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Sunflower questions

IlikeplantsIlikeplants Posts: 894
I’ve done a search of old threads but nothing came up on this.

Does anyone grow their sunflowers in little groups of 2 or 3s because it gives a nice bunch effect instead of just a random one stalk, one head look?

Why do they need to be staked when there fields of these growing in quite hot places and I don’t think there are individually staked.

seedlings - do you repot like tomatoes and bury them deeper up to their leaves?


  • hatty123hatty123 Posts: 125
    As sunflowers grow they need a lot of room so growing in clumps won't be practical, at some point the weaker ones wil get pushed aside. My biggest one last year grew to over 9 foot and the stalk was a few inches wide, like a tree trunk! I had 2 thick bamboo canes to support it but the wind still got it in the end. When they grow in fields I would think they support each other from being quite densely planted, and the outside ones will provide a wind break and protection for the others.
    I try to avoid repotting so not to damage roots, when i do have to pot on I might bury slightly deeper but only if I think it needs  a little more support and definitely not up to first leaves. Mine are growing in kitchen roll tubes cut in half, when they reach a decent size I cut down one side of the tube and then plant straight out in the garden.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,735
    You can of course, choose to  grow multi-headed varieties  B)

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • IlikeplantsIlikeplants Posts: 894
    Thanks @hatty123. I have so many seeds I might experiment a bit this year and do both both last year some looked a bit lonely by themselves. And also some didn’t get very tall all.
    @Dovefromabove I’ve  collected seeds large and small sunflowers and accidentally mixed them all up.
    this is how they currently look and I’ll divide them by soaking the roots. I just don’t have space indoors to look after so many seedlings😄

  • Janie BJanie B Posts: 878
    I was just going to post a sunflower question, but think I'll add it one here.... 

    First time I've grown them (from seed: Ruby Eclipse and Claret).

    Have read on the SR site "... pinch out the growing tips. When they reach about eight inches tall, remove the tip between your thumb and forefinger" in order to promote more than one bloom per stem. Has anyone done this? Should I do it once they've been planted in the soil in their final destination, or when they're still in 9cm pots waiting to go out? Mine are about 15in tall now (is it too late to pinch out the tops?)  and still in their 9cm pots, soon going to plant them out against a wall... 

  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    I grow mine in clumps for sure - three or four in a raised bed or a large pot. They often seed there anyway and leave them to do their thing. I don't plant giant varieties (I've no interest) but multi stemmed/headed varieties do very well. I have gone for ones like Velvet Queen and they've been happy. If planting in a group, in a container, you just need to know they they are very thirsty plants, but they will droop and are chatty, so will let you know if they are suffering. I grow mine right by a fence for extra support. If in a container, they do risk toppling over if you get a tall variety. But there are lots of lovely dwarf cultivars too.

    Not the kind of plant in a pot to leave to a neighbour to water over the holidays. :D

     - - -
    Random unknown self seeders from a bird feeder

  • IlikeplantsIlikeplants Posts: 894
    Good to know clumps of 3 and 4 can work. Maybe I can tie them in together if needed instead of using canes then.
    id like to know the pinching out questions too.
  • IlikeplantsIlikeplants Posts: 894
    Nice sunflower pics too @Fire
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    I'd suggest as much cane support as you can give.
  • IlikeplantsIlikeplants Posts: 894
    Easier to pull out canes rather than add the at a later stage I guess. Are 5ft canes enough?
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    Yes. Or plant against a fence.
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