growing sunflowers indoors
Tue, Dec 01, 2020

A Simple Guide to Growing Sunflowers Indoors

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Sunflowers are a widely loved, seasonal flower that imbues sunshine and happiness on even the dullest of days. With sunflowers often reaching 6 to 10 feet tall, growing sunflowers indoors may not have even crossed your mind.

Growing sunflowers indoors is a wonderful prospect. Sunflowers are vibrant, eye-catching flowers that brighten up any space. So often we assume that you can’t grow sunflowers in a pot, but that’s just not true!

Growing sunflowers in containers are actually easier than you may believe and with this guide to growing sunflowers indoors, you’ll have those colorful blooms decorating every nook and cranny in no time.

Planting Sunflowers in Pots

sunflower in pot

When planting sunflower seeds in pots, there are a few simple steps to take to ensure you’re giving your sunflowers the best possible chance of successful growth.

  • Choose Your Breed Wisely. As most sunflowers are best grown outside with plenty of space for them to reach full height, it may be prudent to choose a sunflower variety that is well-adept at coping with the indoors. We recommend opting to grow dwarf sunflowers in pots where possible, as it will likely adapt better to an indoor environment. This means it is an excellent indoor sunflower variety.
  • Find The Right Spot. When growing sunflowers indoors, it’s important to remember that sunflowers love the sun! (No surprises there). So finding an area with lots of natural light throughout the day will put you one step closer to your very own indoor sunflower garden.
  • Pots & Soil. Finding the right sized container when planting sunflowers in pots, is imperative to achieve proper growth. Sunflowers require plenty of room to grow, so opting for a larger pot (at least 15 inches deep) is very important. Once you’ve decided on which container to use for growing sunflowers indoors, it’s now time to add the soil.

What Is the Best Soil for Sunflowers?

Using well moistened, high-quality potting soil is a surefire way to give your indoor sunflowers all the nutrients they need. It is important to also note your soil must be well-draining. Thankfully, most good quality topsoil will be sufficient.

Planting Sunflower Seeds in Pots

sunflower sprouts

The first step when planting sunflower seeds in pots is to choose how many seeds you are going to grow in your pot. If you decide on growing more than one, then make sure the seeds are 5 inches apart and well away from the edges of your pot. Each seed should be pushed down about 1 inch deep.

Growing sunflowers from seeds indoors can be incredibly simple. By now you’ve chosen what breed and where to place your display, and potted your seeds ready to start growing sunflowers indoors. Now you just need to learn how you take care of sunflowers in a pot.

How Do You Take Care of Sunflowers Indoors?

Taking care of your sunflowers indoors is much like any other houseplant. They require plenty of sunlight, so placing them near a window that receives around 6hours of direct sunshine per day is ideal; lots of water in order to germinate and pest and disease management (not very common in indoor sunflowers).

How Much Water Does a Sunflower Need?

With sunflowers, it can be difficult to know how often to water seeds indoors. Whilst most sunflowers require more water than other houseplants, it is silvery important to not drown your plant.

After planting sunflowers in pots, it is good practice to water them daily – especially in the early stages of growth. These early days of growing sunflowers indoors will also be an excellent time to double-check your pot and soil is well-draining. Any pools of water are a bad sign and suggest you need to rethink your potting system.

In the first 10 days, making sure your soil is well-drenched and evenly wet, is a good way to know how often to water seeds indoors. This early care of your sunflowers is a vital part of growing sunflowers in containers as it will determine how robust the stem is once it has sprouted!

Once your sunflowers are in full bloom, you can dial back the watering. Whilst it is still important to have consistently moist soil, watering every two days, as opposed to every day, should still provide an adequate amount in the later stages.

You may be wondering at this point ‘can you start sunflower seeds indoors, then move them outside?’

sun flower in pot

Well, you can indeed! Sunflowers actually thrive outdoors and starting them in an indoor pot is a great way to make sure you are properly taking care of your sunflowers in the early growth stages.

Now you know how to grow sunflowers indoors, you will surely be rewarded with a beautiful display of vibrancy. Your indoor sunflowers will be a new attraction, brightening up your home and welcoming all who lay eyes on them. So much so that you may even wish to harvest your sunflowers to gift the same joy to a loved one.

How to Harvest Sunflowers Grown in Containers?

Luckily there isn’t much difference between harvesting sunflowers grown in pots compared with sunflowers grown outside.

If you’ve decided on growing dwarf sunflowers in pots, then the best time to harvest them is when the flowers are just beginning to open. Cut at a45 degree angle to avoid the plant dying entirely. Store the cut flowers in cool water and gift as soon as possible.

How to Harvest Sunflower Seeds?

sunflowers growing on the window

One of the other benefits of growing sunflowers indoors is the prospect of harvesting sunflower seeds. With more people opting to grow their own foods from home, sunflowers are a wonderful plant to do just that.

If looking to harvest your sunflowers specifically for the seeds, then you should wait until the blooms are browning in color. The seeds should look plump and shouldn’t be too difficult to remove.

To de-seed your bloom, firmly brush the head over a bucket. (At this point it doesn’t matter if there are petals in there too).

Now is the time to make the choice as to what you do with your newly harvested sunflower seeds.

  1. Re-planting:
    • Rinse seeds in a sieve;
    • Remove any debris (everything but the seeds);
    • Dry seeds in a cardboard box lined with newspaper overnight;
    • Store dried seeds in an airtight container for up to 1 year.
  2. Eating:
    • Soak seeds in water overnight;
    • Remove seeds from the water and dry on newspaper and paper towels;
    • After 4-6 hours, bake in an oven for 30 minutes. (Temperature will vary);
    • Store in an airtight container for 2-3 weeks.

Not only are you now well-equipped to grow sunflowers in a pot, but you also have all the information needed to care and harvest your indoor sunflowers for a long-lasting, renewing sunflower bloom. So pick out your containers and grab those seeds, because now you know you can grow sunflowers indoors, what’s stopping you from embarking on this wonderful sunshiny adventure?

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