Few plants can match the bright and bold floral statement sunflowers bring in the garden. Although they have a shorter lifespan, these annuals never fail to cheer anyone up with their big and beautiful blooms. If you’re thinking about when to plant sunflowers in Mississippi, you’ve come to the right place. You can wait until the last frost has passed to start them outdoors, or in containers to be brought outside as the climate warms up. The second week of April is the earliest time you can start these sun-loving plants, up until mid-July. Let’s look at when to plant sunflowers in Mississippi.
When to Plant Sunflowers in Mississippi
Historically, the exact date on when you can start sunflowers is by April 10 through 20 in the state of Mississippi. You can still grow them throughout but you might have the least chance of success if you plant them at the end of July or early August.
Sunflowers are mainly grown from seed and produce spectacular blooms in two to three months or so. You can browse through available species and find what you like, but don’t forget to check how many weeks it needs to flower and how big it could grow so you can plan ahead.
What’s great about sunflowers in Mississippi is that everyone can try their hand at growing them. It’s often used as a kid’s project and serves as an excellent starter plant for beginners alike. Sunflowers can tolerate full sunlight, even afternoon sun, and can take a day or two without water.
Are Sunflowers Easy to Grow?
Anyone with a desire to nurture a plant and see it through to flowering should definitely give sunflowers a try.
Sunflowers are tough, resilient and quick-growing. They can tolerate heat well and aren’t prone to pests and diseases. You can benefit from the bright yellow blooms and let them stay in the yard or bring them into your house as a cut flower in a vase.
Alternatively, you can let the flowers go to seed and get a quick and tasty snack, or leave them to the birds.
All you need to grow a sunflower is a location that gets all-day sun. It’s not too particular about the type of soil you use, but it shouldn’t be too heavy and retain water for weeks. For the best results, you can use garden mix or common container soil that’s well-draining. The same goes for the container or bed that you’ll be putting them in.
It’s possible to grow a sunflower from seed to mature plant in a container, but make sure that it gets similar conditions. Put it in a sunny spot and water every now and then, and soon you’ll have a strong plant that will put out single or multiple blooms.
Are Sunflowers Perennials or Annuals?
There are some sunflowers that are annuals and some that are of the perennial variety.
An annual plant means it only grows in a single season and will die back once winter comes. An annual sunflower will usually have bigger blooms compared to its perennial counterparts. A perennial plant grows over to the next season as long as they’re kept relatively warm when winter comes. Perennial sunflowers typically bloom for 8 to 12 weeks and are the last ones to still have color when fall is finished.
The secret to growing sunflowers every year is to harvest some of the seeds and keep them until winter has passed. You’ll have to let the flower on the stem and allow it to become brown for the seeds to ripen. Then, scrape them off and store in a paper envelope and a cool, dry place. The seeds you gather should be ready to plant in the spring or summer.
How to Care for Sunflowers
The most important element in growing a sunflower is having it get enough sunlight. Choose a spot in your garden or yard that gets sunlight throughout the day. Sow the seeds with a spacing of 12 to 18 inches apart so they can grow to their full potential.
Put them in well-draining soil and don’t forget to water when the soil gets dry. If the top of the soil looks dry then it’s time to reach for that hose or watering can.
Related Article: Sunflower Companion Plants