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Looking for when to plant sunflowers in Texas? We’ve got you covered.
With bright blooms that last all summer, sunflowers are heat tolerant, pest resistant, and attractive to pollinators and birds.
They produce beautiful cut flowers, and their seeds and oil are a source of food for birds and humans.
Sunflowers are very easy to grow from seed and will grow very quickly once germinated.
Because of this, they are rarely offered for sale as seedlings.
You can plant the seeds at any time and they will germinate, but if you plant them too late in the summer the plants will die before they can grow.
Sunflowers are annuals, so you’ll need to replant them each year, usually in late spring or early summer once temperatures have reliably warmed
Sunflowers are heavy feeders, so they are the healthiest and produce most flowers in nutrient-rich soil that has had compost or other organic matter mixed in.
It is possible to grow sunflowers in pots. Make sure the pot is deep enough to accommodate the
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When to Plant Sunflowers in Texas
Sunflowers grow best in Texas when the seeds are planted between mid-March and early April.
Sunflower seeds can still be planted in May or June and will ripen in autumn.
Plant the seeds in rows 9 to 12 inches apart.
Because sunflowers grow in a variety of soil conditions and can tolerate some drought, the most important thing is to make sure you plant them where they will get full sun during the day.
Plant seeds after the threat of spring frosts have passed and the soil temperature is at least 60 degrees.
Growing sunflowers from seeds are also very easy.
Sunflower seeds germinate best when the soil temperature rises to 50℉ in spring.
Although this varies by county in Texas, you can expect to start planting sunflower seeds in mid-March in the southern regions of the state, with optimal planting temperatures reached in April in the northern regions.
Plant when the soil temperature reaches 50°F.
Sunflowers can survive temperatures as low as 26°F and seeds can sprout in temperatures as high as 42°F.
If you’re planting in early spring and your area is experiencing a cold snap, don’t worry.
If you plant sunflower seeds, water daily for the first 2 weeks to encourage seed germination.
Once established, gradually reduce the watering of the sunflowers until you are only watering once a week.
How Late is Too Late to Plant Sunflowers?
Since Texas has long summers, sunflowers can be planted as late as June and will reach maturity before the growing season ends.
However, once July 4th is over, it is no longer the best time to plant sunflowers.
In Texas, sunflowers can be planted as early as July and ripen in time for the fall harvest.
You are unlikely to get a full harvest if sunflowers are planted after July 4th.
How Do You Grow Sunflower Seeds in Texas?
Sunflowers in Texas Plant sunflower seeds in a garden that receives the afternoon sun, preferably in an area sheltered from the wind.
As they mature and produce large buds, sunflowers can become top-heavy. Strong winds can blow them down.
When planting sunflower seeds, follow these guidelines:
- Choose an area with direct afternoon sun. Sunflowers grow best in places with direct sunlight (6 to 8 hours per day). They need long, warm summers to bloom well.
- Plant along a row of a building or fence as a windbreak.
- Plant the seeds no deeper than 2.5 cm deep and about 15 cm apart.
- If planting multiple rows, space them 30 inches apart
- Water the area after planting to moisten the soil to the depth of the seeds.
- Water daily for 10 to 14 days to encourage sunflowers to germinate.
- Sunflower seeds can sprout in a relatively deep spot, so don’t be afraid to cover your seeds with soil to protect them from feeding birds.
- However, do not plant sunflower seeds deeper than 3 inches as this can stunt their growth.
- To grow sunflowers you need a sunny, sheltered spot and good soil. Choose a spot with soil that drains well.
- The planting site should not accumulate water after rain. Otherwise, sunflowers are not too fussy about soil, but for best results, they should not be too compact.
- They are also not too picky about soil pH. Sunflowers thrive in slightly acidic to slightly alkaline soil (pH 6.0 to 7.5). However, sunflowers are very nutritious, so the soil should be rich in nutrients with organic matter or composted (aged) manure.
- Add plenty of well-rotted manure or garden compost before planting if you can.
- Protect young plants from snails and snails and water sunflowers regularly.
- You may also have to bet them if they are in an exposed position.
- Thin out the seedlings once they reach 6 inches in height, leaving the strongest plants about 12 inches apart.
- A new row of seeds every two to three weeks, beginning in spring.
- Through the so-called succession planting, you will be continuously supplied with flowers until the first frost.
- They have long taproots that need to sink several feet into the soil, so sunflower plants prefer loose, well-drained, slightly alkaline soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.
- Pour several gallons of properly diluted fertilizer into the pit each week. Avoid pouring fertilizer directly onto the stems as this can cause rot.
How Long Do Sunflowers Bloom in Texas?
A fairly fast-growing flower for its size, most sunflower varieties mature in as little as 80 to 95 days.
The largest sunflower varieties grow over 16 feet tall, while smaller varieties are designed for small spaces and containers and rarely exceed a foot in height.
Flower heads can reach more than 12 inches in diameter on cultivars with large seeds.
Depending on when you plant your sunflowers, they will start blooming between mid-summer (July) and early fall (September).
Sunflowers planted later in the season tend to mature faster than those planted earlier.
They can catch up and bloom quickly. Sunflower blossoms last 8 to 12 weeks.
Just because a sunflower has bloomed doesn’t mean it’s ready to harvest.
Sunflowers usually bloom for 2 to 3 months. Petals begin to wither before harvest.
Caring for Texas Sunflowers
To ensure your Texas sunflowers reach maturity, do the following:
Once the sunflowers have sprouted, water once a week to moisten the soil to a depth of 3 to 5 inches.
If you water your garden with a lawn sprinkler, 1 hour per week is enough.
Fence your yard to prevent deer and other animals from entering and eating sunflowers.
Use bird netting to keep birds away from your sunflowers.
Because sunflowers are oily and nutritious, many animals are attracted to the plants.
If sunflowers are not fenced in, they are often eaten by deer before they are fully grown.
Squirrels and birds have also been known to eat the seeds of nearly ripe sunflower heads.
Fences and netting are key to protecting your flowers.
You can also try milorganite to repel deer and other animals.
No plant says summer is like a sunflower. Growing sunflower plants is easy as they are heat tolerant, pest resistant, and fast growing.
Sunflowers are sun worshipers, growing best in locations that receive six to eight hours of direct sun per day.
Sunflowers are heavy feeders and will deplete the soil more than many other plants, especially if you grow them at enormous heights, requiring replenishment of the nutrient supply each season.
Cover loosely with netting if possible to protect the seedlings from birds.
If you’re growing any of the giant strains that grow over 10 feet tall, plant them in a sheltered spot or next to a fence to protect them from the wind.
If the soil is kept moist, seedlings will appear within 5 to 10 days.
The goal of this gradual thinning is to ensure that you have at least one good seedling left in case one of the others is damaged by predators.