Potted Sunflower Care

Updated November 21, 2016

Nearly 3,000 years ago, Native Americans domesticated the sunflower for food production. Now, it is still sometimes used for food, but it also used for oil production and ornamental purposes. These flowers are large, bright yellow, thick-stalked structures. Their large, disklike flowers attract butterflies because they make for a good place to land and feed on nectar. The petals grow in patterns of two opposite spirals. While sunflowers are typically grown outdoors, they grow well in pots as well.


Choose a pot relative to the size of the sunflower to care for it best. Sunflowers need enough room for its roots to spread out comfortably. If the roots are crunched, growth is stagnated. Most sunflowers species are quite large. For example, the Helianthus maximllianni sunflower grows up to 10 feet tall and can have 3 foot long disks. For a sunflower this size, a tree pot would be best. However, the Sunny Smile sunflower only grows up to 15 inches tall. A pot 12 inches deep should suffice for these varieties.


For optimal care, make sure your potted sunflowers have access to plenty of natural sunlight. Potted sunflowers do not grow as well indoors as they do in full sunlight. You can often watch new buds track the sun across the horizon.


Sunflowers need plenty of water to thrive. Check the plant's soil for moisture every day. If the soil is damp, then it has enough water. Give it water as soon as the soil becomes dry again. Only water the soil as the petals and leaves are susceptible to mildew and fungus if they are wet for too long.

Initial Planting

If you are growing your sunflowers from seed, make sure to wait a week or two after the frost stops. It is not recommended to start seeds inside as sunlight is so pivotal to optimal care. Sunflowers do not like to be transplanted, so start seeds in the pot in which you intend to let them grow up. Seeds should be covered with an inch of soil.

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