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Get your FREE pack of sunflower seeds at participating businesses in Wendover displaying the sign:

“Make Wendover Smile sunflower seeds available here”

Planting instructions for your sunflower seeds

If you haven’t ever tried sowing seeds, it is remarkably easy and very rewarding whether you are growing flowers or food.  The good news is that sunflowers are some of the easiest to sow with dramatic results.

There is no need to soak seeds before planting although it can help germination but do not soak for longer than 24 hours or they are liable to rot.

You can sow seeds indoors in pots of compost or soil from late March to the end of April into May.  Give the pots a good watering, ensuring the water can drain out of the pot and place in a sunny spot.  If planting outside in a greenhouse for example, keep them away from hungry mice. 


Water again when the soil is dry which is about once a week. Soil needs to be moist.  Too dry, and your seeds won’t germinate.  Too wet, and they’re liable to rot.


Once all danger of frost has passed the seeds can be sown outside directly into the soil.  This is sometime between March and May.  Dig a hole and pop the seed in and cover with no more than an inch of soil.  Sow about a foot apart and keep a look out for slugs as the shoots emerge.  Sunflowers in pots can now be planted outside too in the garden or, depending on the final size, into containers.


Once the sunflowers become taller, they can be supported by loosely tying to canes.  Don’t hesitate to cut your sunflowers to enjoy indoors as some varieties will respond by producing many more flowers.


Sunflowers take between 80 and 120 days to grow depending on the variety.  Sowing a few seeds every week for a few weeks will also help ensure you have a longer period of flowers to enjoy.


Once you have successfully grown a sunflower it is easy to take the seed (if you don’t want to leave them for the birds).  You can either eat the seeds yourself or save them to grow more plants next year – or to share amongst your friends and neighbours.


The flowering season is quite long depending upon the variety with August being the peak flowering time but they can still flower in July and into September.

8 Fun Facts About Sunflowers


  • Sunflowers are heliotropic – they move in the direction of the sun

  • The scientific name for the sunflower is Helianthus.  It comes from the Greek words “helios”, meaning sun, and “anthus” meaning flower

  • The first Spanish explorers to arrive in Peru in the sixteenth century mistook a field of sunflowers for gold after seeing the amazing golden sunflower jewellery worn by Incan high priests.  It earned the sunflower the symbolism of “false riches”

  • The tallest sunflower ever recorded was 9.17m (30ft 1 inch)!  It was grown in Karst, Germany back in 2014 and still holds the title today …. So far?

  • Sunflowers are part of the Asteraceae family which is the same family as Daisies

  • The sunflower is the national flower of Russia and Ukraine

  • Sunflower seeds are full of calcium, making them an excellent healthy food source

  • The sunflower’s seeds follow the Fibonacci sequence.  Created by the mathematician, Fibonacci, each number in the sequence is the sum of the two previous numbers.  All things in nature tend to follow this pattern, you see it especially in spiral shapes!



Sunflower Meanings


The sunflower has many meanings across the world from positivity and strength to admiration and loyalty.  It is a favourite summer flower and a symbol of optimism that brings joy to those around.


The main qualities of sunflowers

  • Happiness – with their vibrant yellow and orange tones, you can’t help but smile when you see a sunflower.  What’s more, the colour yellow is the symbol of happiness, joy and positivity.

  • Admiration – sunflowers have cultural significance around the world spanning from the time of the ancient Greeks to present day.  In Chinese culture, sunflowers symbolise good luck and lasting happiness which is why they are often given at graduations and at the start of a new business.

  • Optimism – aside from their rich golden hues, sunflowers turn to face towards the sun, they always look on the bright side!

  • Loyalty and devotion – Sunflowers have long been considered symbols of faith and devotion, and hailed across civilizations from the Incas to the ancient Greeks.

  • Strength and resilience – a sunflower’s ability to inspire optimism fortifies the mind and promotes inner strength.



Sunflowers in Mythology


The ancient Greeks believe that sunflowers turned towards the sun because of the nymph Clytie’s adoration of Apollo, the God of the Sun.  At first, he loved her too but then he turned his affections towards another nymph.  In a jealous rage, Clytie told the other nymph’s father and as punishment he buried her alive.  Outraged, Apollo turned Clytie into a sunflower, but her love for him was so strong she watched him move across the sky each day – just as sunflowers follow the sun.


The scientific name for the sunflower is Helianthus.  It comes from the Greek words “helios” meaning sun, and “anthus” meaning flower.

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