The Q&A Archives: sunflowers

Question: My son brought home a sunflower that they started growing in class. It is my Mother's Day gift. I have no idea when or how to transplant it outside or where it should go, or how to take care of it. I am just starting out with gardening and have not done anything braver then marigolds. What do I do with this thing?

Answer: Your new sunflower was probably started from a seed inside a classroom and it will need to be planted outdoors in a sunny spot. Since it was indoors, you'll want to gradually condition it to sunshine so it doesn't curl up and die. Do this by taking it outdoors and setting it in a place that gets bright light but not direct sunshine. In a few days move it to a spot that gets only a few hours of morning sun then shade for the rest of the day. In a few days move it to where it will get sunshine until noon. After a few days you can finally move it to a spot that gets all day sunshine and plant it in the ground. The whole process should only take a week to 10 days. Be sure to water it during this process. Once you've planted it in the ground, water it deeply every 2-3 days, gradually watering only once or twice a week (depending upon how hot the weather is).

I hope your sunflower grows big and beautiful!

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