There’s something undeniably enchanting about a field of tall, vibrant sunflowers swaying in the breeze. With their cheerful golden blooms and imposing height, sunflowers can add a touch of sunshine to any garden. If you’ve ever dreamed of having your own sunflower paradise, then this guide is for you!

Explore the world of sunflowers with tips to help you successfully plant and care for these iconic flowers:

Choosing the right variety

The first step in planting sunflowers is selecting the right variety for your garden. Sunflowers come in various shapes, sizes, and colours, so consider your garden’s size, the overall aesthetic you want to achieve, and the local climate. Some popular sunflower varieties include the classic Giant Sunflower, the stunning Red Sunflower, and the smaller Teddy Bear Sunflower, which is great for small gardens.

Sunflowers need plenty of sunlight

Sunflowers are known for their love of sunlight. To ensure a bountiful harvest of blooms, choose a location in your garden that receives at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight each day. These plants thrive in well-drained soil, so ensure your garden bed has good drainage to prevent waterlogging.

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When it’s time to plant your sunflowers, make sure the last frost has passed in your region. Typically, this falls in the late spring or early summer. Sunflower seeds can be sown directly into the soil, spaced about 6-12 inches apart, depending on the variety. Plant them at a depth of one to one-and-a-half inches.

Caring for your sunflowers

Once your sunflowers are planted, they require some basic care:

Watering: While sunflowers are drought-resistant, they still need regular watering, especially during their early growth stages. Water the base of the plants to keep the soil consistently moist.

Fertilising: Sunflowers are relatively low-maintenance, but a balanced fertiliser can help promote healthy growth and larger blooms. Apply a general-purpose fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season.

Support: As your sunflowers grow, they may become top-heavy. Consider staking or providing support to prevent them from bending or breaking.

Deadheading: To encourage continuous blooming, remove spent flowers by cutting them off just below the bloom.


Planting sunflowers can be a rewarding experience, bringing a burst of sunshine to your garden and delighting both you and your visitors. Whether you choose to grow towering giants or charming dwarfs, the world of sunflowers is waiting to brighten your garden and home. 


Growing Sunflowers in Pots

A version of this article was published in the Garden&Home December 2022 print magazine

Feature image: Unsplash