The Q&A Archives: Sprouting seeds

Question: I sprouted some sunflower seeds and they have long stems before the leaves. Can I still plant them in the garden? (They are leggy) How big do they have to be before moving them out to the garden? These are sunflowers.

Answer: Sunflower plants tend to be tall and leggy so what you describe sounds normal for them. Plant them at the same soil level as they were growing before (don't bury the stems any deeper in the ground) and set them in a sunny spot in your garden. You can transplant them as long as they have two sets of leaves and the weather is warm. You may want to harden them off before setting them in the garden. Do this by setting them outdoors in a bright spot and then move them where they get a few hours of morning sun, then a few more, until they are sitting in sunshine all day. This process should only take about a week. Once they are accustomed to being in all day sunshine you can plant them into the ground. Good luck with your plants.

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