Flowers are therapeutic in distressing emotions and mental states. It eases a burdened heart, it is given as an expression of love, gratitude, and sympathy to others. A study revealed that people who grow flowers have fewer agitations, depression, and anxiety and demonstrated life satisfaction and a sense of enjoyment.
Visiting a flowering garden during tough times relaxes cluttered minds. One of the best flowering gardens visited by people in the Philippines is the SUNFLOWER gardens.
Sunflowers came from the Asteraceae plant family. It is known as Helianthus Annuus. It is distinguished for its appearance with large, bright flowers. It is derived from the Greek words “helios”, meaning sun, and “anthos”, meaning flowers.
How to Grow Sunflower in the Philippines?
Here’s how to grow sunflowers in the Philippines.
Choose a Good variety of Sunflower Seeds
There is numerous variety of sunflower seed such as:
Branching is one of a variety of sunflowers.
This variety grows 60 to 80 inches tall. It is a combination of fall-hued blooms, containing oranges, reds, and yellows. It has its unique beauty.
This variety has petals and buds that are edible when you grow them without fertilizers or chemicals. Its deeply-colored blossoms in shadows of cocoa brown and mahogany color are amazing. It can grow four to five feet tall. Moreover, each plant yields multiple blooms.
Goldy Honey Bear
With its sturdy stem, it can grow five to six feet tall without any support to let it rise. It blooms for a long period of time with a flower head diameter of five to six inches. It glows with multiple branches and produces several flowers 60 days after sowing. Enjoy smelling its fragrance because it pollen less.
It appears in creamy blooms with a dark accent in its center. The stalks grow from 48 to 60 inches tall. The flowering time of this variety is estimated to take 90 – 100 days.
If you wish to grow a small sizes sunflower, dwarfs are the best option.
It might be tiny but produces extra-large flower heads with its sturdy stalk with height ranging from 18 to 24 inches.
It will take about 75 days from sowing to its blooming to grow this variety. Bright yellow double-petaled, blossoms, look like a ‘Teddy Bear’ that may last for five weeks.
This branching Dwarf Sunflower can be planted in pots. This medium-sized, with a single feature, has bright yellow petals with a dark center.
Some sunflower seeds are also edible, packed, and sold in markets.
Mammoth Grey Stripe
This seed variety grows a sturdy stem that reaches eight to 12 feet tall. Its flower head is 10 inches in diameter and can produce numerous seeds. To grow this variety better, it should be planted with plenty of water and sufficient sunlight.
This variety is gigantic! The stalks can grow up to 12 to 14 feet tall but yield only one flower, with a monstrous size from 14 to 18 inches in diameter. It takes about 90 days to bloom and its yellow flower head lasts for at least 4 to 6 weeks before it withered.
This well-known variety is exclusively botanical. It propagates its flower head at about 6 to 8 inches in diameter and can stand at a height of five to seven feet. Moreover, it takes 60 to 70 days for it flower to bloom.
This variety is easy to grow and is an attraction to extra-pollinators. ‘Lemon Queen’ gets a height of five to seven feet with lemony-like colored petals and dark brown centers. It takes longer to bloom this variety compared to other kinds. It has edible buds.
Pollen-less hybrids that are good for ornamental arrangements. It blooms quickly for just 50 to 65 days from seeding. The ‘Bicolor’ diversity is blazing with sundown colors. This three- to four-inch flower heads are outstanding and pretty tall for about 4 to 6 feet tall.
Its swaying stem has a height of four- to six feet. It appears to have plain black centers and understated orange highlights on its endings. It produces tremendously over its season. The flowers are typically six inches across but sometimes grow up to eight inches in diameter.
Grow Sunflower by Allowing the Germination of Seed
Since sunflower seeds are hard to grow, devise techniques to grow them rapidly. Here are the simple steps to do it:
- Dip the sunflower seeds in water for about 3 to 4 hours.
- Prepare wet tissue paper or a piece of cloth where to put the sunflower seed
- Spool the seed using the tissue paper of a piece of cloth.
- Prepare a plastic with a zip lock and put the rolled tissue paper or cloth inside it.
- Lock the plastic and keep it inside the container.
Wait for at least three to seven days, for the sunflower seeds to sprout or germinate. Note, that not all sunflower seeds will germinate but this process will make sprouting easy and fast.
Grow the Seeds of Sunflower
- Know the best location where you can plant your germinated sunflower seed.
- Prepare the soil. Be sure that the soil is clean and that no weeds to compete with its growing
- Make a plot and organized the distance of each seed in at least 12 inches.
- Plant the germinated seed and cover its roots with soil pressing it to tighten the base
- Water it with the exact amount of water
Upkeep for Sunflower
- During their early development, sunflowers’ young stems and leaves cannot tolerate too much heat from the sunlight. Put some covering on the entire plant against too much sunlight. It only needs sufficient sunlight but too much will wither it.
- After a few days as it will continue to develop, water the plants twice a day. One in the morning and in the afternoon. Regular watering is important, especially during the summer season. Adjust the amount of water from 400 to 1000ml as it grows bigger. The bigger it becomes, the more water it needs.
- Fertilize your sunflower to grow it healthier and better. Use an eco-friendly or organic fertilizer, mixed it in water, and water its base so that the roots will absorb it.
How to Maintain Sunflower to Promote Proper Growth?
Just like other plants, sunflower needs proper care to maintain and grow in good physical shape.
- Give proper attention to your plant so that you can easily monitor its development and observe if it is infested to immediately make action to whatever may hinder its growth.
- Watering. It should be watered daily to keep it moist of soil but do not drip it. As they grow mature and well-established, they can be watered once every week but must be deep watered.
- Application of Fertilizers. In case the soil is not healthy, you can use fertilizer to aid its growth. You can also use compost on the top of the soil to add nutrients. However, if the soil is healthy and fertile, you may leave it unfertilized. Producing too much nitrogen will delay its flowering and may also cause the breaking of the stem.
- Watch out for pests and diseases: some insects may attack your growing plant. So it really needs proper care and attention.
Do sunflowers need a lot of water?
Yes, sunflowers need a consistent and sufficient water supply. Because of its rapid growth, it requires a minimum of 7.57 Litres, or 2 gallons, a week. This will prevent the weak growth of stems and other parts of the plant.
How long does a sunflower take to grow?
Sunflowers grow and bloom their flower depending on the variety of the seeds you have chosen or planted. There are varieties that grow quickly and bloom rapidly for at least 50 to 65 days. The longest time for a variety of sunflowers to grow and blossom is at least 100 days from seeding.
What is the fastest way to grow a sunflower?
- Choose a good variety of sunflower seed
- Know if your soil is healthy.
- Sunlight is very important for sunflower
- Water is essential to its growth
- Proper care and attention are needed.
Every man in his heart has a love for nature because it is embedded in the soul. Without it, man cannot survive. The loveliness of nature can have a deep effect on our senses, it is the shadow of the glory of the creator. Each flower that opened, the beauty that blooms, and the glowing colors of each are reflections of the beauty and his awesome power. An example of such is the Sunflower.
Meet Tomas Clayton, a seasoned plant gardener who has been passionate about horticulture since he was a child. Tomas John developed a love for the natural world and a strong appreciation for the beauty of plants while growing up on a farm.