Back to search results

Grow a sunflower


Get a head start by sowing seed your sunflower seeds 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?

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 and 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 two 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 six to ten days)
  5. Rotate the pot once a day to stop the seedlings bending over. Keep compost moist.
  6. After two-three 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.