two.
Aside from overhead lighting you will want to keep your seedlings in a warm area of your home. Sunflower seeds don’t need to much heat to germinate but do best in a warm room.
Once your seeds sprout you will want to make sure to keep the soil moist, light consistent and the space warm. Seedlings need at least 13 hours of daylight. This is made easier by the use of artificial lights. You can leave your grow lights on for at max 16 hours a day to keep your seedlings happy.
When you begin seeing roots growing from the bottom of your pots it’s time to repot your plants. If your outdoor temps are warm enough ( Above 46 degrees at night) you can transition your seedlings into your garden.
To learn how to transition your seeds I recommend you read this post!
If it’s not yet time to plant your seedlings outside then continue with regular care until the weather is right. You may have to repot your seedlings several times before hand.
Once you’ve fully transitioned your seedlings it’s time to plant. You can plant your seedlings in containers, raised beds or inground. When you plant be sure to use an organic fertilizer to feed your plant. Annuals grow quite fast and are very heavy feeders so make sure to provide them with fertilizer all season long.
Growing Sunflowers from seed is such a great way to add beauty and life into the garden and what’s amazing is that you can collect seeds from your own plants and grow your own stock year after year.