sunflower in garden
Organic Gardening

How Late Can You Plant Sunflowers? 8 Tips to Have a Successful Crop

sunflower in garden

Sunflowers are one of my all time favorite flowers to grow. They just make the garden look so happy with their bright yellow flowers! Sunflower planting season typically begins in the early spring and continues through the summer. But did you know you can actually plant sunflowers late into the season and potentially see a successful harvest? In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about how late you can plant sunflowers and still have a successful crop. 

This post is all about how late you can plant sunflowers.

Timing is Everything

So, you may be wondering, “How late can I plant sunflowers and still expect a bloomtastic display?” Well, the good news is that sunflowers are a pretty forgiving bunch. As long as it’s warm and there’s plenty of sun, you’ll have a nice crop of sunflowers.

What’s the normal growing season for sunflowers? How long do sunflowers take to grow?

The Growing Season for Sunflowers

Ideally, sunflowers like to be planted in the late spring to early summer when the soil has warmed up and frost is no longer a threat. They don’t like cold weather and need lots of sun. Keep in mind that as the season changes to fall, the days are going to get shorter. Shorter days means less sun.  So I wouldn’t encourage them to be planted during the fall. But hey, life happens, and sometimes our gardening plans take a back seat to other adventures.

How late you can plant really depends on your region’s hardiness zone. In warm climates, sunflowers can be planted as late as August, while in cold climates as late as July.

How Long Do Sunflowers Take to Grow?

Sunflowers grow very quickly. How long they’ll take to grow is all dependent on the variety you choose to plant. An estimate is anywhere from 70 to 100 days to reach maturity and to bloom.

How Fast Do Sunflowers Grow?

Sunflowers are definitely fast growers. Many varieties grow as tall as 12 feet in as little as 3 months! That’s fast!

How Late Can You Plant Sunflowers: The Late Bloomers’ Guide

If you find yourself planting sunflowers fashionably late – say, early to mid-summer – don’t sweat it! Sunflowers are known for their fast-growing nature. They can go from seed to towering beauties in just a few months. Here’s how you can potentially have a good crop of sunflowers.

Choosing Your Sunflower Varieties: Pick the Right Variety

To maximize your late-season sunflower success, opt for varieties that are known for their quick turnaround. Look for words like “fast-growing” or “early blooming” on the seed packet. Some fabulous choices include:

  • Sunrich Series’ – ranges in color from bright yellow to orange. It grows up to 48 to 60 inches tall (4 to 5 feet) and blooms within 60 to 70 days.
sunflower pictures
  • Autumn Beauty – is a beautiful variety with a mix of orange, red, and yellow. It grows to 7 feet tall with very large blooms. The blooms can be 10 inches wide in diameter.

sunflower planting ideas backyard
  • ‘Soraya’ – this variety has a thick, sturdy stem with large blooms and is a branching variety. They have a deep dark brown center with bright yellow petals. It grows 50 to 70 inches tall, or 4 to 6 feet. These flowers reach maturity in 80 days.
sunflower planting tips
  • Ruby Eclipse’ – this sunflower has a deep ruby red center with petals with shades of cream and dusty pink. They’re a branching variety and can mature in as little as 50 days. These grow to up to 60 to 72 inches tall, or 5 to 6 feet tall.
ruby eclipse sunflower

Sunflower Care Tips: Soil, Sun, and Some Love

Like any good party guest, sunflowers have a few basic needs. Make sure they get plenty of sunlight – they’re called sunflowers for a reason! Choose a well-draining soil mix, and water them regularly. Sunflowers are surprisingly low-maintenance, so give them a little love, and they’ll reward you with a burst of sunshine in no time.

Watch the Clock

While sunflowers are forgiving, they do have their limitations like all plants. Keep in mind that the later you plant them, the shorter their stature might be. But fear not! Short and sassy sunflowers can still steal the show.

Potential Challenges of Planting Late

Although there is the potential to have a good crop of sunflowers if they are planted late, there can be some drawbacks. The flowers may not grow as tall as they would if they were planted during the optimal time during the year. So they’ll be shorter. There may not be as many blooms either. Sunflowers LOVE a lot of sun and warm to hot weather. The later they’re planting, the shorter the days are. They may not be given optimal conditions. Depending on how late they’re planted, they may even be at risk of frost. There could also be poor germination and weak stems.

This is not at all to deter you from planting these beautiful flowers late in the season. It’s just to let you know of the potential challenges you may face.

Closing Thoughts

So there you have it, fellow garden enthusiasts – the lowdown on how late you can plant sunflowers and still be the envy of the neighborhood. Whether you’re planting them fashionably late or right on time, sunflowers are sure to add a touch of sunshine to your garden.

As always, enjoy planting in your garden!

This post was all about how late you can plant sunflowers.

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