How to Plant Sunflower Seeds in Pots


The sunflower is the only seed crop domesticated in the United States, according to the University of Missouri. The annual flower makes a striking addition to a landscape due to its tall size--some species reach a height of 10 feet or more--and vibrantly colored flowers. Gardeners typically plant sunflower seeds in pots either for future transplanting or to create a portable container garden.

For Transplanting

Step 1

Fill a peat pot, available from garden stores, with potting soil. If you don't have potting soil on hand, don't use straight garden loam as it's too heavy in consistency. Instead, combine equal parts of garden loam, peat moss and sand or perlite for your own homemade potting soil.

Step 2

Sow the sunflower seed. Bury it 1/2 inch deep and cover with potting mix.

Step 3

Water the seed. Apply moisture twice daily, or as needed to keep the soil moist. The seed will germinate within 10 days, according to Iowa State University.

Step 4

Transplant the sunflower outdoors once it's 2 to 3 inches tall. Dig a hole in the garden site. Make the hole the width and height of the peat pot. Insert the entire pot into the hole, and fill in with soil. The sunflower's roots will slowly grow through the peat and extend into the surrounding dirt.

For Container Growing

Step 1

Choose a plant pot. To give the sunflower the room it needs to reach its maximum size, use the biggest pot you can find. San Francisco State University's Great Sunflower Project recommends a pot that's a minimum of 15 inches tall.

Step 2

Fill the pot with a commercially prepared potting soil mix or a homemade mixture created by combining equal parts of garden loam, perlite or sand and peat moss.

Step 3

Dig a hole 1/2 inch deep in the middle of the pot.

Step 4

Drop the sunflower seed into the hole and fill in with potting soil.

Step 5

Water the pot twice daily, or as needed to keep the dirt moist. The sunflower seed will typically germinate within 10 days.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat pot or standard pot
  • Potting soil


  • "Burpee: The Complete Vegetable & Herb Gardener"; Karan Cutler, et al.; 1997
  • University of Missouri: Sunflower - An American Native
  • Iowa State University: Growing Sunflowers in the Garden
  • The Great Sunflower Project: Growing Sunflowers

Who Can Help

  • National Sunflower Association
Keywords: plant sunflower seeds, grow sunflower seeds, potted sunflower seeds

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.