Sunflowers? Other flower checks.....

t-bird(Chicago 5/6)January 23, 2012

Anyone have success with sunflowers in wintersowing? I haven't seen them listed.

Let me know if I'm on the right track here..

Can be winter sowed now:







Angels trumpet

WS about March





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Folks told me it's better to wait on zinnias and cosmos.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 7:58AM
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Sunflowers and zinnias reseed in my garden. I am in zone 9 but sometimes the temperature is in the low twenties.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 8:10AM
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sunflowers were among the first for me to sprout last year, they did very well unattended in the garden.

the only thing I would do differently this year is sown them each in little individual containers, as they didn't like being transplanted.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 11:21AM
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bookjunky4life(5 Central IL)

I didn't have good luck with WSing my sunflowers. They got leggy very quickly and did not like transplanting. They sprouted good though. If you were not planting many seeds, you might put the seeds int he ground where you intend for them to grow and just cover them with the top half of a jug until they sprout and frost is past for protection from birds.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 12:33PM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

I agree with bookjunky. Sow them in place, but cover them with a 2 liter pop bottle held down with a bent coat hanger. Remove the very bottom of the bottle, to keep the cover as tall as possible, and stick the hanger through the opening and into the ground as deeply as you can. Let them grow covered as long as you can to prevent bird or small rodent munching.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 5:20PM
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beatrice_outdoors(6a MA)

I winter sowed over 300 sunflowers last year, all in flats. It was my first time doing sunflowers. They were the first to come up for me. I transplanted about half of them into individual cells (72 per tray, 2 full trays) when they were about 3 inches tall-I did not pay attention to how many leaves they had, just transplanted away, in a shady area. I ended up giving away a lot of the remaining flats. They did fine in cells, but this year I'm planting them in small pots. I did them in December last year, have not done any yet this year only because of time constraints but plan to either this weekend or next.

These were not the giant sunflowers with the massive heads, but they were all between 4-7 feet tall. Original seeds were collected from flowers at a sandwich shop. One of the employees really liked the idea of paying it forward with the seeds (I asked before taking any).

The bees went nuts all summer long-it was awesome. I had 3+ bees on just about every flower for about a three week span. Fewer per flower the rest of the summer, but still a small swarm. It was good to do what I could to help the native bee population. The birds were pretty darn happy, too, at the seeds.

I say go for it, or try half WS into pots, and half direct sow with cover as suggested by bookjunky.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 6:44PM
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