How do you grow a sunflower?

How do you grow a sunflower?

May 10, 2014

We live in a typical terrace house, which in turn comes with a small back yard. A few years ago sick and tired of looking at the boring uneven concrete that was lurking outside our back door we chose to get the whole area decked and the walls rendered. The transformation was amazing (I’ll have to dig out some photos to show you all), however other than adding a table and chairs and the odd kids outdoor toy we have done nothing else to it.

This year however the Boo Roo and Tigger Too household have been challenged to grow sunflowers as part of a competition with several other sites and well we are actually going to compete against each other too. Last week we were treated to a special delivery of some garden tools, plant pots and the all important seeds… however between then and now the weather has been terrible.

Undeterred we have opted to start growing out sunflowers indoors until they are strong enough to brave what the British weather can throw at them. Being an green fingered family there is the obvious question…

How do you grow a sunflower?

After asking family, friends and a bit of good old online searching this is how we have decided to grow our sunflowers (let’s hope we have the winning formula).


As part of our entry into the competition we were kindly sent some supplies to get us started but to give you an idea of what you will need…

Plant pots

There is a little bit of uncertainty about what size plant pot you should actually use, personally I understand it to be whether or now you what to re-pot your seedling along your growing journey. We however opted to pop along to our local B&Q and purchase pretty ones (I’m sure that they will work just as well).


Again we are not green fingered so I just bought an all purpose compost.

Garden tools

Getting your hands dirty is great and all but actually a great trio of tools; a hand trowel, fork and cultivator would be a good investment. Our garden tools are from Argos which have a great range of ones to choose from.

Sunflower seeds

We received our seeds but you can pick packets of them from your local garden centre or even some supermarkets.

How to plant a sunflower

  1. Depending on what size plant pot you are using add some drainage stones to the bottom of the pot
  2. Add your compost, leaving an inch or so gap between the top of the plant pot and the compost level
  3. Using either your garden fork or your finger make a hole in the centre of your filled plant pot approx an inch or so deep
  4. Place your sunflower seed inside your hole, you can add two to make sure that your seed takes but we only added one per plant pot.
  5. Cover the seed with compost, we used our hand rake to ‘tickle’ the compost back in place.
  6. Water, from what I have read you should add around 25ml for every seed plant every other day (you can see why I’m not putting ours outside just yet, they would be flooded with all this rain).
  7. Wait patiently and with a week or two you should start to see your sunflower starting to poke through the compost 
  8. Water alternate days and if you want to you can re-pot into a bigger plant pot if needed
  9. Once it starts getting bigger you might want to add a garden cane for support, plus ait makes it easier to measure who is winning the sunflower race!

Hopefully by the end of the summer we will be staring at beautiful sunflowers whilst we enjoy an outdoor picnic in our yarden.

Photo Credit: mclcbooks via Compfight cc

Disclosure: We received garden hamper, containing tools, plant pots and sunflower seeds FOC in order to take part in the sunflower growing challenge.

  • Sarah Ruse May 11, 2014 at 10:24 am

    From experience the bigger the roots and the better the support the higher your sunflower will grow. Larger pots are therfore better and the cane or another support is essential. My father-in-law grew a sunflower as high as his bungalow roof by tying it up regularly to a drain pipe. We’ve grown ones up to 6ft by tying them to the garden fence. Good luck.

    • Boo May 11, 2014 at 1:45 pm

      Thank you, We opted for bigger pots as I didn’t want to disturb the seedling once it was planted

  • Clare May 14, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    Emmy loves growing sunflowers, sadly they had both discovered a love for mudpies this year so all seeds have been turned into pies – thankfully I hadn’t planted the veg yet – Now I’m not bothering

  • Paul Wilson May 14, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    I’d like to grow some sunflowers whereby I can harvest the seeds and use them in recipes.
    Do you need a particular variety of sunflower for this? The standard sort of sunflowers don’t seem to produce the same seeds as you buy.

    • Boo May 15, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      There are different Sunflower varieties, I’d recommend popping into your local garden centre to see which ones they have available.

      • Paul Wilson May 19, 2014 at 11:45 pm

        Cheers, will do. The one’s I’ve seen all seem to be the standard variety.

  • How do you grow a sunflower? March 31, 2015 at 5:22 pm

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