When to transplant sunflower seedlings

Transplanting sunflowers may sound like an uncommon idea until you realize that you have planted hundreds of seeds in one place and need to thin them. Or maybe you planted the seeds in a garden that no longer receives bright sunlight. This is when you realize that you need to transplant some of the seedlings.

When to transplant sunflower seedlings

Some gardeners prefer starting sunflowers inside the house before they later transplant them into the garden. Such gardeners tend to believe that sunflowers are not just garden flowers but can also do well when planted on larger farms.

If you are a first-time sunflower gardener or wish to try out sunflower thinning and transplanting, this article can help you as it covers the best time to transplant sunflowers and how to do it.

When is the right time to transplant sunflowers?

When to transplant sunflower seedlings

Starting sunflowers in pots should be done in one or two weeks before the right time to take them outside reach. Even though most gardeners prefer planting sunflower seedlings direct to the ground, some prefer starting them indoors to control their growth. Sunflower seedlings that are transplanted after more than two weeks usually grow to a medium or short height but still produce well.

Sunflower seedlings are normally very delicate and fragile; thus, you need to be more careful when transplanting them to avoid tampering with the roots and stems.

The best time to transplant sunflowers is when the soil is warm and relatively dry, free from the danger of frost, most preferably in the first few weeks of spring. Sunflowers are tender plants and can be killed by the slightest frost or freeze.

Transplant sunflower seedlings when they are one or two weeks old or when they have barely produced the first two leaves. If you leave seedlings for too long before transplanting, they may suffer from stunted growth. Essentially, sunflowers start growing rapidly after the appearance of the first two leaves. If you hesitate to transplant, they will develop a strong taproot making it difficult to pull the seedling from indoor pots or ground for transplanting.

How to transplant sunflower seedlings

Here are a few steps for transplanting sunflower seedlings.

1. Select a site

Wait until there are no more dangers of frost, then pick a garden where you will transplant the seedlings. The planting site should be fertile and reached by the maximum sunlight or slight shade. Till the garden and remove all weeds and unnecessary material.

2. Dig planting holes

Dig holes about 10 inches deep and 12 inches apart to give the seedling roots enough space to grow deep in the soil. Make sure the holes are relatively flat at the bottom as you remove small rocks and other unwanted material.

3. Prepare the seedling

If you had planted the seeds in a small open outdoor garden, you would start by digging a relatively large circle around each seedling. The hole you dig should be deep enough to get under the plant’s roots. You can then carefully scoop the seedlings and move them to the new planting area.

If you start the plants indoors in pots, you can make the soil completely water-soaked and gently remove the seedling from the sides without tempering its root structure.

4. Plant the seedlings

Place each sunflower into the already prepared holes and cover with soil until it is half the hole. Fill the remaining part with organic dirt until it levels with the ground. Add soil to the dirt and cover with mulch to help hold the soil when raindrops. You can make a hedge around the sunflowers to prevent rodents from eating them sunflowers before they mature.

5. Water the plants

To reduce transplant shock, add water to the base of every sunflower seedling until the soil is properly soaked. Wait for a few days for the soil to loosen the available water before watering again. Basically, sunflowers do not require a lot of water to produce.

When to transplant sunflower seedlings: Conclusion

Transplanting sunflowers is not a common practice among gardeners. However, if you wish to plant sunflowers on a large scale, transplanting may be a relevant practice.  Once you get them planted, make sure to plant them with the proper sunflower companion plants.

Proper timing is an essential practice if you wish to transplant sunflowers successfully. Hopefully, the steps above will guide you whenever you wish to transplant sunflowers.

Related Article: How Late Can You Plant Sunflowers?