The Q&A Archives: Sunflowers

Question: I want to grow sunflowers in a a container in my apartment. Which variety would work best and look pretty too? Can i use ordinary potting soil and how big a pot should i use.

Answer: Sunflowers are so much fun to grow because they're such cheerful plants and in my experience are not "fussy." They like at least 8 hours of sun daily and can tolerate hot weather. They are thirsty though, so you'll want to keep the soil moist until roots are well established. Then you can let the soil not quite dry out between waterings. Once they get going, it seems as if they grow by leaps and bounds!

Choose one of the smaller, multi-branching sunflowers for your 2 1/2 to 3 gallon container. Be sure to fill it with regular potting soil. Varieties include Moonshadow, with lemon yellow flowers on 12" stems from 4' tall branching plants; Lemon Eclair, reaching 4-6 feet; Indian Blanket, a branching plant 4-5 feet tall, producing semi-double flowers with a rich red blush covering all but the yellow tips; Del Sol, growing 5' tall with yellow flowers and brown centers; and Parasol Mix, with yellow, orange, red and bicolor flowers produced on heavily branched plants growing from 3-5 feet tall.

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