Made most famous by the painter Vincent van Gogh, sunflowers are an incredibly beautiful additional to any home garden. One of the only demands that a sunflower has is full sun. This tough, yet useful, flower is very drought tolerant and can even withstand alkaline soils where most vegetables would not be able to grow. Growing to an impressive height with vibrant and bright yellow flowers, sunflowers make for a great first “crop” for young gardeners.
Plant Sunflowers with these Great Vegetables, Herbs, and Flowers
Sunflower Antagonists (do NOT plant Sunflowers with these)
So you’ve decided to plant sunflower in your fantasitc garden, nice! According to our research on sunflower, we don’t recommend planting beans and potatoes nearby.
Tips for Planting and Growing Sunflowers in your Garden
As it mentions in the name, sunflowers require full sun. Select a portion of your garden where the sunflowers will be able to grow vertically with no restrictions, as most sunflowers will reach a height of 5 to 6 feet with a flower head that is nearly a full foot across! There are some varieties of sunflowers that can reach up to 15 feet high, while other varieties will top out at 2 feet of growth. If sowing seeds directly, place each seed 6 inches apart and 1 inch deep in the soil, and then water well. A 3 to 4 inch thick layer of mulch will help conserve moisture and keep weeds at bay.
The seeds of the sunflower develop on the flower head, and are exposed to pests like birds and squirrels. There are protective mesh bags that can be placed over the head of the sunflower to deter seed thieves from crashing your crop. Once the seeds begin to brown, cut the sunflower head off, along with 2 feet of stem. Hang the sunflower upside down to dry. To cook the seeds, soak them overnight in salty water, and then roast for 3 hours at 200 degrees.