Sunflowers are beautiful flowers that add color to your flower garden. They can be planted in almost any type of flower garden. Sunflowers are easy to grow. They do require full sunlight to thrive. Growing sunflowers is not as difficult as it sounds.
Sunflowering sunflowers requires only about one inch of water per week for optimum growth. If you are growing sunflowers for your cut flower garden, single stem varieties will do best. Sunflowers with a tough outer shell don’t have to be fully soaked prior to planting to make them easier to transplant and grow. One stem varieties like the double stem varieties do better if they are planted directly into the garden as they can then be divided and placed on fences or around beds. Double stem varieties do better with the support of stakes and need watering only on an occasional basis.
Sunflower seeds need protection from the frosts that usually come in winter. If you have several varieties or a large variety, keep them covered during the winter. Cut the plants back to about a foot tall and keep them covered to grow sunflowers without freezing. Covering the seeds during the winter protects them from early frost.
Sunflower blooms will usually open in mid-spring. They should not be pruned unless you want to remove all of the flowers. Wait until after the blooms have bloomed fully to trim them. Trim the top leaf nodes and leave behind the other nodes as well. This will provide room for the flower to grow and blossom fully.
Most sunflower varieties will flower from two to five times each year, depending on the location and time of year. Cut flowers mature slightly before planting. Keep the planting area covered with plastic when growing sunflowers for cut flowers. If you live in a colder climate, you may want to supplement the flowers with cut iceberries to provide some shade for your garden as well as providing protection from frosts.
Planting sunflower seeds is easiest when using a seeder. The seeds are not large and dry quickly so they will not take long to germinate. Plant the seeds at the correct distance from each other so they will grow together and produce good quality blooms. It is not necessary to put them in the same hole but make sure they are planted in an upright orientation so they form a clump. If the planting holes are not dug deep enough, the sunflowers will overheat and die.
To assure that the flowers are produced by the proper species, you should know the common botanical names for each type. Sunflower blooms are named for their yellow / pink colors. Springtime blooms are also known as daffodils. Sunflower and springtime flower bouquets are popular wedding flower arrangements used in summer weddings and anniversaries.
When growing sunflowers for cut flowers, be careful about the type of weeds you plant to attract them. Tall grasses, leafy vegetables and weeds can all stunt your plants. If your planting area has many different types of these weeds, you may want to consider alternate seeds. Planting single stem sunflowers does take more work and time than planting several seeds of the same variety. With patience and diligence, however, you will be rewarded with beautiful and colorful blooms.
When planting, the first step is to determine the frost date for your area. Frost dates are usually not established until March, although it is possible to get them earlier. Be sure to dig a hole two to three feet deep and then stick in a stake or wooden box filled with soil and covered with plastic. When the weather starts to change, move the seeds to the hole and spread out on top of the moist soil. Do not place them directly on the frost date. Seeds should begin to germinate by early April.
Choose the varieties that are available and are known for your climate. Some sunflowers, such as Stachys, bloom only once a year and are not as easy to grow. For these varieties, it may be necessary to purchase or collect more of them than desired and plant them in a special potting mix. Other sunflowers, such as Longifolia, bloom seasonally and can be divided into single stem varieties.
When selecting a variety of sunflowers for cut flower, it is best to find a few blooms that you prefer and have been growing in your garden or flower bed. Then look up the botanical name of the flower and look up several other Internet sources about that particular flower. That will help you choose a variety that is best suited for your climate. Different sunflowers have different needs when it comes to fertilizing, watering and harvesting, so be sure that you are choosing a sunflower that will thrive in your area.