Nothing reminds me of the old summer days than a little sunflower poking out its glorious head out of the fields. This carefree summer flower with its bright yellow petals comes with the uncanny ability to brighten spirits and bring happiness. It’s scientific name although brings a smile to the more immature of us lot – Helianthus annuus. Let’s learn about the best way to care for sunflowers right here with courtesy of SFGate and our specialists from Karuna Nursery.
Depending on the variety, sunflowers can grow anywhere from 1 to 15 feet tall. If you lack garden space, or if you simply want to brighten up your home, this annual upright grower can do the trick.
Choose a small variety for indoor growing. Grow your sunflowers in large, individual containers with drainage holes and well-drained potting mix. This accommodates the plant’s fast growth and prevents sitting water.
Place the sunflowers in an area where they’re exposed to at least six hours of full sunlight per day – an east or south-facing window is ideal. If needed, place the pots outside on a sunny patio or balcony, or expose them to fluorescent full spectrum lights. The sunflowers won’t grow and flower well if they don’t receive enough light.
Put a saucer or tray underneath each pot and soak the soil with a watering can until the liquid drains from the drainage holes. Avoid getting the foliage wet and always discard the drained water. Water the sunflowers when the top inch of soil is dry. Aim to keep the soil moist — not soggy. For optimum growth, especially focus on regular watering about 20 days before and after flowering.
Fertilize the sunflowers with a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer during the growing season. Avoid over-fertilizing, because this may stimulate foliage growth instead of flower growth.
Stake the sunflowers if they grow taller than 3 feet and become top-heavy. Use fabric-covered plant ties to loosely attach the stems to the stakes.
We believe in happiness here at Karuna. If the very sight of any plant makes you happy, there is no excuse to keep you from growing it. This is a plant that is used to growing in the fields with open air and lots of sunshine. Keep that in mind and enjoy the view every morning. Good luck and green thumbs to you fellow gardener!