Kids Corner: Sunflower Growing

Growing sunflowers from seed can be so much fun!

Planted in May, they’ll tend to flower in August, so now it’s time to decide on size and colour.

Whether you want to grow tall varieties such as ‘Russian Giant’ (which can grow up to 10ft tall) or something smaller like ‘teddy bear’ (which only reach a height of around 1.5ft), there’s a sunflower for everyone.

Who knew that sunflowers come in not just yellow but also shades of orange and even dark red?!

Here’s how to get started. You will need;

  • A pack of sunflower seeds

  • 7.5 cm plastic pots

  • Multipurpose compost

  • Gardening gloves

  • Bamboo canes

  • Watering can

  • Slug control (optional)

  • Fertiliser (optional)

  • Sunflowers like to be grown in full sun in well-drained soil, so ask an adult to help you find a suitable location in the garden.

  • Before you sow any seeds, it is important to remove any weeds that might be growing in your chosen spot. This can be done easily with a garden trowel.

  • Once you have got rid of the weeds, rake the soil until it is fine and crumbly.

  • Sow your seeds in holes (also known as drills) that are 1-2cm deep with a 10cm gap between each one and then cover them with a small amount of multipurpose compost.

  • Gently water the seeds so that they don’t wash away!

  • As they grow, if the plants are crowded, thin them out to about 45cm apart leaving the strongest, tallest plants.

  • As your sunflower begins to grow taller than you, you will need to help support the stem, by placing a cane near it and loosely tying the cane to the plant with string.

  • Watch your sunflower grow bigger and bigger each day until it finally flowers in August time!