In this post, we are going to discuss growing sunflowers in containers before planting them outside.
There are many benefits of starting sunflowers seeds in pots or containers instead of simply just planting them in the ground. Don’t get me wrong, you definitely can start sunflowers from seed by planting them directly in the ground. If you don’t live in a consistently warm climate, you may want to consider this method to ensure you grow the tallest, most beautiful sunflowers.
As a self-proclaimed sunflower queen, I’m literally obsessed with this magnificent flower. Keep reading for the benefits of growing sunflowers in containers to grow the most vibrant and magical flowers this year. This is a short and sweet post, so let’s get into it!
Benefits of starting sunflowers in containers
There are many benefits to starting your sunflowers in a pot or container before you plant them outside. Though this way is not the only way to grow sunflowers, it can help to grow strong flowers and assist in creating an even flower garden.
Birds, bugs, or any other creatures won’t be able to grab the seeds
Nature is nature. Sunflower seeds can easily be picked up by birds (even if you plant them) or get eaten by some random bug or animal. It would be a shame if you meticulously planned out exactly where you are planting your sunflowers just to have some seeds not even get a chance. This will cause an uneven sunflower patch, and if you aren’t planting hundreds of sunflowers, this will be noticeable and will cause disappointment.
More than likely not every seed will sprout, or sprout strongly, this gives you the opportunity to plant strong seedlings
I barely have to explain this one, but let me share some of my experiences with this. When you sprout from seed in little containers, you will know exactly which plants are going to survive and do great after usually after a week of growing. Most times every seed you plant is not going to grow. What I love about starting my sunflowers from seed in containers is that I can choose the strongest plants to plant in my garden. Other years I planted seeds directly into the ground, and this resulted in an uneven garden because I had several seeds I planted not even sprout or grow (or maybe they were eaten!).
Sounds great! So… how do you grow sunflowers in a container?
It’s really simple, you just need a seed starter tray, a pot, or some sort of container that you don’t mind getting dirty. We love to use seed starting trays because they come with a lid that helps keep moisture and heat in. When sprouting sunflowers, you just need warmth and moisture.
Fill the trays or pot with some good potting mix, and then stick the sunflower seeds about 1/2″ deep in the soil. Make sure the dirt is moist and cover the tray with the lid. If you do not have a lid and are using a pot, just make sure it is in a warm area of your home.
You can keep the pot or tray inside as they don’t need sun until they are already an inch or so high. What they need most is warmth so they sprout and start to grow. We put water on the bottom of the trays each morning so they are consistently moist.
After the sprouts get to about 3-4 inches tall, they usually have some nice roots and are ready to plant. You can wait until they get taller to plant, but I prefer to get my sunflowers into the ground as soon as possible for maximum growth possibility. I would say it takes about 2 weeks before you are ready to plant. Some sprouts may be ready to plant quicker than others, this is okay! This is when you decide if you want to plant the ones that are growing the quickest or wait for the others to catch up.
It depends on which type of sunflower you are growing, but when you’re ready to plant, you should space them out at least 3-4 inches apart. If you’re planting monster sunflowers, space them out at least 5-6 inches.
Are you growing sunflowers outdoors this year?
As I write this post, my sunflowers have just been planted in the ground. I can’t wait to see them grow into one of the most beautiful flowers on the planet!
If you love sunflowers and are looking for sunflower art and other unique items, check out my shop! As an artist, sunflowers are constantly showing up in my work.