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Tips for Growing Sunflowers

The sunflower is one of the most widely recognized flowers of all time. These blooms emit a sense of warmth and joy that is unique to only this flower. Many don’t know that this large flower blooms in a wide variety of yellows, pinks and even reds. While the most typical sunflower is about 4 feet high or even higher – some can be 6 feet (or more!) – some forms of sunflower can be much shorter and smaller. These edible beauties add a lot of sunshine to any garden and home! Follow our tips below to get started.

Select your type - There are two forms of sunflowers; one is an annual and one is a perennial. If you choose to grow the perennial form, be sure to remember that it may take up to two to three years in some cases before the plant begins to bloom. You can opt to either grow them from seed or seedling, although many gardeners say that sunflowers are extremely easy to grow from the seed.

Make sure they get enough sunlight - Sunflowers love hot sunlight, so plant the seeds or seedlings in areas of the garden or yard where they can get about six to eight hours of good sunlight a day.

Prep your growing area - Since these beautiful plants can get rather large, be sure to allow them ample space in your garden. These resilient flowers do not need too much water or fertilizer, so as long as the soil is kept moderately moist, they should be fine.

Provide support - Some suggest that planting them along a fence is the best way to go, since the fence will provide support for the stalk.

Harvest - When the fall comes and frost begins to set in, you should pull the sunflower plants out and discard them. If your plan is to have the seeds as a snack, be sure not to wait too long to harvest them; otherwise, the seeds dry out too much to roast. If you plan to eat the seeds, you should harvest your flowers when the petals appear dry and begin to fall off. Or, when you’re ready to cut off the flower heads, you can then lay them out for the birds and squirrels to fight over. The large flower of the sunflower plant produces hundreds of sunflower seeds that make a tasty treat for neighboring animals.