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Grow a sunflower


Sunflowers are so easy to grow! Get a head start by sowing seed indoors from April.

  • Estimated time: 30 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors & Indoors
  • School term: Early Spring, Late Spring
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): Science

Learning objectives

  • Observe how seeds grow  
  • Discover which grows first - root or shoot?
  • Observe how seeds grow 
  • Discover which grows first - root or shoot?

Essential background information


Choose the right sunflower to suit the space in your garden:
Tall                             Dwarf and double
Giraffe                        Little Dorrit
Russian Giant            Little Leo
King Kong                  Sun Tastic
Titan                          Teddy bear 


  • Pot, peat-free multipurpose compost, label, pencil
  • A packet of sunflower seeds of your choice
  • Somewhere warm and bright

Step by step

  1. Fill a pot with compost to within 2cm of the top and water well
  2. Place 2 seeds well apart in the pot but not too near the edge, press gently in and cover with 1cm compost. Use a plant label to record the date, type of sunflower and name of person who planted it
  3. Place the pot in a warm light place, out of direct sunlight
  4. Keep the compost slightly moist until you see a shoot (usually within 6-12 days)
  5. Rotate the pot once a day to stop the seedlings bending over. Keep compost moist
  6. After 2-3 weeks, plant the seedling into the garden. Space plants 30cm apart
  7. As the seedling gets taller, you will need to provide support by carefully tying it to a cane or a bamboo stake
  8. Give lots of water and to get a maximum growing height feed with a balanced fertiliser once a week

Hints & tips

  • After a week snip off the smallest seedling without disturbing the roots
  • When planting in the garden, make a hole, deep enough to put the seedling in up to the first leaves. It will grow roots on the stem underground and make a stronger plant!

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