Sunflower, Sunforest Mix
Make an instant forest with gigantic sunflowers.
Sunflowers are grown from seed sown directly in the garden after frost.
- Direct sow seeds in average soil in full sun after all danger of frost.
- When choosing a site consider that sunflowers need a well-drained soil. They face the sun, so make sure they are in an open area of the garden. The taller varieties will cast shadows on other plants, so plant these at the north end of your garden.
- Prepare the soil by removing weeds and working organic matter into the top 6-8 inches of soil; then level and smooth.
- Most plants respond well to soils amended with organic matter. Compost is a wonderful form of organic matter with a good balance of nutrients and an ideal pH level, it can be added to your planting area at any time. If compost is not available, top dress the soil after planting with 1-2 inches of organic mulch, which will begin to breakdown into compost. After the growing season, a soil test will indicate what soil amendments are needed for the following season.
- Sow seeds ½ inch deep in groups of 2 or 3 seeds. Space the groups 18-24 inches feet apart, depending on the variety.
- Firm soil lightly, water and keep evenly moist.
- Seedlings will emerge in 7-10 days.
- Thin to one plant per group when seedlings have two sets of leaves.
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
- Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For annuals an organic mulch of shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
- Keep soil evenly moist but not wet.
- Once established sunflowers can tolerate drought.
- No fertilizer is needed unless the soil is poor. Do not over fertilize.
- Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
- Some varieties only produce one bloom so once the bloom is spent, the plant may be removed.
- Remove plants after they are killed by frost in fall to avoid disease issues the following year.
- Edible sunflowers will mature in about 3 months or more after sowing. To harvest the seeds, cut the heads off after the stalks are quite dry but before fall or winter rains come. Check the flower heads for maturity to see if the florets in the center of the flower disk have shriveled and the back of the flower head is turning yellow, or the head is starting to droop. Cut flower-heads with a foot of the stalk attached. Hang heads in a warm, dry, well-ventilated place so the seeds may fully ripen and dry. Cheesecloth, netting or a paper bag with holes punched in for ventilation should be placed over the head to protect the seeds and to collect those that may drop from drying.
- Shorter varieties may be grown in containers. Be sure to use a commercial potting mix.
- Pollenless varieties make terrific cut flowers.
SunFull SunHeight10-15 feetSpread36-40 inchesOrnamental UseBordersLife CycleAnnualSow MethodDirect SowFloweringtrueBloom Duration6 Weeks
Sunflower, Sunforest Mix is rated out of 5 by 4.Rated 5 out of 5 by Them from Great germination results. Plants coming up strong. Have had some in the past that didn't start off well, but these should do great. So far, so good.Date published: 2012-05-08Rated 5 out of 5 by Homergarden from Super Sunflowers I grew these last year in raised beds and found these to be great sunflowers. I got anxious in the Spring and planted these in early April (well before our last frost). These seeds quickly germinated in the cooler than ideal soil and easily survived frost as long as I covered them on the cold nights. By the end of June these were already 10 tall and proved to be very very hardy. These plants survived many thunderstroms and were great during the hottest weather. One grew to be about 15 foot tall. I've already planted these for our 2011 season and plan to do so for many years to come.Date published: 2011-04-15Rated 5 out of 5 by ChicagoNative from Beware the Birds... I purchased these seeds to make a sunflower garden for my daughter. I grow in a 8x8 foot raised bedand found I probably should have bought two packets of seeds even with the recommended spacing of plants. Also, I have many birds in my neighborhood, which I did not have the first time I grew sunflowers (10 years ago). To my best ability to hide the planted seeds, many became snacks for the birds. I purchased Burpee sunflower seed varieties from my local gardening store to replace this packet- but two from this packet survived. They grew to over 15' in height and their flowers were each over 12 inches wide. They were immense. I'll try again next year, but I am going to start the seeds indoors and put a fence for rabbits around my garden. This was fun, and my daughter enjoyed seeing how fast and large these plants can grow. Just watch out for the birds.Date published: 2008-10-18Rated 5 out of 5 by bellamia from sunflowers I started my sunflowers on May 14th and today is August 18th and the sunforest mix is so BEAUTIFUL, they grew about 15' tall and the flowers are so amazingly gorgeous. I have a about 300 sunflowers in a horse shoe shape in my backyard. I highly recommend these sunflowers.Date published: 2006-08-19