Easy to grow sunflowers can be enjoyed in local landscapes almost anytime of the year. Only the really cold months are a problem but if we have a warm winter you can likely grow them then too.
Did you know sunflowers are native flowers from the Western states? They were enjoyed by early settlers but not perfected in the US. The sunflower was taken to Russia where it was grown and hybridized as an oil producing plant. One of the older varieties is name Mammoth Russian as it often grows to ten feet high producing dinner plates size flower heads.
Today there is a wide selection of sunflowers that grow from very tall ones to those only twenty or so inches high. Sunflower blossoms vary greatly from the traditional with yellow outer portions and brown centers to those with orange, reds and maroon colorations.
Traditionally gardeners sow their sunflower seeds in the ground. Seeds are usually large and easy to place one to a spot in the soil. If you use this method, space the seed far enough apart to allow room for the plants to develop which depends on the variety. Some gardeners report inconsistent results with seeds so there is another very reliable method.
Start your sunflower seeds in four to six inch containers. You can sow one seed per container using potting soil. Present season seed usually gives good germination so you can expect almost all to grow. Seeds sprout in about a week and are ready to be kept moist and fertilized weekly with a liquid fertilizer. After they grow three to four sets of true leaves, they are ready for the landscape.
Plant your seedlings where you want them to grow in a sunny location. Dwarf varieties grow well in containers to set on sunny patios and entrances. Often staking is needed to keep the taller varieties from being affected by winds.
Enjoy the flowers and then use the seeds to feed the birds or enjoy roasting a few to eat yourself. Other wild animals enjoy sunflower seeds too.