how tall can sunflowers grow

How Tall Can Sunflowers Grow? (And How To Grow Yours Taller)

Nothing compares to a beautiful, blooming sunflower that you’ve personally planted and cared for. I love growing sunflowers every year and trying to see how tall I can grow them. But how tall can sunflowers grow and what can you do to help them grow to impressive heights?

How tall can sunflowers grow? Standard sunflowers usually grow from 6 to 10 feet tall. Giant sunflower varieties can grow to a height of 15 to 20 feet, and the world record sunflower reached a height of 30 feet and 1 inch and was grown in 2014.

Read on to learn how tall can sunflowers grow, how long it takes, and how you can grow impressively tall sunflowers with ease.

How Tall Can Sunflowers Grow?

These beautiful summery flowers grow eye-catching yellow-golden petals, with a brown center full of sunflower seeds that birds love. Looking at the sunflowers is mesmerizing as they turn their faces towards the sun throughout the day.

Most standard types of sunflower grow to a typical height of 6 to 10 feet, doing all their growing over a single season that starts in mid-spring and ends in late summer. Giant species and hybrids can grow considerably taller. Lets take a look at some of the tallest growing sunflower species.

Tallest Sunflower Species

  • Pike’s Peak – 12 to 15 feet tall
  • Giraffe – 15 to 18 feet tall
  • American Giant – 14 feet tall
  • Russian Giant – 9 to 12 feet tall
  • Titan – 12 feet tall
  • Sunzilla – 16 to 24 feet tall (Hybrid)
  • Kong – 16 feet tall (Hybrid)

Dwarf or miniature kinds like Elf or Big Smile grow about 34 inches per year and might reach a maximum height of 2 or 3 feet by the end of the summer.  Gardening enthusiasts can experiment with new species that can grow taller stalks and bigger petals.

how tall can sunflowers grow
Even grown in a pot, sunflowers can grow to an impressive height.

How To Help Sunflowers Grow Fast?

Some varieties of sunflowers don’t need any staking or support. The stalks are relatively tough so they will grow anywhere as long as it has good sun exposure and the soil isn’t waterlogged. There are certain conditions that can help sunflowers grow fast and strong. Here are some of them.

  • Understanding the nature of the soil will help you determine if it creates the best environment for growing sunflowers. These amazingly beautiful plants grow well when the soil is slightly alkaline, with a pH level up to 7.5.
  • The roots develop fast if you make sure that the seeds are continuously exposed to the sun. Sunflowers don’t grow to their full potential if kept in containers.
  • Sunflower seeds are delicious food for birds and squirrels, so it might be a good idea to start growing your flowers indoors. Keep the seeds in a biodegradable container that will eventually degrade when transplanted outside. Water the seeds and cover them until they sprout in 7 to 10 days. You can move them to the soil after 14 days.
  • When planting the sprouts, leave three feet between standard varieties. One foot is enough for miniature species, while the giant ones need at least 4 feet of space. It takes 30-60 days for the flower heads to appear and 30 more until the flower has fully grown.

After the flowers bloom, bees and other insects will visit to sip on the nectar and help transport pollen from one flower to another. This guarantees a new cycle for these beauties.

The back of the flower will turn yellow, and this means that the seeds are growing and ripening. You can keep the seeds of big flowers after they’ve completely grown to feed your pets or even enjoy as a healthy snack at home. The very same seeds can be used to grow a new batch of sunflowers next year.

how tall can sunflowers grow
Multiheaded hybrids such as Kong can also reach impressive heights

How Long Does A Sunflower Grow In A Week?

There are several factors that can affect the growth of sunflowers like the quality of the soil, how often you water them, and their position with respect to the sun rays.

It’s quite interesting to watch your sunflowers bloom and grow over days and weeks. Every pack of seeds you buy to grow in your garden will tell you how much growth is expected every month, as long as you maintain the conditions that can keep your plants healthy.

For example, if your seeds are expected to grow until they reach a height of 6 feet, you should expect them to grow about 10 inches per month and around 2 inches per week. After reaching their maximum height, single giant-headed flowers will bloom for 3 or 4 weeks. Multi-headed varieties can last longer, especially if they’re deadheaded on a regular basis.

What is the Tallest Sunflower Ever Grown?

Some gigantic types of sunflowers grow up to 20 or 22 feet, but the tallest sunflower was recorded in 2014. This sunflower was planted by Hans-Peter Schiffer in Germany. It reached a whopping height of 30 feet and 1 inch. Schiffer is a veteran of tall sunflowers and has tried growing them successfully several times. He managed to hold the title of the tallest sunflower twice.

How Can I Make Sure that My Sunflowers Are Reaching Their Maximum Height?

Sunflowers come in a variety of shapes and colors. However, the ones that usually reach maximum heights are the good old yellow-golden species.

how tall can sunflowers grow

Here are some tips that help your seeds grow to reach their maximum height during the blooming season.

  • Make sure that your flowers have direct access to sunlight. Sunflowers are resistant to drought and should be exposed to the direct sunlight for 6 to 8 hours every day.
  • Sunflowers need frequent access to nutrients. They will deplete the soil more than any other plant, depriving other plants of all the necessary elements. Nutrients supply should be replenished every year if you want to grow sunflowers for the next season. The better the diet, the bigger the flowers will be.
  • Growing seeds directly in the soil will help them grow taller. However, some gardeners choose to plant them indoors to make sure that they’re safe from birds and animals. It’s a trade-off that you should decide based on your individual preference and experience. If you choose to plant them in a pot, don’t postpone the transplanting and make sure that you’re doing it as soon as the sprouts have started to appear.
  • If you want your gigantic sunflowers to grow taller, you can place the seeds less than 20 inches away from each other. This will make the stalks grow taller, although the heads will be smaller. Planting the seeds too far away from each other might cause the heads to grow too big. As a result, they might be too heavy for the stalks to carry.
  • Natural fertilizers help your sunflowers grow taller and healthier. Dilute a good fertilizer and add it to your growing flowers every week. You can also make a few holes in the soil, spaced 1.5 feet away from the plant; each one of them is 3 to 4 feet deep. This will allow the nutrients to reach the roots easily.

How To Care For Tall Sunflowers?

Tall sunflowers can become more sensitive to weather conditions, particularly wind, due to their tall height. Keeping an eye on weather reports is a good idea so you can avoid unfortunate accidents.

If the wind is expected to blow strongly, you should delay watering as this will prevent the plants from blowing over. Staking isn’t necessary for sunflowers, even the bigger ones. However, it might help sunflowers survive in windy conditions.

How Long Do Sunflowers Live?

The typical blooming season starts in the spring. Sunflowers will continue to grow throughout the warm season of summer and they will begin to die out with the frost of fall as the temperature starts to drop. In order to make sure that you have sunflowers for a longer period, plan to plant the seeds over a few weeks.

Are All Sunflowers Annual?

Most of them are. The seeds will sprout and the flowers will fully bloom within one growing season that typically lasts from the spring until the end of summer. However, perennial sunflowers have smaller heads and won’t bloom for at least 2 years after the seeds are planted.

Can You Grow Sunflowers in a Pot?

Dwarf varieties grow beautifully in a pot or a container. More than one bloom can appear per plant. There’s no difference between taking care of your sunflowers whether you grow them in a pot or in the garden.

Why Do My Sunflowers Face The Ground?

When the sunflowers are blooming, they will turn to face the sun throughout the day. But as the stem grows, it becomes woodier and the movement becomes less noticeable. Flowers won’t move towards the sun and might start to face down due to the weight of the flower head; however, the leaves will keep on tracking the sun.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article and have learned all you need to know about how tall sunflowers can grow. Taking care of your sunflowers and showing them love and care is great fun and I always love the challenge of trying to grow taller sunflowers each year.