One of the favourite flowers of summer is the sunflower, a North American native that is now grown around the world as an oil and seed crop. For the home gardener, however, the main appeal of these annual plants is the distinctive flowers that start blooming in the middle of the summer and into the fall.
Potted sunflowers will bloom for 2 to 3 months. They take 75 to 90 days to start flowering after planting, so seeds that are started in May will produce flowers by the end of July. Once they have set seeds, the plants will die.
How to Care for Potted Sunflowers?
1. Start seeds indoors for early blooms. Because sunflowers do not transplant well, plant the seeds in the pot you will be growing them in.
2. Keep the soil well watered, in a warm spot. Once the seeds sprout, move the pot to a bright location.
3. Rotate the pots a quarter turn on a regular basis to keep the stems growing straight.
4. When all risk of frost has passed, move the pot outdoors to a bright, sunny spot. Water regularly and feed with a water-soluble fertilizer once a month.
5. Trim off faded flowers to encourage fresh blooms.
Can Sunflowers Survive the Winter in Pots?
Sunflowers will not survive the winter in a pot. They are annual plants that die once they have set seed. However, the seeds are a favourite of many winter birds, so don’t toss the dead plant on the compost heap in the fall! Leave your sunflower stalks with the attached seed heads in the pot, preferably close to a window so that you can watch birds cleaning off the seeds in early winter.
Once they’ve been picked clean, move the pots out of the way until you replant them in the spring.
Potted Sunflowers Temperature Tolerance?
Potted sunflowers can withstand a mild frost, but will not thrive unless temperatures are pretty consistently between 70-78°F (21-25°C). They won’t mind hotter temperatures as long as you keep them watered.
Do Potted Sunflowers Come Back Each Year?
While there are some perennials called sunflowers, the classic sunflower is an annual plant that will not last more than one season. Luckily, these cheerful flowers grow very easily from seed, and in fact often self-seed when seed heads are left on their stalks.
When Should You Plant Sunflowers in a Pot?
It’s best to start your sunflower seeds in the pot you’re going to keep them in all season. Sunflowers have long taproots that do not respond well to transplanting. Start them indoors in early spring for the earliest flowers, or outdoors when all risk of frost has passed.
Use a pot with lots of height to accommodate the roots, with a loose, well-draining potting soil that will hold moisture. Add a granulated fertilizer or well-rotted compost to provide lots of nutrients as the plants grow.
How Long Do Potted Sunflowers Take to Grow?
Potted sunflowers take from 75 to 90 days to grow from seed to their first blooms, depending on the variety you’ve chosen.
Once they’ve started flowering, each bloom will last a couple of weeks before fading. Trim off the dying flowers to encourage new ones.
How Long Will Potted Sunflowers Last Inside?
Potted sunflowers will last for a couple of months when grown inside. Once they’ve started blooming, keep them in a bright, sunny location out of drafts, and water and feed them regularly.
Which Sunflower Varieties Are Best for Planting in Pots?
The classic variety of sunflower grows to more than 6 feet tall, with huge flower heads on sturdy stalks. While they’re a great choice for planting in a vegetable bed or at the back of a flower border, you should opt for smaller dwarf varieties for growing in pots.
Not only will they stay a reasonable size, but they also tend to produce more stems, loaded with blooms, for a full, bushy appearance.
Whether you’re looking for a bright, easy-to-grow annual to fill patio containers, or want a cheerful flower to make a big splash indoors in late winter, potted sunflowers are a great way to add brilliant colour to your potted garden!
Read my related potted plants articles:
- How Long Do Potted Gerbera Daisies Last?
- How Long Do Potted Easter Lilies Last?
- How Long Do Potted Hydrangeas Last?
- How Long Do Potted Daffodils Last?
- How Long Do Potted Geraniums Last?
- How Long Do Potted Azaleas Last?
- What to Do with Potted Plants at End of Season?
- How Long Do Potted Pansies Last?
- How Long Do Potted Hyacinths Last?
Janice is a retired High School teacher who is spending her leisure years keeping busy with all sorts of projects. Aside from freelance writing, she’s an enthusiastic amateur chef, home wine maker, and tends a large raised-bed vegetable garden, while at the same time running a Bed & Breakfast.