prairies and other grasslands, old fields, roadsides, railroad rights-of-way, savannas, and forest edges
Water requirement: Tolerates drought, but blooms best when watered consistently.
Tolerates a wide range of soils
It is best to sow seeds directly into the soil, after the risk of frost has passed and the soil is at least 10oC. Ensure the roots have enough space to stretch out. When preparing a bed, leave space of about 2 feet down and 3 feet across. Fertilizer or compost is recommended as sunflowers prefer nutrient-rich soils. With larger varieties, it is best to plant them where they are sheltered from strong winds, such as near a fence or a building, as their tops become heavy and wind impact could be devastating.
Smaller varieties are recommended for planting in containers, as they rarely grow larger that a foot. They should be planted 1-1.5 inches deep and 6 inches apart. You can also plant multiple seeds and when the plant is 6 inches tall, thin them out to the strongest flowers.
Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates drought, but does best if regularly watered.
Remove spent flowers to extend bloom season.
Bush bean varieties such as wax, lima and green beans; tomatoes, basil, marigolds.
Birds and squirrels will browse the seeds. To avoid this, deter them with barrier devices. If a small moth lays its eggs in the blossoms, simply pick the worms from the plants. Rust and powdery mildew may also affect sunflowers.
Spread: About 1 meter or more
Plant stems may be cut back by 1/3 to 1/2 in late May to reduce overall plant height. Sunflowers dislike having their roots disturbed and transplanting is not recommended. For bouquets, simply cut the stem above any new side blooms in the early morning. They should last about a week in a vase if you change the water daily.