Large summer flowering annual sunflower (Helianthus annus) in flower bloom

How to grow sunflowers from seed

Sunflowers are easy and fun to grow from seed - start yours off now.

Do it:

Mar, Apr, May

Takes just:

30 minutes

At its best:

Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep

Easy and rewarding to raise from seed, with impressive, long-lasting flowers, the sunflower is an ideal plant for growing with children. Sunflowers look equally magnificent in borders or as cut flowers.

Sunflowers are hungry feeders. Improve the soil before planting out with plenty of well-rotted manure or garden compost. Water your sunflower plants regularly. You may also need to stake them if they're in an exposed position.

Discover how to grow sunflowers from seed, below.

You will need

  • Sunflower seeds e.g. 'Russian Giant'
  • Multi-purpose compost
  • 7.5cm plastic pots
  • Plant labels
  • Pencil or waterproof pen
  • Watering can with rose attachment
  • Plastic bottles


Use a good multipurpose compost to fill 7.5cm pots to 1cm below the rim. Tap each pot to settle the compost and firm gently.

Sow one seed per pot - sunflowers germinate reliably and form large seedlings. Poke the seed into the compost.

Cover the sunflower seed with about 1.5cm of compost. Label each pot and water well so that the compost is just moist throughout.

Cover each pot with a plastic bottle 'cloche' to keep seedlings warm. Plant your sunflowers outside in June when the last frosts are over.


At the end of the flowering season, harvest seed from your sunflowers for culinary use. Remember, though, that seed from packets is not suitable for consumption.

Discover more ideas and inspiration

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