Sunflowers 2016

I’ll be growing sunflowers…  was the first post I did this year and this is how they’ve fared so far.

Just one Mongolian Giant survived the slugs and weather, but at a rather paltry five feet with no sign of a flower bud yet has proved rather disappointing.  I probably won’t be trying to grow any tall singles next year.

Sunflowers 'Valentine'


The Valentine ones haven’t fared much better with just a couple surviving and flowering. They should be around five feet high with five inch flowers but are just two feet with two inch flowers.  I like the lemon- yellow colour with a contrasting dark centre.




Dwarf sunflower 'Musicbox', golden yellow

I started ten dwarf Musicbox  off at home of which nine germinated and were planted out in a group.  I resorted to scattering organic slug pellets around these and despite some initial damage they all did well, and being just knee high they don’t have to be staked. I’ve been very impressed with the number of flower heads, some plants having into double figures.  I’ll certainly be growing this variety again next year.


Three dwarf sunflowers 'Musicbox'

The Big Sunflower ProjectAs I mentioned in that first post I’ve been posting pictures to The Big Sunflower Project‘s Facebook page and will continue to do so this year, and again next year.


Have a good week!

About Flighty

...allotmenteer, armchair gardener, blogger and sofa flying book buff.
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33 Responses to Sunflowers 2016

  1. My sunflowers are all pretty small this year as well – apart from one that’s self-seed in the veg plot. Strange how self-sown stuff always seems to be ignored by the slugs.


  2. Mark Willis says:

    I think your sunflowers would be doing better if there had been more sunshine! (Like so many other things).


  3. plot34 says:

    Just one sunflower looks cheerful. I’ve been growing mid height sunflowers for a few years but all were slugged this year. Well done for getting some past the mollusc munching stage. I’ve added music box to my list for next year.


  4. Sunflowers, whatever their size, are a cheery sight. I must remember to plant some next year. Yours look lovely despite the best efforts of the slugs to do otherwise.


  5. Andy says:

    Last year, hundreds of young sunflowers started and were ultimately beaten by slugs. This year I raised dozens in the green house, sowed hundreds of seeds and used slug pellets and have managed to get a couple of dozen to get flowering stage. It feels like a big achievement this year 🙂

    I have no idea what type mine are, no idea about the final size and no idea if they are singles or multiple heads. I bought a 12.5kg sack of seed (about £10) for the birds and have been using them. Almost 100% germination rate after 2 years and very very cheap compared to seed packets where you only get 6 to 20 odd seeds. I’ll be continuing to buy bird seed for sunflower seed unless I can save enough seed.


    • Flighty says:

      Andy hello and welcome. Well done, I’m sure that it does feel like a big achievement.
      That’s okay if you’re not really fussed about variety, size and colour. Cheers.


  6. princessines says:

    I’ve had plenty casualties too but the few that have survived are way behind yours….a few are starting to form the flower head….


  7. Liz says:

    Your sunflowers look so cheerful, whatever their height and size. I got so carried away with growing Tithonia, the Mexican sunflower, that I only direct sowed a few sunflower seeds at the butterfly garden in the local park and they haven’t made an appearance.


  8. tonilouiseabram says:

    Thank you for writing about The Big Sunflower Project Mike. It has been good having you take part.


  9. I’m wondering if they are worth the effort! So many slug casualties, I blamed the dog for breaking one, then I went out at dusk to find another plant bent double with the weight of a big fat slug. I bought Strulch, mineralised mulch, to put around them, oh my how the chickens (and a badger I think) loved that they’ve thrown it all over the place… Maybe some sun would help.


  10. CJ says:

    Love the little ones, but the lemon ones are great too. I usually grow some claret ones but I didn’t get round to it this year. In the past I’ve had ones that have been eaten halfway through, fallen over and still bent around and grown up into a sunflower. If they can just get off the ground they have a good chance. Wishing you a good week. I’ve just spent half an hour watering the garden, which of course made it rain. CJ xx


  11. Elaine says:

    I didn’t grow any this year. They do bring a ray of sunshine to the garden if they survive. I like your lemon ones. I sowed rudbeckia which are very similar to sunflowers and they have been munched on so it looks like I won’t be seeing any of them either.


  12. Jo says:

    I seem to have the same problems with the taller varieties, they seem much harder to grow for some unknown reason. My biggest success last year were from seeds dropped from the bird feeders, I didn’t weed out the resulting seedlings and in the end they put on a wonderful show. I like the paler Valentine variety but a darker tall variety would be my sunflower of choice, I’m a bit of a traditionalist.


  13. Stunning thank you for sharing have a blessed day


  14. snowbird says:

    It’s interesting to see how the different varieties have turned out. I haven’t had much joy either. Glad to see you got a few beauties


  15. Matt @ Garden59 says:

    I like the dwarf varieties you’ve grown. We’ve got Russian Giant this year and they’re whopping – at least 8 or 9 feet, I reckon. They’re fun, but they are a bit monstrous.


    • Flighty says:

      Matt they’re a really good variety. Good for you. If I ever get one that tall I’ll be surprised, and have to make sure that it’s well staked on my exposed plot.


  16. Pingback: Mike – The Big Sunflower Project

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