Miniature sunflowers, also called dwarf sunflowers, are an ideal first growing project for children and other novice gardeners. They grow readily from seeds, which can make the process more exciting and educational. Dwarf sunflowers begin blooming quite early in the spring, which is sure to be satisfying for any impatient grower. Since they only reach heights between 1 and 2 feet, these flowers work well grown in small patches or pots and later to cut for indoor arrangements.
Begin growing sunflowers indoors, even if you plan to transplant them. Schedule your planting two to three weeks before the last frost in your area. This reduces the chance of losing your sunflower seeds to birds or a ground that is still cold.
Select a container or containers with a generous opening. The containers do not need to be too large, but should not be too narrow, especially if you wish to transplant your sunflowers later. Test each container to ensure that it drains well.
Fill each container with rich, well-conditioned potting soil, leaving at least 1/2 inch of space. Sunflowers deplete soil of nutrients very rapidly; if your dwarf sunflowers will remain in their pots, recondition the soil several times per year. Sprinkle the dwarf sunflower seeds evenly over the surface of the soil.
Cover the seeds lightly with 1/2 inch of soil using your hands or a gardening spade. Plant any remaining containers in the same manner. Water each container generously until you can still feel damp soil when your push a finger approximately 1 inch deep into it.
Place the containers near a window that receives full sun most of the day. Transplant the sunflowers after the last frost when the ground has thawed, again choosing an area that receives full sun. Bury each seedling up to the original soil line, spacing them at least 3 to 4 inches apart.
Provide 1 inch of water for your sunflowers weekly.