Sunflower, also known as the composite flower, is one of the numerous beautiful ornamental and herbaceous plants you can grow in your garden. You can decide to grow them either in containers like pots, flower vases, or in the soil.
Whichever one you are going for, the stages of sunflower growth are the same. Generally, sunflowers take between 10 to 14 weeks to mature.
That there are eight sunflowers growing stages, starting from planting, germination, seedling, growing a bud, flowering, pollination, development of seeds, and harvesting of sunflowers.
In this article, we will discuss these growth stages of sunflower, highlighting what each of the stages entails!
Different Sunflower Growing Stages
Stage 1: Planting of Sunflower
The first stage of growing sunflowers is to plant the seeds in the soil. But then, it is assumed that you have taken your time to select the best species of sunflower seeds as there are varieties of sunflower seeds. One thing is worthy of note, it is advisable to plant your sunflower seeds where there is direct sunlight.
That is, make sure there is enough sunlight where you are planting the seeds. This is because the sunflower needs enough light just as the name “sunflower” suggests.
- Do not plant the seeds deep into the soil. This is to enable it to germinate well
- Always sprinkle water on them: Yes, aside from sunlight, sunflowers need water at this stage. However, do not overwater them. The goal is to keep the soil moist until the seeds sprout out
- The perfect time to plant your sunflower seeds is when the weather is warm. Springtime to be precise and if you are planting with a pot, sunny pots are preferable
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Stage 2: Germination of Sunflower
After planting your sunflower seeds, the next stage is germination. Here, the seeds are expected to emerge. The seed coats burst while the root becomes evident and attaches itself deeply to the soil. It takes 14 days for the seeds to germinate just some inches above the ground.
Care must be taken in this stage as the sunflower can die. Regularly water them, but make sure you are being moderate to avoid the roots rotting and the plant dying afterward.
Stage 3: Seedling of Sunflower
Just like the germination stage, the seedling stage of sunflowers is also important. Within the 14 days of the seed coats splitting, seedling sets in.
Here, the stem, roots, and leaves are well visible. And like we emphasized earlier, sunflowers need sunlight and enough water. But do not forget that moderation is key.
Stage 4: Growing a Bud
The bud stage of a sunflower is also delicate like the first three stages discussed earlier. It takes about two weeks.
At this stage, the plant is on the verge of producing flowers and bearing seeds. This can easily be detected by taking a closer look at the head.
You will observe the petals developing and the heads becoming larger as days roll by. Fertilizer can be applied however, fertilizer rich in nitrogen is better.
Also, do not forget that moderation is key as too much or little fertilizer can affect the growth of the plant. Moreover, sunlight and water are not exempted.
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Stage 5: Flowering of Sunflower
After the budding stage, the flowering stage follows. This could be spotted by observing the buds for any sprout.
The flowering stage is characterized by a sweet-smelling fragrance and colorful flowers which can be seen from afar; depending on the species of the sunflower plant. The flowers can last up to two days before withering.
This act of withering enables the seeds within them to begin to mature and ripen.
Stage 6: Pollination of Flowers
Pollination is simply the transfer of pollen grains from the stamen to the stigma of the pistil. After fertilization, the ovules develop into seeds that are covered by fruits.
Pollination is very crucial as it ensures that new plants are birthed, and also facilitates continuity or preserving species is made easy.
Sunflowers are pollinated by bees, butterflies, and other insects.
Stage 7: Development of Seeds
The seeds of sunflowers emerge after the formation of the flower buds. This bud after splitting produces the fruit which encloses two seeds in them.
These seeds are immature and require a few days to mature before they can be harvested. They are characterized by two embryonic axes at the ovaries.
As they mature, the axes heighten and their leaves become more mature waiting for harvest.
Stage 8: Harvesting Stage
At this stage, the seeds are matured and ready for harvest.
You can harvest with your hands or use a tool called a combine harvester to cut the flower heads and then proceed to process them.
How To Make Your Sunflower Thrive
If you want your sunflower to thrive and blossom then don’t neglect the following:
- Expose them to sunlight for about 6 to 8 hours. This is simply because they are worshippers of the sun.
- Water them regularly. From the planting stage down to the pollination stage, making the soil moist is very important. However, don’t make them wet as the roots might get rotten.
- Apply fertilizers: Yes, sunflowers need fertilizer to blossom, especially one rich in nitrogen.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take a sunflower to grow?
There are different species of sunflower with different time frames. An Average sunflower takes 10-14 weeks or 70-100 days to mature.
How Fast Does a Sunflower grow?
Sunflowers grow fast. Within the space of 3 months, it can grow up to 12 feet and 2 inches per week.
How long does it take for a Sunflower to form a head?
It takes about 27 days for the first head and 31-35 days for the last head provided proper conditions are maintained.
Why is my sunflower growing slowly?
Retardation in the growth of sunflowers is majorly caused by a lack of adequate sunlight and water. So, ensure these are always available.
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Having analyzed the sunflower growing stages, do not forget that they need regular water and sunlight. This helps them blossom rapidly without any retardation.
In addition, even though there are different species of sunflowers, the stages are similar and take up to 70-100 days to mature.