- Choose the variety of sunflower
- Start your seedlings
- Transfer to an appropriate pot
- Provide the correct location
- Water, water, water
- Feed if necessary
- Enjoy those blooms
Let's dive right in so that you can get started with your sunflower project. We'll take a closer look at each of these steps so that you can gather your materials and get your seeds germinating. Just keep reading!
What Type Of Sunflowers Grow Well In Pots?
There are two basic types of sunflowers: mammoth varieties and dwarf varieties. It makes sense that the dwarf varieties are better suited for containers, but people do grow the mammoth varieties as well. It just takes a bit more work.
Dwarf Sunflower Varieties For Containers
Teddy Bear Sunflowers are a wonderful variety for container planting. This plant will grow about a foot tall in containers and up to 3 feet tall in the garden. The blooms are shaped like pompoms and have a delightful shaggy edge to the floral bloom. They bloom in summer and take about 75 days to mature.
Big Smile Sunflowers live up to their name. They produce a happy yellow flower on a short dwarf stalk. The plant will grow 12-15 inches tall in a container but the bloom is a whopping 5 inches across. They bloom in the summer, work for the container or the garden, and when cut, will last in a vase up to two weeks.
Firecracker Sunflowers explode with color. The classic dark center of the flower has petals of red to orange to yellow on the tips. This is a compact plant that produces a mass of flowers. They take about 55 days to grow so they are a bit quicker than some of the other varieties. They'll grow from 16 inches up to 36 inches in height if your container is sized correctly.
Sunny Smile Sunflowers are a true miniature sunflower plant. These delightful blooms are made for container gardens. Depending on pot size and sunlight they can mature from as small as 6 inches to as tall as two feet. They produce 2-5 inch blooms.
Mammoth Bloom Sunflowers For Container Gardens
Because mammoth bloom sunflowers will grow up to 6 feet tall, growing these in containers is different than growing them out in the yard. First, they need large pots of about 5-gallons. Second, they may need some staking so that they don't fall over as the flower heads start to grow. That said, here are some beautiful varieties of mammoth bloom sunflowers.
Grey Stripe Mammoth Sunflowers are huge. Growing up to 12 feet tall at their tallest, these are a variety for a container gardener who wants a challenge. But their magnificence will be well worth the effort. The massive seed heads attract songbirds, or they can be harvested for roasting.
Sonja Sunflowers produce sprays of blooms and are great for bouquets. The plant will grow up to about 4 feet tall but will spread out branching for 17-28 inches with side branches that will carry about 8 blooms. The bees love these flowers, too.
Autumn Beauty Sunflowers produce multi-colored blooms in autumn hues. This is a tall one reaching up to 5-6 feet in height with branches of 15-44 inches that bear the flowers. The bees love these, and the flowers are even edible. The blooms are pollen-producing and can reach 8 inches across. They take 70-80 days to mature and will bloom in summer.
Evening Sun Sunflowers will add a bit of color variety to your blooms with its rich orange-russet shade. This variety grows up to 6 feet tall and has blooms that span 6 inches across. This highly-rated variety is sure to draw attention to your garden.
How Do You Take Care Of Sunflowers In A Pot?
Below we'll go over some important care tips for potted sunflowers.
Starting Your Seedlings
For sunflowers, you're going to want to get your seedlings started in April sometime in order to have July blooms. You can start them in jiffy pots or 4 inch seedling pots, but you'll want to be ready to transfer them as we grow. For soil, use a mix of compost and commercial soil made for flower seedlings.
How Big Of A Pot Do Sunflowers Need?
Once your seedlings are 6 inches tall, it's time to transfer them to larger pots. For a dwarf variety, you can use containers that are about a 2-gallon capacity. Mammoth varieties will need 5-gallon capacity containers. Start by putting a bit of gravel in the bottom of the pot for drainage, then use your compost and commercial soil mixture and fill to about 1 inch below the top of the pot.
These wonderful fabric pots with handles come in both 2-gallon and 5-gallon varieties. They are easy to store when not in use and provide super airflow for your plant's roots. This comes in a 5-pack as shown so it is a really affordable way to grow your container sunflowers. And they're attractive too! If indoors, you'll need some type of water catchment basin, as the water will seep through the bottom.
The Right Location And Care Of Your Potted Sunflowers
Your sunflower needs lots and lots of sun. It got its name for a reason! If indoors, keep it in a sunny room, but never right next to the window because extremes in temperatures can occur there.
If you have your sunflowers outdoors, you want to protect them from the wind and extreme rain if possible. As they get taller, they are susceptible to bending or falling over from the weight of their blooms.
Simple bamboo stakes like these work well. Use some gardening tape to secure the stalk to the stake.
Velcro garden ties are an easy way to connect plants to stakes.
Your sunflower plant will need a lot of water. Because it's tall and producing masses of beautiful blooms for you, it's working hard. It's not a plant you can leave for a week and expect it to be okay. Check its soil regularly and don't let it dry out too much between waterings.
How Long Do Potted Sunflowers Last?
One of the best things about these plants is the length of bloom. As your sunflower matures and blossoms, each bloom will last up to two to three weeks. And what's even more remarkable is the blooms will last almost as long when cut for a tabletop floral arrangement.
Sunflowers are truly one of the happiest flowers out there with their big, bright flower heads and seeds for the birds. Their size is impressive and their blooms long-lasting. So why not try your hand at growing some of these special flowers in your home or container garden this season?
If you enjoyed this post, please check out a few other posts on container gardening below: