Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) may be the happiest flowers in the garden. Sunflower plants look very much like faces surrounded by colorful petals! They come in many different sizes. Some sunflowers are as short as two feet tall while others can grow to be 15 feet. The tallest sunflower on record was 25 feet tall! They also come in a wide range of colors including red, orange, yellow, and white. No matter the color, it’s hard not to smile when looking at sunflowers.
If you have space in your yard—especially a spot that gets lots of sunshine—you can grow a sunflower house that has a small inside room!
Sunflowers are easy to grow. Just plant them when temperatures are warm during the late spring and summer, in a spot with plenty of sun and water.
1. Begin by picking out a good spot to grow sunflowers. Sunflowers grow best in full sun and prefer moist but well-drained soil. Your sunflower house can be any size or shape you want it to be, (circular, square, rectangular or even triangular) but a good start is to plant one covering an area that is at least 4’ x 4’.
2. Next, create the house outline by sprinkling flour on the ground or using sticks or string to mark the outline of the house where the sunflower “walls” will grow. Clear the weeds and grass in a 6-12” wide area along this perimeter line to form a planting bed.
3. With a shovel, dig a trench along the marked area, digging down about a foot to loosen the soil. Leave an un-dug portion about 2 feet wide; this will be a doorway.
4. Next, plant sunflower seeds along the perimeter bed area. Plant the sunflower seeds 6 inches apart and 1 inch deep.The plants that grow will form the “walls” of your house. You can plant seeds in a single row or in multiple rows to create thicker “walls.” Make not to plant seeds in your “doorway” opening.
5. Water your seeds every day and keep the soil moist, especially while the baby plants are young. They should start to sprout in about a week. Once your plants are older, they will grow deep roots and be able to handle drier conditions.
6. Once the plants have a few sets of leaves, gently place mulch around them to help keep the weeds and grass from growing back and competing with your sunflowers.
7. Depending on the variety of sunflower you planted, plants will begin to produce flowers in 7 to 12 weeks.