The wonderful annual sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) also grow in containers. For this you should choose special varieties, use the right pots and do not skimp on water and fertilizer.

Annual sunflowers are easy to grow yourself in the garden from their large seeds. Seed presentations in garden centers and on the Internet prove that breeders have developed an immense range of varieties. Among them are not only selections in unusual colors or with double flower baskets. Very different heights are also available. Some varieties branch strongly and therefore bloom for an extremely long time. For pot culture are particularly suitable branched varieties that reach a height of about 10 feet. Of course, single-stemmed giants can also grow in pots, but then the vessels should be large and heavy enough to provide sufficient root space and prevent the plants from tipping over.

As the name implies, the sunflower needs a location in full sun. Sow individual seeds in pots measuring about 5 inches in April on a windowsill or in a sheltered early morning or table bed with a cover to protect from cold on crisp spring days (and nights). From mid-May, a sunflower can also be sown directly in the containers provided, but make sure there is sufficient spacing between the individual seeds. Only very compact growing varieties fit into a common container, for example, as a trio.

Which sunflowers are suitable for the pot?

Don’t make the mistake of choosing your sunflower based only on the type of flower head. Pay attention not only to the appearance of the flower, but especially strictly to the information about the height and description of branching. Only in this way will you find the right variety that will fit perfectly into their design idea.

For small pots and balcony boxes are recommended dwarf sunflowers, such as varieties.

  • ‘Big Smile’ (13 inches)
  • ‘Pacino’ (11 inches)
  • ‘Teddy Bear’ (27 inches)
  • ‘Sunspot’ (23 inches)
  • ‘Sunny Smile’ (19 inches)
  • ‘Garden Statement’ (31 inches).

Medium-sized specimens grow about one to 1.5 yards tall. They are suitable for patio planting in pots and the balcony. For example, here are the varieties.

  • ‘Waooh’ (35 inches)
  • ‘Orange Sun’ (55 inches)
  • ‘Piccolo’ (39 inches)
  • ‘Vanilla Ice’ (47 inches).

Tip: If you choose a flowering plant from around the end of April, ask about the dimensions that a presumably still chubby little sunflower will take up when fully grown – otherwise there is a risk of surprises.

How to plant sunflowers in a container?

Even the most compactly growing sunflowers are not for narrow balcony boxes. Even the smallest cultivars need a pot diameter of at least 8 inches upwards with a depth from 9, better 11 inches for a reasoned growth and abundant flowers. Finally, before planting above the drainage hole of the container must be filled with a drainage layer of granules or similar, about one inch high. This will prevent waterlogging when watering.

What care do sunflowers in pots need?

The large foliage of sunflowers evaporates plenty of water in hot weather. And since they are no thirst artists, sufficient watering must always be done. At the latest, when the leaves lean only slightly, it’s “water march”. Sunflowers that have fallen dry and are limp will recover only very imperfectly – if at all. Just as important as consistent watering is continuous fertilizing. Liquid fertilizer is best for sunflowers in pots. Sunflowers, with their tall stems and large bright flowers, have great appetites and can tolerate a full dose of it every week from the beginning of flowering until autumn.