Arizona Wildflowers

Smallest Sunflower and growing tips – Part I

According to the 1996 Guiness Book of Records, the smallest sunflower ever grown to maturity measured 2 1/5 inches.  In this photo is a tiny, DWARF sunflower growing in our outdoor container.  When measuring this tiny flower, it checked in at 7 1/2 inches.

smallest sunflower

smallest sunflower in a pot

This small Sunflower is growing healthy in a lightly shaded area of the yard which has protected it from the extreme heat.  The seeds will provide a perfect size for growing Sunflowers in pots.

sunflowers plant bud

bud of the sunflower

The stem is thick and healthy. I will post another photo of the dwarf sunflower when it blooms.

A popular sunflower – dwarf variety – is the sunny PACINO.  Pacino is an improved dwarf pot type plant with more branching and flowers. Pacino sunflower’s height is only 16-24 inches and makes growing sunflowers in containers easy and rewarding.

Pacino dwarf sunflower

Pacino dwarf sunflower

Growing Pacinos and other dwarf sunflowers can be done on a balcony or a patio. Making sure they are positioned to receive plenty of sun.

plants on balcony

sunflowers in containers

How to grow a sunflower?   Just remember sunflowers do best in areas with full sun. Sow sunflower seeds April through May. Optimum soil temperature: 65-75°F. Sunflowers take 7-14 days for germination. When planting Sunflower seeds –  dig 1/2 inch deep, 3-4 inches between plants, and 30 inches between rows. Thin the sunflowers to 12-18 inches, leaving the strongest plants.

smallest sunflower

common garden sunflower

To promote deep roots and strong stems, water your sunflower deeply but infrequently. When caring for your sunflowers, try not to over fertilize your plants or it may cause stems to break in the fall.

Common Sunflower diseases and pestsWatch for cutworms and weevils on your sunflowers in the spring. A Pyrethrin powder, dusted or sprayed, works well on your sunflower to control pests.  When watering your sunflowers try to avoid wetting the foliage to help prevent browning.

Growing Sunflowers and harvest time! Cut sunflowers in the morning just after they open. Use a clean knife, a clean vase, and a few drops of chlorine bleach in the water, along with Floralife Cut Flower Food , to help maintain freshness.

sunflowers ready to harvest

sunflower’s mature flower head

Cutting the sunflower’s mature central flower head will promote side-shoot flower production.

What is the right time to harvest a sunflower for seeds? Harvest the heads when the bracts begin to shrivel, and hang the flowers upside down. **For seed-eating gardeners, gray and white striped sunflower seeds are the leading choice for munching raw, or roasted and salted. Harvest these the same way.
How to salt your sunflower seeds?  Rub the DRY seeds off the sunflower heads, put in 1 gallon of water with 1 cup of salt and soak them overnight. Now drain your salted sunflower seeds and place them in a 250 degree oven for 4-5 hours; then put them in an airtight container. That is how you make your own sunflower seeds! Easy and delicious!   Here is UPDATE part II


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