sunflower - Knowledgebase Question

elk grove village, Il
Question by nholzkamp
April 12, 2010
My grandchilren and I planted sunflower seeds in the prepare cell planter- it has only been about 10 days and they are about 10 inches tall and are Not standing sraight. Is is too early to plant them out side and whe nwe do transplant do we plant them at the same soil level or deeper? Thanks so much for your help the kids are very excited about this project.

Nancy Holzkamp

Answer from NGA
April 12, 2010


If the new plants are not standing up straight, they are leaning towards the source of light. You can provide supplemental lighting (gro-lites or fluorescent shop lights) directly above the tops of the plants it will keep them short and sturdy. Your average last frost date in the Chicago area is about the third week of April. It's best to plant the sunflowers outdoors after that time but if you do not have supplemental lighting you may need to set them out earlier. If so, plant them at the same soil level as they were growing before and make cylinders out of chicken wire or hardware cloth, set them over the each plant and cover the wire with opaque plastic (or purchase ready made cylinders at your local garden center; sometimes called hot caps). The cylinders should be wide enough that the plant does not touch the plastic and tall enough to block wind to the tops of the plants. These will provide some protection from cold weather. You can remove them in mid-May when all threat of frost has passed. Best wishes with your sunflowers!

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