The Q&A Archives: Spindly Sunflowers

Question: I purchased a package of Burpee Sunflower Fun'n Sun Hybrid Mix seeds and planted them indoors about the first of April and they started growing almost immediately. My problem is that they shot up to about 6 inchs with two leaves on top and now are laying down across each other on the pots. I've grown these before and this didn't happen. Did I use the wrong starter soil mix? Before I started them in pots outside should I just start over?

Frustrated in Ohio

Answer: Sunflowers are difficult to start well indoors because they grow so fast and also need so much sunlight to stay healthy. I'm not sure why they are falling over, although lack of light, overly rich soil, and poor air circulation could all contribute to that happening. You might try acclimating them to the outdoors and planting them to see what happens. You might also want to start some back-up seedlings, either outdoors or maybe by direct seeding in the garden. I'm sorry about the frustration.

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