Rapid Bloomers: Fastest Growing Sunflowers

Rapid Bloomers: Fastest Growing Sunflowers

Fast-growing sunflower varieties like ProCut Red and Ruby Eclipse bloom in just 55 days after planting.

In contrast, giant sunflower types such as ‘Mammoth Grey Stripe’ can take up to 120 days to mature.

An image of the fastest growing sunflowers
Grow sunflowers at lightning speed! Discover the fastest-growing varieties for a vibrant garden in no time./Photo Courtesy: Facebook

Sunflower Lifecycle

Sunflowers progress through five growth stages as they mature, with the exact timing varying slightly depending on the variety:

  1. Germination stage: Sunflower seeds typically germinate in 7 to 10 days, during which the seed coat cracks open, and the seedling develops roots.
  2. Vegetative stage: This stage, when sunflowers do most of their growing, usually occurs in May to June for spring-sown seeds. Seedlings emerge from the soil and produce their first true leaves, while also developing tall stalks.
  3. Reproductive stage: Sunflowers develop flower buds after reaching a certain size, which slowly unfurls to reveal colorful petals. This stage occurs around 5 to 10 weeks after sowing.
  4. Blooming stage: The blooming stage begins when sunflower buds fully open, typically 10 to 13 weeks after sowing. This is the best time to harvest sunflowers for cut flowers. Bees and other pollinators visit sunflower blooms for nectar, pollinating the plant for seed production. Blooming can last two to four weeks, or longer for branching sunflower varieties.
  5. Harvesting stage: Sunflower seeds mature about a month after blooming, ready for harvest when their shells are hard and the head begins to droop and turn brown. This stage occurs from late August through September, around 125 days after sowing.

How Long to Grow Sunflowers for Harvesting

When purchasing sunflower seeds, the days to maturity information on the packet often refers to the time it takes for sunflowers to be ready for harvesting as cut flowers.

However, if you are growing sunflowers for microgreens or edible seeds, you will need to harvest them at different stages of maturity.

Sunflower Growing Tips

Sunflowers are ideal for beginners, thriving in gardens or containers with the right balance of light, water, and nutrients, rewarding you with vibrant blooms and delicious seeds.

  1. Planting: Sow sunflowers in spring after the last frost. While starting indoors can extend the season, sunflowers don’t transplant well.
  2. Soil Amendment: For robust growth, amend the soil with compost or aged manure before planting.
  3. Watering: Provide about 1 inch of water per week for optimal growth.
  4. Succession Planting: Extend the harvest by sowing seeds every two to three weeks from early to mid-summer.
  5. Pest Management: Protect sunflowers from deer, raccoons, and pests through fencing or companion planting.
  6. Staking: Tall sunflowers, especially those over 3 feet, may need staking to prevent wind damage.

Harvesting Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds are typically ready for harvest about one month after the flowers open.

This means that if your sunflowers bloom in August, the seeds are likely to be ready for harvest in September.

To determine if sunflower seeds are fully ripe, look for the flower head to droop and turn backward on itself.

Mature seed heads will turn golden brown, and the seeds should have well-formed shells.

To harvest sunflower seeds, allow the flower heads to dry thoroughly on the plant. Once dry, snip each head off at the top of the stem.

Alternatively, if you’re concerned about wildlife eating the seeds before you can harvest them, cut the plant’s stem about 1 foot below the flower head as soon as the seeds mature. Then, loosely bundle the sunflower stems with twine and hang them indoors until completely dry.

If impressive follow for more on our blog page as sampled below:

What’s the fastest-growing sunflower?

The ProCut Series is known for its rapid growth among sunflowers. These seeds are day-length neutral, making them particularly well-suited for fall planting.

What are the easiest sunflowers to grow?

For those looking for straightforward advice, here it is, For beginners and those focused on easy succession planting and harvesting, I highly recommend the Sunrich series or the Pro Cut series of sunflowers.

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