How to Grow Sunflowers

Few sights are more stunning than a field of sunflowers pointing their faces sunward, and few gardening experiences are more rewarding than bringing the beauty of the sunflower to your own backyard.

You will need

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Knowledge of weather conditions and patterns
  • Sunny or partially sunny garden spot
  • Basic garden tools
  • Fertilizer
  • Garden stakes

Step 1 Choose a variety Choose a sunflower seed variety based on whether you want to grow giant 10-foot plants, medium-sized 6- to 10-foot plants, or miniature border sunflowers.

Step 2 Monitor weather conditions Monitor weather conditions to learn when the danger of frost has passed so you may plant your sunflower seeds safely.

Step 3 Plant seeds Plant seeds 1-inch deep and 6 to 8 inches apart, spacing rows 3 feet apart for giant varieties, 2 feet apart for mid-sized varieties, and 1 foot apart for miniatures.

Step 4 Handpick pests Handpick pests, such as caterpillars and weevils, during the growing season, and pluck yellowed leaves.

Step 5 Maximize growth Maximize sunflower growth by keeping soil moist and fertilizing biweekly.

Step 6 Stake sunflowers Stake sunflowers as they grow for stalk support when needed, and in 70 to 90 days you’ll be rewarded with a gorgeous crop and nutritious sunflower seeds to share with birds, squirrels, and your friends.