Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow (Helen). This is what this wonderful flower does and gives us lovely teaching to stay positive in life. The plant which we all know commonly as Sunflower is the one with round flower heads in combination with the ligules that look like the sun. The botanical name for the plant is Helianthus annuus. It is a perennial flowering plant in the aster family with about 70 species. The young sunflower always follows the sun to attract pollinators, as they are more allured to the balmy flowers. Mostly sunflowers are heat and drought-tolerant.
The sunflower plant is also used for medicinal purposes. The plant seeds are highly nutritious, it is rich in proteins and essential fats. Also, it provides antioxidants that can lower the risk of emerging serious conditions. The leaf of the plant is also used in the treatment of high fevers, swellings, snakebites, and spider bites.
Note: The information above is only for information purposes. Please consult a qualified medical practitioner before trying anything.
Light Requirement for Sunflower Plant
As the name suggests Sunflower, needs direct sunlight of 6 to 8 hours per day. The flowers blossom well during long and hot summers.
Sunflowers can’t stand overwatering and don’t want soggy soil. The plant needs water twice a week or when the soil is dried out a little. The plant requires lots of water during seed germination, however during the growing season water is regularly in small amounts. Overwatering can also lead to snail or slug bait around the stem.
It is a species of flowering plant and is native to North America and Central America except for 3 South American Species. The native range also extends through Canada, Northern Mexico. The plant usually needs wide-open terrain such as prairie lands, plains, and meadows. In India is widely grown in Karnataka followed by Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Orissa, and Tamil Nadu.
Sunflower Plant Care
Propagating Sunflower Plant
Sunflower can be propagated with the help of seeds and stem cutting, however, germinating seeds would be the best among both options. The seeds can be sown in permanent sites or can be potted and transplanted. The nice sunflower seeds should be plump and big.
Potting Sunflower Plant
Sunflower requires a spacious wide area and rich, nutrient-dense soil. Good quality potting soil with peat moss will work best for the plant. Sow the Seeds at least 6 to 7 inches apart and almost an inch deep. It is best to grow the plant in outside gardens directly under the sun, however, it can be potted in larger pots of 15 to 20 inches but make sure not to pot more than 1 plant per pot. Make sure to protect the seedlings from birds.
Nitrogen is extremely important for the fertilization of sunflowers; it helps the overall green growth of the plant and increases the height of the plant too. A combination of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium under 10-15-10 fertilizer will work best.
What is the best month to plant sunflowers?
Late spring would be the best season to plant sunflowers when the ground is nice and warm. The seeds germinate around 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
How tall is an average sunflower?
An average-sized plant can grow about 3 feet tall; it has long roots and needs lots of space to spread out.
Can you grow sunflowers indoors year-round?
The plant can be grown indoors in large pots of around 12 to 18 inches. Make sure to rest your plant in the brightest corner of the house where it can get up to 6 to 8 hours of sunlight especially in early mornings. Low light will lead to less flowering.
Is it healthy to eat sunflower seeds?
Sunflower seeds are highly nutritious and have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is also a good source of minerals and may support skin and bone health. It is also used to produce sunflower oil which is considered good for the heart.