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Choose a sunny location.

Sunflowers grow best with six to eight hours of sunlight a day, when they can get
it. Choose a location that receives direct sunlight during most of the day.
Unless your garden receives strong wind, keep the sunflowers away from trees, walls, and other objects that
block sunlight.
Check for deep soil drainage. Sunflowers grow long taproots, and may rot if the soil is waterlogged. Dig a hole
2 feet (0.6 meters) deep to check for hard, compacted soil. If you find any, try mixing compost into your soil
bed to improve the drainage.
Consider soil quality. Sunflowers are not too picky, and can grow in average garden soils without extra
treatment. If your soil is poor, or you want to put in the extra effort to encourage growth, mix rich, loamy soil
into your planting area. There is rarely any need to adjust your soil pH, but if you already own a pH kit, you
may adjust it to between 6.0 and 7.2.[
Rich soil is recommended for giant varieties, since they require more nutrients.
Plant seeds 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep and 6 in. (15 cm) apart. Plant the seeds in holes or trenches one in. (2.5 cm)
deep, or 2 in. (5 cm) if the soil is loose and sandy.[ Keep seeds at least 6 in. (15 cm) from each other, to give
each one enough space to grow. If you only have a few seeds and don't want to thin out the weaker plants
later, plant them 1 ft. (30 cm) apart instead, or up to 1.5 ft. (46 cm) for giant varieties. [ Cover the seeds with
soil after planting. If you are planting a large sunflower crop, space each trench 30 in (76 cm) apart, or at any
distance convenient for your machinery.
Keep soil around young plants moist. Keep the soil moist, but not soaking wet, until the sprouts emerge from
the soil.[ While the sprouts are still small and fragile, water 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 cm) away from the plant,
to encourage root growth without washing the plants away.
Water maturing plants weekly. Once the plants have formed stems and an established root system, reduce
the watering frequency to once a week. Water generously during the weekly session, and increase the amount
of water in dry weather. Sunflowers require more water than most other annual flowers.
The period before and after your plant grows flower buds is a critical time and not getting enough water may
damage it. Continue to water the your sunflowers weekly once the flower buds start to form.
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1. Purchase sunflower seeds. You can obtain suitable sunflower seeds from a local nursery or garden center. Be
careful about the variety you purchase, though, as only dwarf sunflowers are really suitable for container
growing. Suitable dwarf sunflower varieties include (and as names vary, ask your local retailer for specific
guidance in your region):
Pacino: this bright yellow sunflower grows to about 30 cm (12") in height.
Big Smile: this sunflower has yellow petals and a black center and grows to about 30 cm (12") in height.
Teddy Bear: this sunflower grows to about 40 cm (15") in height.
Sunspot: this sunflower has an amazingly large flowerhead (about 25 cm or 10 inches across) but is still a
dwarf variety, growing to about 60 cm or 2 feet (0.6 m) in height.
Music Box: this sunflower reaches about 60 cm (2 feet) and has lots of smaller flowers.

Purchase or repurpose containers or pots that are suitable for growing the sunflowers in. The containers
should be clean and sterile if you're repurposing them and don't forget to add saucers for catching the water.
Gauge the size of the container needed according to the height of the flower you're planting, along with any
other considerations such as how many sunflowers you'd like to grow per pot but some suggested sizes are:
If you begin in a pot with a very small radius, the sunflower will need to be transplanted fairly early on; some
people do this to give the sunflower a head start while garden soil is still cold but be aware that sunflowers
aren't very partial to being transplanted.[1]
30 cm-40 cm or 12"-16" width containers for most dwarf sunflowers should be sufficient.[2]
Window or porch box - a deep window or porch box can be ideal for a row of dwarf sunflower seeds. You'll
need to thin out weaker seedlings early on (explained below).
Large or mammoth sunflowers need containers of at least 18 litres or 5 gallons:
A milk crate can be used just be sure to line it well or you'll have soil spillage.
Half a barrel for really tall sunflowers. Obviously this will need to sit on a sunny porch or in the garden unless
you have a sunny spot free inside the house.
Put the soil into the container, pot or window/porch
box. First add a layer of drainage material, such
as pebbles, gravel, terracotta pieces, or small pieces of
polystyrene foam. Then pour in quality container soil
such as a mix of compost and commercial soil mix. It
should come to a level about 2.5 cm / 1 inch from the top
of the container. Water it well.
Give consideration to adding water retaining
crystals to ease the amount of watering required and to
ensure that the sunflowers will get adequate amounts of water.
Adding well rotted compost is important as a source of food for the sunflower, so try to do this if you can.

Place the sunflower seeds in the container. Sow


2 to 10 seeds in pairs, depending on the size or
length of the container you've chosen. Not all of
the seedlings will be kept, so don't worry too
much about squashing them in at this stage but
do be prepared to discard all the weaker
appearing seedlings later. When planting, plant
2.5cm (1 inch) deep and at least 10cm (4") apart.
It is possible to fit about 8 sunflower plants
into a container length of 90 cm (3 feet), so
using this as a guide, you'd plant around 16 plants in such a container and expect to thin out about eight. [3]

Be prepared to water sunflowers more often than many other plants. Add about 25ml (0.83 fl oz) of water
for every seed planted. Water once every one to two days in the same amount, depending on how moist the
soil stays. Ensure that the soil is kept moist until the seeds sprout.

Wait for the seeds to germinate. Germination should occur in the next three to eight days. If not, wait a little
longer but by 13 days it is definite that the seed will not grow.

If germination has been successful, then well done! After germination, thin out the weaker seedling of each
pair and remove any diseased or malformed seedlings. If space is an issue, move to additional containers but
remember that sunflowers don't thrive on being transplanted.
Keep watering as before until each sunflower is about a foot (30 cm) tall, at which time you should double the
amount of water they have been receiving.
Put the sunflower container in a nice sunny part of your house, garden or on the veranda (porch) if you
prefer. A sunflower should be positioned so that it gets full sun all or most of the day; no sunflower can handle
shade for most of the day. If you have the sunflower growing indoors, choose a sunny room but avoid placing
it too close to a window because air near windows is often hotter or colder than the room temperature and
this can be harmful to the plant.[4] Try to keep the container away from extreme rain.
Continue to tend the plant with water and general plant care. In two weeks the sunflower should now be a
decent size. give the sunflowers 75 milliliters (2.5 fl oz) (2.5 fl oz) of water. The sunflower buds should now
be just showing.
Fertilize if wished. While sunflowers don't need additional feeding, giving them extra nutrition can give
the flowerheads a boost. Apply a ready-made, branded general purpose plant fertilizer (follow the
directions on the container for flowers) or an organic fertilizer like vermicompost or home made
kitchen compost.
In one month the sunflower bud should be still developing for the next two weeks (water regulation
should increase to 100ml/ 3.3 fl oz of water). The bud should just be ready to bloom.