All Women's Talk

5 Tips on Caring for Sunflowers . ...

By Aprille

I’ve always been intrigued by the impressive size of most sunflowers. I also like the fact that many birds are attracted to these giant flowers. I’m all for attracting a variety of birds to the yard, since they are very effective at keeping the bug population down. Here are 5 tips on caring for sunflowers for those of you who are interested in planting some of these magnificent annuals.

5 Watch for Pests

Sunflower beetles and cutworms are commonly found on sunflowers. The larvae might be considered a tasty treat to a bird, but they will almost always end up killing your plants before they have had a chance to bloom to their fullest. Garden supply stores carry a variety of insecticides, even organic ones, which will help you deal with pesky insects.

4 Better Soil Means Larger Plants

Sunflowers can be grown in just about any type of soil, but they will do better in soil that is of good quality. Like all plants, the sunflower draws its nutrients from the soil, so good soil is able to provide the seeds and plants with everything necessary for growing big and beautiful sunflowers.

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3 Stabilize Giant Sunflowers

Event though some sunflowers can grow to be the size of a small tree, the root system is no where near as deep as a trees. It actually doesn’t take a lot of wind to knock over a sunflower. If you don’t have enough plants to lean on each other for support, then you might want to plant them along a fence or place stakes next to each flower. Don’t attach the flowers too tightly to the stakes with string, otherwise it could cut into the plant and kill it.

2 Bring on the Sunshine!

Sunflowers didn’t get their name by hiding in the shade. These sun-loving flowers need lots of sunlight. I like watching their giant yellow heads turn as they follow the sun through the sky. Allowing sunflowers to grow close together make this sun-chasing effect that much more impressive.

1 Don’t Overwater

Luckily for me, sunflowers don’t mind the occasional drought. I’m terrible about remembering to water my sunflowers, do to the location they are sometimes in. They aren’t always right where I can see them when I come home, so I often forget to water them regularly. Just be sure not to keep your sunflowers standing in water, they don’t like this at all.

I hope these tips help you grow a successful crop of sunflowers in your garden. I enjoy the color they add alongside my home with their sunny yellow petals. They are also perfect for hiding the tiny shed covering the well in the back yard! Have you ever had any difficulty in growing sunflowers? What made you want to grow sunflowers in the first place?

Top Photo Credit: Cat's Ear (John Johnston)

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