Growing Sunflower

helianthus annuus : Asteraceae / the daisy family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
        P P            

(Best months for growing Sunflower in USA - Zone 5a regions)

  • P = Sow seed
  • Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 10°C and 30°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 20 - 45 cm apart
  • Harvest in 10-11 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Cucumbers, Melons, Sweetcorn, Squash
  • Avoid growing close to: Potatoes
  • Sunflowers
  • Young plants

Sunflowers need full sun and grow best in fertile, well-drained, moist soil with plenty of mulch. Sunflowers do not like to be transplanted so are best grown direct from seed. The giant or Russian varieties are preferred for seed production.

Grow to 1 - 2 metres (4 - 6 ft) so need staking or protection from the wind. Protect seed heads from birds when ripening with nets or paper bags. Chickens love a sunflower head hung for them to peck!

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Sunflower

Use seeds fresh or toasted or press for oil.

Your comments and tips

05 Dec 23, nancy aldape (USA - Zone 9a climate)
I love sunflowers
10 Oct 23, Kathleen (USA - Zone 4a climate)
Not sure if Im in zone 4a or 4b (Ossipee, NH). When should I plant sunflower seeds?
12 Sep 23, Anonymous (USA - Zone 7a climate)
I live in Northern California mountains. Zone 7a. Can I allow mammoth sunflower seeds to drop in fall to winterize before spring?
14 Sep 23, Anonymous (USA - Zone 8b climate)
Maybe you would pick them and store them.
20 May 23, David (USA - Zone 4b climate)
Am in zone 4b. Is there a Sunflower I can plant that only gets 2 feet tall?
06 Jul 23, Brayden (USA - Zone 8b climate)
Botanical Interests has some good dwarf varieties like Sunspot Dwarf that grows 18-24" tall and is good for container planting
21 Feb 23, Jordan (USA - Zone 5b climate)
Hi! We are looking to plant sunflowers from seeds in the North Shore of Chicago area, I believe we are zone 5b for zip code 60045. I have seen people reference "the guide" but am curious if someone could point me towards where I might find this magical panacea of information? Thank you! (Gardenate uses https://www.gardenate.com/zones/#zone-US)
22 Feb 23, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You work out your climate zone from the blue tab at the top of the page. Then go to the plant you want to grow - sun flowers.
21 Aug 22, Jennifer Bozick (USA - Zone 6a climate)
When is a good date to start planting Sunflowers in Kansas 6a growing zone?
04 Sep 22, (USA - Zone 6a climate)
In the Planting Guide it says APRIL MAY.
Showing 1 - 10 of 34 comments

Yes! I've visited Cleveland countless times and I've been to a sunflower field there :)

- aurora

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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