Average Weight For A 12 Year Old Boy 4 9 Tips on How to Grow Sunflowers From Seed

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Tips on How to Grow Sunflowers From Seed

Sunflower (Helianthus bamboo tree) is an interesting plant to grow, especially for children. Whether growing for competition or for fun, following the tips below will help provide your beautiful flowers for optimal growth and health.

Choosing a Sunflower Type to Grow

The first step in growing sunflowers is deciding on the type you want to grow. There are 67 types of sunflowers around the world with single or multiple stems, growing height, head size and color. Read through the details of each popular type below to help decide which sunflower you plan to grow.

Music Box is what is known as a dwarf variety, growing to a maximum height of 28 inches, making it suitable for growing containers.  

 

Teddy Bear Sunflowers are smaller than Music Box, growing to 12 – 18 inches.

Italian White sunflowers, also a small variety but with an attractive cream colored flowers.

Autumn Mix Unlike the above, it always grows over 6ft in height with yellow and rust colored flower heads, 5 – 6 inches in diameter.

Largest Sunflower Species such as the Russian Giant grows more than 15 feet tall with a head size of up to 20 inches. Obviously, the larger sunflower species will need more space than the other species mentioned previously. Great fun if you have room to grow them though.

What is the Best Place for Growing Sunflowers

Grow sunflowers in the soil exposed to direct sunlight and sheltered from the wind. Protect your sunflower by supporting the stem with bamboo as soon as the flower reaches 1ft in height. This will help the stem grow straight and protect the flower from wind damage.

When the sunflowers grow, the weight of the head of the high pressure leaves the flowers that are not strong to the wind. Because wildflowers only grow between 2 and 6ft in height, the risk of wind damage is much less than that of cultivated sunflowers.

What is the Best Soil for Growing Sunflowers

Plant your seedlings in a good soil such as my personal favorite – Miracle Grow potting mix that has good water retention, making the nutrients good. Remember to keep the soil moist and prevent it from drying out completely. Consider adding manure to the garden soil where you intend to plant your seeds or seedlings.

Tips for Germinating Sunflower Seeds

If you want to germinate your sunflower seeds before planting in the ground, lay at least 10 sheets of kitchen roll paper towel on the plate and soak with water. Sprinkle the seeds evenly on wet paper before placing them in a warm place such as an air-conditioned box. The more materials you use, the better the water retention, meaning less watering is required.

Checking the seeds with water regularly will prevent the paper towel from drying out, especially in a warm environment or direct sunlight. When your sunflower seeds begin to germinate, plant them in potting compost mixed with manure in your garden at a depth of 2 inches, spaced 1 – 2ft apart.

Sowing sunflower seeds in pots

If you are planting your sunflower seeds in pots, sow one seed in each pot at a depth of 1 inch in 3 inch diameter pots. Use a good potting compost such as Miracle Grow potting mix, before covering the top of the pot with clear cling film.

When the green leaves appear above the soil after germinating, remove the film and place the pot near the window that receives the most sunlight during the day if possible. Turn the plant pot 180 degrees in the morning and evening, make sure the soil is kept moist.

If the pot is too small or the flower has been left in the pot for too long, there will be a heavy weight of the roots around the walls of the pot. Because sunflowers can grow 4ft deep, allowing plants to reach this stage in pots will stunt growth.

Excess roots can be removed properly by cutting no more than 1/3 with a sharp knife. Loosen and discard the dead soil around the roots of the sunflower before planting in the garden. Always take care not to damage healthy roots in the process.

Sowing Sunflower Seeds In The Garden (approved)

Sowing seeds directly into the garden is my favorite method and I have had the most success. Sow your sunflower seeds after the last winter frost and the night temperature has risen above 5º or 10ºC. Sow in loose soil at a depth of around 50mm (2 inches) spaced 1 – 2ft apart. Water the seeds regularly until they are 2ft tall when the second leaves appear. The juice should be added to the water for feeding from the forward point.

Sunflower Facts

  1. Sunflower (Helianthus bamboo tree) is an interesting plant to grow, especially for children. Sunflowers can grow up to 12ft tall with a head diameter of up to 30cm (1ft).
  2. The head of a flower, often erroneously called a flower, has 1000 – 2000 individual flowers. The flowers around the head are pink.
  3. Sunflowers are one of the largest plants in the world, growing up to 30cm (1ft) a day.
  4. A fascinating feature of the sunflower is its ability to track the direction of the sun by pointing to the sunflower head of the sun. This behavior is called heliotropism.
  5. Wild flowers have small seeds, grow several branches and/or stems with more than one head. It is only through hundreds of years of careful, hand-picked seeds that are bigger flowers with a single stem and flower head.
  6. Sunflower is the state flower for Kansas, USA and the national flower for Russia.
  7. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the tallest sunflower was grown in 1986 by M Heijms in Oirschot, Netherlands at a height of 25ft 5.5 inches (776 cm).
  8. The largest sunflower head recorded by the Guinness Book of World Records measured 32 1/4 inches (82 cm) in diameter, grown by Emily Martin from Maple Ridge, Canada during the summer of 1983.
  9. Although native to America, 60% of the world’s sunflower population is grown in Europe and Russia. Popular varieties with sunflowers starting with the highest: Moonwalker, Pastiche, Velvet Queen, Russian Giant and small Teddy Bear and Big Smile species.
  10. Sunflowers are useful for attracting butterflies, bees and birds.
  11. Sunflowers are used to produce sunflower oil. As seeds, they are used for bird feed and as a healthy snack for children and adults.
  12. Sunflower seeds have 50% polyunsaturated fat content and are rich in Omega-6 which has been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease. Sunflower seeds are rich in calcium along with a number of other vitamins and minerals.
  13. The scientific name for sunflowers; Helianthus derives from two Greek words, Helios meaning sun and Anthos meaning flower.
  14. Sunflowers are perennial plants that grow every year.
  15. Sunflower seeds are poisonous to the grass so keep your lawn from being killed by the fallen seeds.

Sunflowers: A good choice for children

Sunflowers are one of the best choices of plants for growing children. They are visually attractive, attract many insects such as butterflies, bees and birds in addition to being easy to grow.

Maybe you can encourage friends or neighbors to compete with, see who can grow the tallest sunflower. I personally have fond memories of being a 9-year-old kid, competing with my neighbors next door. If my memory serves me correctly, I managed to grow three flowering plants at a height of about 6ft. Despite being young, everything seems to get bigger with age, so I could be wrong. I know, I shouldn’t brag, but I always win…. really. 🙂 Sorry!!

The BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Ssciences Rresearch Council… phew) has created a Sunflower Growing eBook for kids to grow their own sunflowers, while learning how plants grow.

Sunflower Plant Care

Sunflowers need lots of water and sunlight, take about two weeks to appear and 90 days to grow. If using an insecticide, make sure that it is appropriate to use it on the flower or pull the plant out by hand. Over-watering sunflowers will damage the flower head, especially 20 days before or 20 days after full bloom.

Pour around 2 gallons of liquid fertilizer every week around the roots of the sunflower, taking care not to pour the solution over the stem as this has been shown to cause sunflower rot. .

Try to place your sunflowers so that they spend as much time in the sun as possible, preferably 6-8 hours or more. If the weather is very heavy, put it in water until the wind has passed to protect the flower from the wind.

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