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How To Grow Huge Sunflowers

Updated on July 26, 2012

Wanna grow huge sunflowers? Well, you've come to the right place. I've been growing giant sunflowers for more than 20 years now, and I've picked up a few tips and tricks along the way. I have grown massive sunflowers that have graced the sky at nearly 20 ft. tall. I will share some techniques with you that will tell you how you can have these giant sunflowers scraping the sky above your landscape.

  • Choose The Site Or Sites Where Your Huge Sunflowers Will Grow. In order for your sunflowers to reach their maximum growing potential it is important to choose a well drained location where they will receive the most sun possible. Also keep in mind that your sunflower heads will face the east (where the sun rises), so you may want to choose a location where your sunflowers can be in full view of the sunrise, and you can still have a great view of their towering beauty.
  • Choose The Right Sunflower Seeds.There are loads of sunflower varieties to choose from. To grow huge sunflowers; you'll want to pick "tall" type sunflower seeds. The two varieties that I have had the most success with are "Kong" and "Mammoth". These aggressive climbers are capable of reaching heights of 10-20 feet, and will produce huge attractive sunflower seed heads.

  • Dig Your Holes. For each huge sunflower you plan to grow, you will need to dig a hole about two feet in circumference and about 18 inches deep. Position your holes so that the center of each hole is approximately 2 ft from the center of the previous hole. Please understand that more space between the sunflowers will result in larger sunflower heads, but thinner stalks which may not be capable of supporting the weight of the huge sunflower heads. Less space between the plants will result in smaller heads, and thicker stalks. To grow the hugest sunflowers possible while still allowing for adequate support from the stalk, the ideal spacing is 24 inches.
  • Enrich Your Soil To Grow The Hugest Sunflowers Possible. Ordinarily sunflowers will do well in even poor soil conditions. But remember, we're not going for ordinary sunflowers here! We are going to push the limits! Loosen the soil that you've removed from your holes, and remove any rocks, roots, or other debris. For each hole you've dug mix in about a half shovel of potting mix, and a half shovel of humus. Back fill your holes with the enriched soil mixture. Use any extra soil to level out the surrounding area if desired.
  • Plant Your Sunflower Seeds. To allow adequate time for your huge sunflowers to reach maximum height, you'll want to plant them as early as possible (as soon as the last frost date has passed in your area) This is usually mid May to early June. In the center of each hole you will be planting three sunflower seeds, which will eventually be thinned to one sunflower per hole. Position your three sunflower seeds about an inch apart from each other. Using your finger push each of the seeds into the soil to a depth of about an inch. Now sprinkle a little soil over your buried seeds to cover, and gently pat with your hand. Repeat this process until you have 3 sunflower seeds planted in each of your holes.
  • How To Water Huge Sunflowers: Frequent light watering's seem to be the way to go here. These giant sunflowers will consume a lot of water. However, over-watering may cause the soil around your huge sunflower's root system to soften, making it incapable of supporting the huge plant. Generally if puddling occurs stop watering. If the soil around your sunflowers later appears dried out, come back with another light watering later.
  • How To Fertilize Huge Sunflowers: I suggest using a liquid fertilizer (diluted according to the manufacturers instructions) every 1-2 weeks. Do not fertilize the stalk or the flower directly, as this could cause your plant to rot and weaken. Instead, pour the liquid fertilizer around the base of your plants.
  • Thinning To Grow Huge Sunflowers: Once your sunflower seedlings have formed a second set of leaves (or when they are about 3 inches tall) remove the weakest looking plant from each group. Once your sunflowers have grown to a height of about 2 feet, thin to the healthiest looking plant per group.



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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I have a really big sunflower head, when I cut it to get the seeds off it there are not any seeds in the pods. Can you tell me what happen?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I started my seeds in a plantable pot, should I just take the seedlings and plant them outside?

    • profile image

      Sunflower Girrrl 

      6 years ago

      Thx sooo much this is my first year planting and hopefuly it will be a success.

      P.S Is it possible to get ur seeds ready before u plant them like warm them up or something???

    • profile image

      Miss Jadacious 

      6 years ago

      I have planted giant sunflowers for the last 5 years, but this year I think that I went wrong.... I did not dry out the seeds properly after the harvest and then i did not push them into the soil so that they are covered up. I want to keep the generations going, and I am not going to throw these seeds away

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 

      6 years ago from United States

      Thanks! My sunflowers invariably fall over or are ravaged by squirrels. Am going to try your tips, especially RE spacing and soil prep. Awesome & up!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      8 ft first, year 9 ft last year, this year I am goin for atleast 15 lets do thisssssssssss

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      How do you get the seeds to be an edible jumbo size?

    • RTalloni profile image


      7 years ago from the short journey

      HUGE sunflowers is one of my spring goals this year. I can grow small ones... Thanks for the tips.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 

      8 years ago from Minnesota

      I have always wanted to have huge sunflowers but when I plant them something eats them when they pop up.It is so frustrating. Thanks for the great information here.

    • Austinstar profile image


      8 years ago from Somewhere near the center of Texas

      Do you sell the sunflower seeds commercially? Privately? What do you do with all the sunflowers?


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