Sunflowers are bright and cheery additions to your garden. They’re so easy to care for that they’re best for beginners and young ones alike. If you live in MO, you might wonder when to plant sunflowers in Missouri.
The answer lies in the name- sunflowers love summers and its heat, and they’re usually planted once the frost has passed. In terms of months, that’s around early April to July.
When Should I Plant Sunflowers in Missouri?
The state of Missouri is blessed with a climate that’s perfect for sunflowers. Once winter is done and there’s absolutely no chance of cold, then you can start preparing your sunflower plants. You can put them in containers or in your garden as early as April, or June at the latest.
Sunflowers are super versatile and can be planted in different soil types. What’s more, they won’t mind if you skip a watering day or two, as long as they don’t completely dry out. A cluster of fully-bloomed sunflowers will definitely make anyone smile! You can also bring them indoors in a vase or bottle to brighten up a room.
It’s a general rule that you should plant sunflower seeds once the ground is warm. You can sow it directly 1 inch deep and spaced about 6 inches apart. Keep in mind that sunflowers don’t like to have their roots disturbed, so forego the act of transplanting and put the seeds in their permanent homes right away.
The best and biggest sunflowers are those in a spot that gets plenty of sunlight. The soil should drain well and contain rich amounts of organic matter. You don’t need to worry about the soil’s pH as they aren’t that fussy. However, you should have support for tall species, and put them in a location where they get protection from strong winds.
After planting, there’s very little you can do but watch them grow and thrive. Sunflowers are fairly resistant to pests and diseases, and you can get fully developed flowers in about two months’ time. Just remember to water regularly and keep the soil rich, nutrient-wise.
Missouri Hardiness Zone and First and Last Frost Date
Sunflowers hate the cold, so if you’re planting them in Missouri then you should wait until the danger of frost has passed.
Missouri has a USDA hardiness zone ranging from 5 to 7. The state enjoys a growing period of 188 days, with the first signs of frost appearing somewhere around the second week of October until the third week of April. Risk of frost is almost certain beginning October 17 up till April 12.
Alternatively, you can also wait until the ground has warmed to at least 50 degrees F. It’s best to check your local weather to have an idea of the exact date on when you can plant sunflowers in your area.
The Best Sunflower Species to Grow in Missouri
Sunflower varieties are a dime a dozen, and you can grow almost every type if you live in Missouri and start at the right time.
Most sunflowers are annual, which means they only live within a planting season. The time frame on which they bloom is more or less the same, but that’s where the similarities end. There’s a huge variety of sunflower bloom size, colors and characteristics!
If you want your sunflowers big, then it’s recommended that you get ‘Mammoth’. It’s a giant sunflower type that can grow up to 12 feet tall, with blooms and seeds that are the biggest of its kind. Those who want curious, multi-colored blooms can get the ‘Autumn Beauty’, as it sports flowers that have shades of mahogany, bronze and yellow. The stems can reach a maximum height of 7 feet, and the flowers can grow up to 6 inches.
You can grow ‘Teddy Bear’ for a cute and relatively compact sunflower type. The flowers are fluffy like a teddy bear (hence the name), and the plant doesn’t reach over 3 feet tall. You can even bring the blooms inside and they will last for days.
Those with allergies can take to ‘Sunrich Gold’. It’s pollenless and produces flowers that can reach 6 inches, with green-yellow and golden centers amid a shower of brightly-colored petals.