Do Sunflowers Need Full Sun?

How to Maintain a Sunflower Plant? Do Sunflowers need a Lot of Water? Do Sunflowers need Full Sun? What happens if the Sunflower is kept under Shade?

Sunflowers are famous for their beautiful color and strength. They effortlessly soak in sunlight and makes your garden or backyard stand out. Their color instantly catches the eye of everyone and these can be easily identified because of their distinct appearance. But they require proper maintenance and in this article, we will answer a few important questions like, do sunflowers need full sun and do sunflowers need a lot of water? Let us begin. 

1. What are the Basic Requirements of a Sunflower Plant?

Like all other plants, a sunflower plant has some basic needs like proper and well-drained soil, adequate sunlight, and water. Apart from water, soil, and sunlight, other requirements like fertilizers, and staking are fulfilled at a particular stage of their growth. 

You may have heard that sunflowers are rigid plants but without growing in proper conditions, they will not become strong. Young seedlings need proper care and the right temperature to become healthy. You should plant the sunflower seeds after the frost season has passed and the soil temperature is around 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The minimum temperature for planting the seeds is 55 degrees Fahrenheit. (See Does All Fruit Grow on Trees?)

2. Do Sunflowers need a Lot of Water?

The amount of water they require usually depends on the age of the plant. When the seeds are newly planted, keep the surrounding soil evenly moist. The seeds should be watered regularly.

  • If the temperature is hot and dry, then water the plant frequently to maintain the moisture.
  • As the seeds develop into the root and shoot system, the soil should be kept moist for easy expansion of the root system.
  • A mature plant will have a fully developed root system enabling it to draw water from underground if the soil is not moist enough. But that does not mean that you can stop watering a sunflower plant after it has grown up.
  • One easy method of maintaining the moisture in the soil is to set up a hose watering system or a drip system. It will water the plants automatically.
  • Do not water the flowers because the wet floor will lead to diseases in the plant. 

In the next segment, you will read the answer to do sunflowers need full sun. (See Hydroponics: Plants That Grow In Water Only)

3. Do Sunflowers need Full Sun?

Sunflowers are heliotropic. The young flowers during their blooming phase follow the sun from east to west and when it sets down, they turn back towards the east. As the flower reaches its full bloom, its stems become strong enough to rotate and carry their heavy flowers from east to west. A mature flower, however, does not follow the sun. It permanently faces east.

Also, sunlight affects pollination as the sunflowers prefer being warm in the early morning. It helps them attract pollinators like bugs and bees as they are most active during the early morning.  (See What Would Happen if There was No Sunlight?)

4. What happens if the Sunflower is kept under Shade?

Do sunflowers need full sun? Well yes, one of the major problems that could arise in case your sunflower plant if kept under the shade is that it will not bloom. As they are heliotropic, the absence of sunlight will adversely affect them in a major way.

  • Their growth will be stunted and unhealthy. The stems will not become as strong as usual. Low quality and quantity of seeds will be produced if fertilization is not done properly. A healthy sunflower grown in the right conditions can produce up to 1000 seeds. 
  • The plant will develop fungal infections like Phoma blight which thrives in wet conditions as being in the shade will cause the leaves of the plant to become moist.
  • Other diseases like powdery mildew and white mold can also influence the plant. Usually, sunlight dries out the dewdrops in the morning, but in shade the moisture stays on the flowers and leaves, leading to the infection. So, do sunflowers need full sun? Absolutely. 
  • Agents of pollination are attracted to the plant because of its colorful petals which in shade, will not be easily visible. (Also read How many Seeds does a Strawberry have?)

5. What are some of the Varieties of Sunflowers?

Below are some of the most loved varieties of sunflowers.

  • Sunrich Gold sunflowers: These are golden-yellow sunflowers that grow about 4 to 6 inches in size and height of 5 feet. They do not produce pollen and they are perfect for arrangements, decorations, and bouquets.
  • Autumn Beauty: It is considered to be the most spectacular one as this variety of sunflowers is available in shades of mahogany, yellow and brown. Their branches can grow up to 7 feet and with flowers around 6 inches in diameter.
  • Towering Mammoth: It is one of the traditional giant sunflowers. They can reach up to 12 feet and their seeds can be fed to birds.
  • Teddy Bear sunflowers. These are fluffy and deep golden flowers. About 5 inches in size, they can last for a long time in a vase too. These are well suited for backyard or balcony gardens as they grow up to a height of 2 to 3 feet. (See Types of Trees with Purple Flowers)

6. Can a Sunflower be Planted in a Pot?

Planting sunflowers in pots is a smart choice. You should follow the planting process properly to get the best result.

  • The soil in the pot must be moist and well-drained such that the water flows down quickly when watering the plant.
  • The sunlight requirement is the same as that of a regular plant.
  • You should keep the pot in such a place where the plant can get at least 6 hours of sunlight every day. You can keep the pot on the balcony or the terrace during the sunny hours.
  • Avoid keeping the pot indoors as it will have negative consequences. Different fungus infections and pests can attack the plant. So proper caring will be required. (See How to Grow Tomatoes in Pots)

7. How to Prevent them from Pests?

Sunflower plants are always at risk of getting attacked by pests. Snails, squirrels, birds, and slugs are a few common attackers of sunflower plants. If you have planted them in your backyard or garden, then deers may also munch on your flowers. To keep these attackers away from the plant and your garden, you can apply repellents and in the case of deer, you can put fences. While fencing may be helpful in stopping some attackers, it may not completely stop big animals. (See How to Get Rid of Gnats without Apple Cider Vinegar?)

You now know the answer to do sunflowers need full sun and much more about sunflowers. Planting them can make your day brighter so that you can enjoy a beautiful view of the flowers. (See 34 Medicinal Plants Worth Your Garden Space)

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