Grow Sunflower in Pot / Container
Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) are popular annuals grown for their ornamental daisy like flower heads, edible bugs and seeds. Sunflowers grow upto 8 feet height, some varieties growing even taller up to 15 feet. Sunflower is very easy to grow and started in late winter ( late march) or early spring ( Mid April- Late May) when soil starts to get warmer. Follow the below tips for growing sunflower successfully at home.
Sunflower is readily propagated from seeds, its less expensive method. Buy seeds from local nursery or order online according your requirement. If you are growing in container then go for dwarf sunflower varieties. Sow seeds 1 inch deep and 4- 6 inches apart in late winter or early spring. If growing in container then sows 2-6 seeds per container, you can thin out weaker one later. Generally it takes a sunflower seed 3-8 days to germinate. Do remember sunflower does not like being transplanted.
Or you can directly purchase sunflower sapling from local nursery center and transplant at home in pot or container. Buy good quality and fresh sunflower seeds.
Sunflower can be grown in any type of soil (sandy or loamy ) as far as it is well drained. You can add compost, manure, leaves mold to increase organic matter in it. Also you can add vermi culture to loosen it up and making more fertile.
As name suggests, they are sun loving plant. Sunflower follows sun and faces east when bloomed fully. They thrive in full sun. Make sure you are providing them at least 6 hours of direct sun light.
Though sunflower is drought resistant, water them regularly for good growth. Keep the soil moist. Or Water the plant whenever you see the plant wilting.
Sunflower doesn’t have much needs of fertilization. If you want then feed plant with normal purpose fertilizer (liquid / granular) in growing season for good show of blooms.
Harvest seeds when flower head turns green to yellow and bracts (small green scalar leaves on base of flower head) dry and turn brown. Generally flower head reach maturity (ripens) in 30-45 days after blooming and a single growing cycle can be completed within 60-75 days. Cut the ripened heads off the stem and remove seeds off the flower head.
Use in Bouquets
Cut the main stem before opening up of flower buds early in morning and keep them in a water filled container or pot. Keep changing water to keep flower heads fresh.
Petals and sunflower seeds can be used for culinary purpose too.
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