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My daughter is getting married September 2009, and wants sunflowers to decorate the wedding venue. We have grown sunflowers before in the garden, but this time plan to grow them in pots. Can you advise on when to sow seeds etc and how to proceed. We have a greenhouse



Hi Viv and Mick welcome to GoY.

I wouldn't have thought you would have much problem for September harvesting if you just plant them in the pots in the garden at the usual time of year, usually late spring. If I were you I would put some back-ups into the border as well. The beauty of having then in pots though is that if we have another bad summer (although current signs are that it will be good, based on the increase in sun-spot activity and the changed movement in the flow of the Gulf Stream) you will be able to move them into the greenhouse to speed them up. Don't forget to water them though. Lol.

Best I can do I'm afraid but unfortunately, as with all horticulture, you are at the mercy of the elements. If you move them into the greenhouse too soon they will mature too quickly so just watch them is my advice.


7 Jan, 2009


Good advice by John, Just to add, i would also spread out sowing, just a few at a time, but space them out at 2 week intervals, over the space of 6-8 weeks, that should cover you. and just a last point, if all else fails, they are cheap to buy at most florist shops lol- had to stick that one in did'nt I lol

7 Jan, 2009


Yes, Angie! I always sow the seeds of dwarf varieties (do you mean to have the smaller ones as decor?) singly in pots in late March/early April, and start them off in an unheated greenhouse. This helps you get strong -growing plants to put outdoors outside after the last frosts.

10 Jan, 2009


Hi David, i am a bit confused lol - not that difficult is it! lol - i am thinking you are talking about the large headed but dwarfed Sunflowers that you buy in pots during the summer that are in flower and only about 18" high, if so that is a very good option, but not what i meant. You can buy sunflowers as cut flowers, they are cheep and will hold up really well in anytype of arrangement, weather it is in oasis, or a vase. Where as garden grown ones, will have to be picked at exactly the right time and conditioned in the right way to last all day, which can take a bit of practice - and if you get it wrong they may not last the day. I don't grow the little potted ones myself, and they would be a very good option for this, but to be honest i am not sure how they do it, they come in from holland like this. The potted ones you buy don't normally grow that short, they are restricted somehow so that they stay that size but have big heads, i am not awear of any varities that do this naturally. The mini ones you can grow yourself are far smaller headed. i usually grow the big ones at home and i do sow them in the greehouse early and spread out sowing at two week intervals, i also sow some straight in the beds at the same time i plant out, i find this works really well, for stronger growth yes, but also longer lasting display. Last year i grew a new variety, that was huge - but they were like trees - literally, a very thick stem approx 7ft high, but at the top rather than a single bloom they sprayed out like a tree and had flowers all along, and big heads, oh and i did i mention they were reds and oranges, i have some pic's under 'sunflower claret' - if you like them and have the room i have some seed i could send you. but just one problem i found in strong winds they lost there branches- but they made some lovely vase arrangements even if they did'nt last that long. if you want some send me your address on a PM, i am going to the post office on monday to post for Spritz, Tressandthings and Bren, you can be added to my list if you like lol

10 Jan, 2009


Hi, Angie! My "yes" was in agreement with the sowing intervals, but also agreeing that you had to plug florists, haha! We usually have "Little Leo" but last year had "Munchkin". They are all great and multi-headed, so last for a long time. I even dug some out of the garden, potted up and brought with us when we moved house in September. They lasted until end October. I also dug up the Rudbeckia "Toto" as underplanting in the large pots. They made a good combination with the sunflowers (not just in name).

10 Jan, 2009


Ohhh! lol tell you what though David these ones i have the 'Claret' would be good for your Choclate garden, i had some that were a bit cholcolate looking, have a look if you want some i'll send you some seeds.

11 Jan, 2009


Have PMd you, Angie. Vivandmick, please let us know how you progress with the sunflowers - great choice, I think, so bright and cheerful. Wishing you and your daughter All the Best with the sunflowers, and for the wedding!

12 Jan, 2009

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