Here are the directions for growing teddy bear sunflowers:
- Choose a location. Teddy bear sunflowers need full sun and well-drained soil. Choose a spot in your garden that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. The soil should be loose and fertile, with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0.
- Prepare the soil. Before planting, loosen the soil in your chosen spot with a garden fork. Add compost or other organic matter to the soil to improve drainage and fertility.
- Plant the seeds. Sow the seeds 1/2 inch deep and 2 inches apart. Water the seeds well and keep the soil moist until they germinate.
Thin the seedlings. Once the seedlings have sprouted, thin them to 18 inches apart. This will give the remaining plants enough room to grow.
- Water and fertilize. Teddy bear sunflowers need regular watering, especially during hot, dry weather. Water the plants deeply once a week, or more often if the weather is very hot. Fertilize the plants every two weeks with a balanced fertilizer.
- Protect from pests and diseases. Teddy bear sunflowers are relatively resistant to pests and diseases, but they can be susceptible to aphids, spider mites, and powdery mildew. Monitor your plants for pests and diseases and treat any problems promptly.
Enjoy your flowers! Teddy bear sunflowers will bloom for several months, from early summer to late fall. Enjoy their beautiful flowers and attract pollinators to your garden.
Here are some additional tips for growing teddy bear sunflowers:
- If you live in a cold climate (Maryland), you can start the seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost date.
- Teddy bear sunflowers are relatively drought tolerant, but they will produce more flowers if they are watered regularly. Mulch around the plants to help retain moisture and suppress weeds.
- Deadhead the flowers regularly to encourage new blooms.
- Teddy bear sunflowers make great cut flowers. Cut the flowers when they are just starting to open and enjoy them indoors.