Happy August! As the excitement of summer starts to dwindle down, kids prepare to go back to school, and the air slowly starts to feel crisp and cool. You may be thinking this is the time when flowers are beginning to wither away and prepare for the colder season. Well, think again! Flowers can grow successfully until mid-October and for specific months such as August, flowers are just beginning to flourish! One of summer’s most beloved flowers is the sunflower, which, coincidentally, is the official flower of August! This beautiful and vibrant flower has a rich history that has made it a staple flower in gardens over the decades.
This flower originated over four thousand years ago when indigenous peoples started to cultivate this crop for its health benefits and cooking uses. Though this flower was once previously used for its practicality, once it was brought to Europe many people ignored its health and culinary benefits and used the sunflower for its decorative nature.
As the sunflower migrated throughout Europe and into Asia, many other places in the world started to adapt to this flower. The most notable country is Russia. Russians learned how to extract the sunflower’s benefits while utilizing its beauty in decorations. Because of Russia’s popularized multi-uses for sunflowers, foods like sunflower seeds and cosmetics such as sunflower oil are popular to this day!
That being said, growing these beautiful flowers doesn’t have to be intimidating. Here are a few tips and tricks to grow sunflowers:
- As you’d guess, sunflowers flourish in complete sunlight. Bright areas outside are preferred, rather than any indirect sunlight. The barrier of a window indoors could affect the growing habits of a sunflower so make sure to avoid indoor growth.
- For sunflowers to flourish they need to be planted in well-drained soil. For those who are unfamiliar with what exactly “well-drained” soil is, don’t worry, I can help!
- “Well-drained soil” is almost exactly what it sounds like. For soil to drain well, it needs to be in an elevated container, whether that’s a pot, or a raised gardening bed. To go the extra mile, add compost to your soil to encourage draining.
- Water your flower regularly but wait to re-water after the first few inches of your flower’s soil is dry! Too much watering of your plant will lead to root rot, which no one wants!
- Lastly, these flowers can survive in various temperatures. On average, sunflowers thrive in mid-seventies, but can survive in hotter or colder temperatures as long as they’re planted in a well-drained soil and have a decent fertilizer.
There you have it! Follow these tips to growing a sunflower and you’re sure to grow and thriving and beautiful flower that’s equally has stunning as it is useful. Happy gardening!