Cheery, showy sunflowers not only spruce up a vegetable garden with a splash of color, they work well as companion plants to several vegetables. But the vegetable garden isn’t the only place where these bright flowers work well. Though big, yellow, showy flowers adorning sky-high stalks come to mind when you think of sunflowers, they actually come in a wide range of colors, flower types, and heights and fit well in almost any type of garden.
Sunflower Garden Guide
At a Glance
Botanical Name: Helianthus annus
Common Name(s): Sunflower
Height: Up to 12 feet
Bloom Time: Early spring
Soil Conditions: Well-drained soil of average fertility
Starting from Seed
Sunflowers generally flower just as fast when sown directly in the garden, but if you want to start them indoors, start seed at 70°-80°F four weeks prior to the last frost. Plant one seed per peat-moss cup.
When to Plant
Where to Plant
Care and Maintenance
Companion Planting with Sunflowers
Some plants are beneficial to others, while others are detrimental. In the case of sunflowers, do not plant with pole beans.
Cucumbers do well when planted next to sunflowers.
Melons do well when planted next to sunflowers.
Did You Know?
Sunflowers have long been grown and used by Native Americans. They not only consumed the seeds for nutritional value, they ground them into meal to use in gruel and cakes. They also roasted the seeds and ground them to make a drink similar to coffee.