How to look after a sunflower – Five top tips

Gardening: Expert shares advice for watering outdoor plants

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You’ve done the hard part by sowing and growing beautiful sunflowers. But now it’s important to look after them, to keep them flourishing all summer. Here are five key tips to keep in mind when caring for sunflowers.

1) Support the sunflowers

Sunflowers are renowned for reaching incredible heights, but to help sunflowers grow it is important to support them.

Garden stakes can help to prop up tall sunflowers and stop them from leaning on one side.

Gardeners’ World explains: “Very tall varieties may need the support of a garden cane – especially when growing in an exposed position.”

2) Keep them hydrated

Sunflowers need to be watered regularly during dry spells so they don’t dry out and wilt.

So keep a particularly close eye on sunflowers in periods of warm weather.

Gardeners’ World adds: “Don’t allow plants to dry out as very tall varieties will have a job to recover.”

3) Regular feeding

Sunflowers need nutrients to grow big and strong, but be careful not to add too much fertiliser.

Consider using a sunflower suitable high potassium feed every week.

Some gardeners recommend using tomato feed for this purpose.

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4) Pick a sunny spot

Like their name would suggest, sunflowers thrive in areas where they can get some sunshine.

So pick a spot in the garden which gets lots of sunlight to plant your sunflower.

For the perfect set-up, make sure the sunflower is planted in well-drained soil.

5) Feed the birds

When a sunflower has died, the sunflower head can be left intact and used to help feed the birds.

It’s a win-win, as hungry birds get some food, but it also brings birds to the garden.

After this, the entire dead sunflower plant can be composted.

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