How to Grow Stiff Sunflower

Stiff sunflowers grow best if seeded in the fall and let winter over for an early bloom. image by Photo: Jos van Galen, stock.xchng

Overview

Stiff sunflowers are native to North America, and grow wild from Ontario to Georgia and westward to the Pacific Ocean. Although some may grow to over 5 feet tall, unless the growing conditions are ideal, they are often less than 3 feet tall. As part of a wildflower mix, stiff sunflowers should be seeded to one plant per 2 square feet. If being grown alone, they can be seeded at two seeds per square foot. Seeding in the fall will help improve germination rates.

Step 1

Clear the area for planting in the fall. For smaller areas, a shovel should be sufficient for removing existing plants. For larger areas, a rototiller is a good way to recycle existing plants into a good organic fertilizer.

Step 2

Mix your seeds with sand that is a lighter color than the underlying earth. This will help hold the seeds in place over the winter and will help you see where you have seeded. Although most stiff sunflower seeds are included as part as an overall native wildflower mix, there is no reason that you couldn't plant stiff sunflower seeds on their own.

Step 3

Scatter the seed and sand mixture over the area to be seeded. If you are concerned about coverage, split your seed and sand mixture into two cans or buckets. Seed one bucket first, then use the second to cover any areas you may have missed.

Step 4

Compress the seeds into the soil. A lawn roller is a good way to do this for large plantings. For smaller areas, walking over the newly seeded ground should be sufficient for pressing the seeds into the soil.

Tips and Warnings

  • Many wildflower mixes have seeds that require light for germination, don't cover your seeds with soil.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Rototiller (for large plantings)
  • Wildflower seed mix or stiff sunflower seeds
  • Sand
  • Lawn rollers (for large plantings)

References

  • Stiff Sunflower Information Sheet
  • Wildflower Seed Planting Instructions
  • Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses

Who Can Help

  • Stiff Sunflower
  • Wildflower and Native Legumes
Keywords: wildflower cultivation, growing wildflowers, sunflower cultivation

About this Author

Although he grew up in Latin America, Mr. Ma is a writer based in Denver. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, AP, Boeing, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, RAHCO International, Umax Data Systems and other manufacturers in Taiwan. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota. He speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, English and reads Spanish.

Photo by: Photo: Jos van Galen, stock.xchng