The sunflower, with the scientific name Helianthus annuus , is one of the most striking and beautiful plants that we can choose to decorate both our garden and our home. With its huge inflorescence, one of the largest that we can find in some varieties, it is difficult to give up this impressive herbaceous plant.
If you want to learn how to care for sunflowers , join us in this interesting article about sunflower care and discover a practical and complete guide on it.
Location for sunflowers
One of the most necessary points in the care of sunflowers is, as the name of the plant indicates, the sun. Without a great contribution of direct light , this plant will not be able to develop properly.
Due to this, the ideal location for sunflowers will usually be outdoors, in the sunniest possible area of our garden, orchard or terrace. However, this does not mean that we cannot have sunflowers indoors. If we want to know how to care for potted sunflowers , the most important thing is to find a very sunny location, next to a window or light source. Ideally, it should receive at least 6 hours of direct light daily.
It is recommended that the pot is quite deep. In fact, if the pot is spacious enough, we can place several of these plants in each container, up to three of them. Of course, these plants tend to tolerate transplantation quite poorly, so the process of transplanting a sunflower is very risky and we have a good chance of losing the plant. Therefore, it is advisable to always sow them in what will be their final location.
Weather for sunflowers
These plants are very resistant to most climates and do not have problems with hot or even very hot climates. You should also not have problems with your sunflowers if you live in a temperate or even a little cold climate, although it is not advisable to expose them to extreme low temperatures. Thus, if frosts and temperatures below 0 are common in your area in winter, plant your sunflower in a pot indoors.
One of the points to take into account when caring for sunflowers planted in the ground is precisely this: the ground. These plants develop a very extensive root system, in which it is not uncommon for the roots to become deeper than the height of the plant’s own stem. For this reason, they need loose and deep soils and, if planted in a pot, they require a container of considerable height so that there is sufficient depth.
On the other hand, it is also very important that the soil or substrate offers very good drainage , for which mixtures with sand, gravel or pebbles, among others, will help. As they are also quite demanding in terms of nutrients, it is advisable to prepare a loose and very rich substrate, such as, for example, that made with a part of coconut fiber , a part of peat and another of worm humus , to which we can add vermiculite and perlite to improve its drainage and moisture retention.
How to water sunflowers
Knowing how much to water sunflowers can be difficult at times. The plant needs more water in its early stages of growth, but despite its large root system, it is not advisable to make it go through drought.
If we do not want the stem to lose strength, and this is very important given its large size, we must maintain frequent but moderate waterings , so that we maintain a certain level of humidity on the ground, but always without flooding it. Watering more widely and abundantly could end up causing root rot or fungal attack.
Compost for sunflowers
It will be enough to use organic fertilizers, such as compost or worm castings , periodically in the growing season, although we can also use specialized long-acting fertilizers.
How long does it take for a sunflower plant to grow?
The life and growth cycle of sunflowers is very fast. Since we sow the seeds, the normal thing is that they do not take more than 10 days to germinate , and if they have not done so in that time they probably will not do it anymore.
Afterwards, in just 3 months the plant will have reached its state of maturity and its final size and can be harvested in summer so that its seeds are planted the following spring.
My sunflower is wilting, what do I do?
To finish explaining how to take care of sunflower plants , we want to talk about one of the most common problems that you can suffer, that you see that it is wilting, not only the flora when it passes, but the whole plant or several parts. Here we explain some of the causes and what to do if your sunflower is wilting :
- If your sunflower seems to be bending over itself, with dry leaves and a stem that doesn’t seem to have enough strength, it’s probably because it needs more frequent waterings.
- On the other hand, the lack of direct sun for at least 6 hours a day will also negatively affect the development of the plant.
- It is also important that the plant has a high supply of phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium.
- Finally, keep in mind that sunflower blossoms are seasonal and will not last forever. After maturing and giving the pipes, it is normal for them to wither and nothing can be done about it, other than harvesting them to sow again.