Answer: Sunflowers are usually robust plants with straight, strong stems and leaves that repel pests because of surface hairs.
Cool weather will produce spindly stems and small, tender leaves so perhaps you need to plant them a little later in the spring, in a sunnier location. Wait until the weather warms a bit, then try planting seeds 1/4" deep in deep, rich, well-draining soil, in a site that receives full sunshine all day. Warm weather will encourage rapid, erect stems and healthy leaves.
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