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When to Plant Sunflowers in Texas for Beautiful Blooms?

Written by William Golder

Fact checked by Dorian Goodwin

when to plant sunflowers in texas

Along with other tropical plants, sunflowers thrive well in Texas’ warm spring and sweltering summers.

In fact, Texas owns many sunflower fields and maintains a steady seed production, which helps the industry prosper. However, despite growing well in the region, Texas has a cold season that can injure these heat-tolerant plants.

Therefore, knowing when to plant sunflowers in Texas is crucial because it can help you produce well-established blooms by summer.

Thus, planting them in spring to mid-summer at a soil temperature of 50°F, is optimum for their healthy growth. This should be around between 15th March and 20th April. To learn more details about this, read on.

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When to Grow Sunflowers in Texas

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1. Plant the Texas Sunflower Seeds in Spring to Mid-Summer

  • Outdoor Planting

The best time to plant sunflower seeds outdoors is as soon as the last frost date has passed. That is because the weather and soil temperature has warmed up by this point, which aids in good germination.

In both North Texas and South Texas, the optimum growing season for spring sunflowers is between mid-March and the first half of April. With proper sowing, you can expect them to bloom in June or July.

That said, you can plant these flowers in June or even July. However, growing the plants

later than the first week of July may cause lesser yields in the fall. That’s why it is essential to follow the proper calendar for late planting to prevent this from happening.

However, if you live in Zone 8 and above like those in Houston, Southeast Texas, you can sow seeds even in August. They have more chances to flourish well by this time in warmer regions, but their size might be insufficient.

  • Indoor seeding

Planting sunflower seeds inside your home is also possible for these species. For ideal germination, sow them in pots about one month before your average last spring frost.

For example, sowing seeds indoors on February 18 in Austin in Central Texas is the proper time since its last frost date begins on March 18.

Knowing what month to start your seeds indoors is essential because planting them at the wrong time can affect their endurance or appearance. Whichever it is, you wouldn’t want that to happen.

Although indoor sowing provides several advantages, such as protecting the plants from pest infestations and unfavorable weather outdoors, transplanting them once they have grown can be risky.

Sunflowers have sensitive roots, so you may need to be more careful while transplanting to prevent interrupting them. This is why I always recommend outdoor planting if you want the healthiest blooms possible.

2. Sow Sunflowers at a Soil Temperature of 50°F

Sunflowers thrive well in a soil temperature of 50°F. Once the ground reaches this point, it signals that you can now plant them outdoors.

They also need a warm temperature of at least 42°F to sprout. But if you want to push the germination to the maximum, wait until the day warms up to 70°F.

Although sunflowers prefer warm conditions, they can still tolerate temperatures as low as 26°F after petal drops. However, if the flowers are still in the bud stage, temperatures this low will hinder their development. So don’t sow them once frost arrives.

Growing wild sunflowers Texas in the proper air and soil condition will help you establish them well to have beautiful blooms in your yard. Not just that, but when they grow right, they can attract many pollinators such as bees.

More so, the seeds of these healthy blossoms can be a source of food for doves and other birds, like cardinals. They help your garden by spreading seeds that may have fallen to the ground.

How to Plant Sunflower Seeds

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Step 1: Prepare sunflower seeds for planting

Choose the seeds you want to plant. The dwarf and tall varieties are the common types of sunflowers in Texas. For instance, Maximilian sunflowers—a tall cultivar—are among the most common choices in Texas, especially in the central and eastern region.

Step 2: Place your seeds in a sunny location

Sunflowers need at least 6-8 hours of sunlight to grow. Before planting, plan to place them in an open area without large structures like trees.

Step 3: Prepare your soil to be well-draining

Sunflowers require well-draining soil to avoid decaying problems when watered. Raking the soil to loosen it and applying compost to the ground is the best way to fix your planting bed.

Before planting, check the soil’s pH level. It should be around 6.0-7.5. If it’s too low, add pulverized lime. In contrast, to rectify a too-alkaline soil, rake in some elemental sulfur. Then, get rid of the weeds in the planting area.

Step 4: Make a hole and sow your seeds in the proper space

Dig a depth of less than 2 inches on the ground and sow your seeds in each hole. Plant them at a 6-inch distance and cover them with excess soil.

Step 5: Water the ground

Irrigate the soil with a sufficient amount to nurture the seeds with moisture. Ensure not to mist the plant. As the seeds germinate, aim to irrigate them with 1-2 inches of water per week.

Tips for Growing Sunflowers in Texas

  • Build fences around your sunflowers to protect them from pest attacks and harsh winds that could damage them.
  • Keep the soil moist by applying mulch around the plant.
  • Stake tall sunflower varieties while they are still small to avoid damaging them.
  • Use proper fertilizers to keep the healthy growth of sunflowers. Preferably, a product with nitrogen content to boost their height.
  • To keep the best sunflower seeds for Texas and induce proper germination, water them thoroughly for two consecutive weeks and keep them moist once they grow, especially in high temperatures.
  • To increase more length to your sunflower’s height, only allow one main stem with blossom to grow and snip off all the growing spurs attached.

FAQS

How late can you plant sunflower seeds in Texas?

You can plant sunflower seeds before the first frost arrives in your region as long as the type you intend to plant has shorter growing days before the frigid climate comes. This means the latest planting time is around 55-100 days before the first frost.

If you intend to do late-planting, choose the dwarf varieties rather than the tall type since they only require lesser days to grow.

When do sunflowers bloom in Texas?

Sunflowers sown early typically bloom in May, while those planted later in the year bud in September and continue to thrive for 3 months.

Are sunflowers annuals or perennials?

Many sunflowers are annual plants that only live for one season before withering away, but others are perennial species that bloom every year. Some examples of varieties that bloom every year include the Maximillian and Giant types.

Related: Growing sunflowers in other states:

 Conclusion

People in Texas are very fond of sunflower planting because aside from how easy it is to plant this species, they only require warm climates and soil to grow well.

More so, they have a flexible planting schedule where you may opt to sow them in early spring or mid-summer. Whichever you choose, plant with fences around them and be ready to fertilize them so they may grow well.

If you plan on growing this flora in your region, feel free to return to this topic about when to plant sunflowers in Texas!

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A Few Words From the Author

William-Golder

Hi, I am William – Floridayards’ digital content creator. My job is to find answers to all your concerns with thorough research and our team’s expert advice. I will also bring you honest reviews on the best products and equipment for raising your beautiful garden. Please look forward to our work!

William Golder