Can You Grow Sunflowers In A Pot?

Most plants like to be planted out in the wilds, free to grow as nature intended. We humans, however, like to grow them where we can look at them, admire them and look after them. It is lovely to have plants in pots around the place, brightening up corners and bringing the outside in. This is especially important if you live in a place where the countryside is not on your doorstep – how do you bring plants to your doorstep? You grow them in pots, of course!

This being said, some plants respond better to being kept in a pot than some others. So, can you grow sunflowers in a pot? And if you do, what is the best way to do this? Let’s have a look into the ins and outs of growing sunflowers in a pot.

Can You Grow Sunflowers In A Pot?

best sunflowers to grow in pots

The answer is yes, yes you can. Very successfully in fact. And growing sunflowers in pots is a very easy and rewarding thing to do, especially if you live with an enthusiastic toddler or two!

Obviously, you have to work out what type of sunflower you are going to grow. A towering variety will not do so well in a pot as one of the smaller types! Standard sunflowers can grow extremely tall and need a lot of space.

However, you can buy specialist sunflower seeds that are dwarf varieties and are as such more suitable for pot and patio growing. These plants tend to grow to 4 feet tall or less, making them ideal for growing in pots.

Another advantage to these types is that they tend to produce more than one flower per stem, whereas the larger varieties generally only produce one bloom per plant.

As long as you have the right kind of pot and the right kind of soil and growing conditions, you can grow sunflowers in a pot.

Best Sunflowers To Grow In Pots

Because sunflowers are so easygoing and hardy, they are a great thing to get your kids into gardening. Planting small sunflowers that are around the child’s eye level will also be more fun for them, so growing sunflowers in pots is great for your young green fingered toddlers and older children.

  • Helianthus Annuus “Munchkin”. This long flowering dwarf sunflower is especially suited to growing in pots, and it has a long flowering time so it will brighten your patio for a long time to come.
  • Helianthus Annuus “Autumn Time”. This extraordinary sunflower produces different coloured blooms – bronze, yellow and orange – and it usually produces more than one flower per stem.
  • Helianthus Annuus “Little Dorrit”. Perfect for border planting, this sunflower grows up to one metre and has a beautiful yellow head with a chocolate brown centre. Ideal for planting with the kids!

How To Care For Potted Sunflowers

how to care for potted sunflowers

Growing sunflowers in a pot is fairly easy, but there are a few things to be aware of so that your flowers grow big and beautiful:

1. Place just one seed per pot

These plants are quick to grow and very good at it, so if you add more than one seed to a pot you will find that you have to transplant very quickly.

2. Plant them in April or May

Plant them in April or May, depending on how warm the weather is (if you have a greenhouse or a warm windowsill this is less of an issue).

3. Water them well

Sunflowers like a lot of water to drink, so take care that the soil doesn’t dry out.

4. Feed them with a little tomato feed

This particular fertiliser works well for sunflowers, and should encourage them to grow healthy and produce lovely blooms.

5. Support with garden canes, if necessary

Taller, leggy sunflowers will need a bit of help to keep them stable, especially if they are planted in an exposed position.

6. Grow them in a sunny position

One of the advantages to having sunflowers in pots is that you can chase the sun – if your patio gets the sun in the morning and the end of the garden gets it in the afternoon, move your sunflowers regularly so they get the most amount of sunshine as possible.

Dos And Don’t For Potted Sunflowers

  • Buy seeds for growing. Sunflower seeds that you buy in a shop may look like the real thing, but they will have been roasted, meaning that the seed won’t ever sprout into a plant!
  • Plant your seeds as soon as possible. The older the seed, the less likely they will be to grow.
  • If you need to store your seeds before planting for whatever reason, keep them in the fridge.
  • Choose a dwarf variety for the best results, as these will be less likely to outgrow their pot or turn spindly and leggy.
  • Place a pot or a plate underneath the pot, to catch water run off, if you are growing your sunflower indoors.
  • Water them well. Sunflowers like a lot of water, so keep your plants regularly topped up with fresh, clean drinking water.
  • Keep it in direct sunlight. Sunflowers like a good dose of sunshine every day, to keep them performing their best.
  • Add some fertiliser once in a while. Sunflowers like a dose of tomato feed as they are preparing to flower; this will nourish the plant and encourage the best blooms.

Final Words

Sunflowers are a lovely plant, and one that is very rewarding to grow. It is wonderful to have fields full of them outside your house, but equally good to have them dotted around the house in pots.

They are seriously easy going, and will tolerate being in a pot better than many other seeds you can plant – as long as you choose the right type of sunflower and the right type of pot.

Nicky Ellis
Nicky has been an editor at Farm & Animals since 2019. Farm animals have been in her life from her earliest memories, and she learned to ride a horse when she was 5. She is a mom of three who spends all her free time with her family and friends, her mare Joy, or just sipping her favorite cup of tea.

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