Sunflower Growth Timeline and Life Cycle – 8 Stages (With Pictures)

I like to grow sunflowers every year. They lend themselves to an education in the cycle of life and the facts of life because they are one of the fastest growing plants. As a competition for who can grow the tallest plant, and who can grow the biggest bloom, they offer adventures with children and adults alike.

Sunflowers are great to learn about the different stages of a plant ‘s growth and how to keep a plant healthy from sowing the seed to harvesting the crop.

What is the growth timeline for sunflowers ? The seeds grow into plants. The plants grow into strong plants. The mature sunflowers have buds that bloom. The flowers are visited by pollinators and seeds are formed. The seeds begin to oxidize. The cycle begins again when some of the seeds fall from the flower.

My sunflowers have been a novelty with the children in my family, I show them how to plant the seeds and keep the plant healthy until we harvest them.

They enjoy the rapid growth. They get curious about more in depth questions like how the sunflower gets its energy to grow, how and why it follows the sun, and how it makes seeds.

There are over 70 varieties of sunflowers and many colors to choose from. Perennials, dwarf, bush, multi headed and even seedless, but I am choosing the most famous.

The giant sunflowers are for this growth timeline. The flower heads of the giant sunflowers are large and can grow up to 6 feet tall. You can find the Giant sunflower on Amazon if you ca n’t find it in your area.

The general growth timeline was based on observing the sunflowers I grow in my own garden. Some stages of growth might be different depending on your growing conditions.

Let ‘s start at the beginning. The seeds are ready for planting.

There are 8 stages of Sunflower growth.

Here is a list of stages. I went into more detail below the list.

  1. The seed is being planted.
  2. Germination.
  3. The growth of the plant.
  4. A bud is being grown.
  5. Flowering.
  6. Pollination.
  7. Seed development.
  8. Harvesting.

The first stage. The seed is being planted.

You should plant your seeds.

I store the seeds I harvest from previous years in a safe place. If you are just starting out on your sunflower adventure, these seeds are the ones I have based on this chart. I wrote an ultimate guide on how to grow sunflowers here.

The dormant stage of the plant is the seed. The life cycle is waiting to begin here. A dried out fruit of a plant in its whole form is what the sunflower seed is. It ‘s called a cypsela in botanical terms. This whole seed contains all the information needed to grow another sunflower plant. The seeds of the sunflower are germinating.

Stage 2. Germination.

2 to 10 days.

Germination begins after the seed has been planted.

The seeds awakened life is the first stage. Underneath the soil, the roots reach out and the shoot pushes its way to the surface of the soil, looking for sunlight. We know we are on our way to growing a sunflower when this shoot appears. Plants are happy and healthy.

Stage 3. The growth of the plant.

10 to 35 days.

The plant has become young. The development stage is where it gains the most growth.

If you have started your seeds indoors, then it is time to transfer them to their growing site outside. The last of the harsh weather usually happens at the end of spring.

The newly sprouted sunflower usually has 2 baby leaves on it and grows quickly as the stem gets taller. The first few sets of leaves are usually oval in shape, but as more leaves come they look like the heart shaped leaves of a mature sunflower, only smaller.

The young plant develops quickly, getting as tall as it can. Through photosynthesis, sunflowers get energy. This is where you can find out how this process works. The bud develops.

Stage 4. A bud is being grown.

35 to 65 days.

The tall leafy maturing sunflower is strong enough to produce a bud.

It means we have cared for our plant and hopefully we will reap the rewards of a flower, but we are not quite there yet. Our bud is trying to get all the hours of sunlight it can in order to get as much energy as possible for it to grow.

The way our sunflowers do this is by following the sun. Heliotropism is a fascinating phenomenon and I wrote about it here.

This is where you can keep your sunflower hydrated. Regular watering is important for the budding and flowering stage of its life, so it can grow strong and big. More information about watering can be found here. The bud opens.

Stage 5. Flowering.

65 to 85 days.

The bud of our sunflowers has grown as big as it can and is starting to flower.

Our flower has reached its bloom stage and is now opening its petals. It shows off to the world. For a few weeks, we can enjoy this sight.

If you want to display your sunflowers indoors, you can cut a sufficient length of stem to do so. The bees visit and eat.

Stage 6 Pollination.

65 to 85 days.

Pollination occurs within the flowering stage.

The large brown center circle is where the thousands of disc florets are located.

The pollon gets stuck on the bees ‘ fluffy bodies as they sip on the nectar. The pollination and fertilization process begins when they transfer the pollen to another flower.

Sunflowers have a fail safe mechanism to ensure pollination and fertilisation, but they also pollinate in two different ways. This amazing and wonderful fact has been written about by me. The seeds are ripe for picking.

Stage 7 Seed development

85 to 105 days.

After pollination the fertilized seeds start to grow.

The stage of our sunflowers is fascinating. The main object of its life cycle is to produce as many healthy seeds as possible. The back of the sunflowers head is yellow and tells us that the seeds are ripening. Depending on the variety and conditions, this process could last up to 125 days.

Birds and animals are attracted to the ripening seeds. It ‘s a guilty pleasure to watch these animals enjoy my flowers. It is an education for children to spot different species of wildlife.

It ‘s ideal to decide whether to harvest or not. The seeds are ready for harvest.

Stage 8 Harvesting.

105 to 125 days.

The seeds are ripe for harvest.

The sunflowers head starts to droop and turn brown at this stage. If you have decided to harvest the seeds for feeding your pets, or yourself, or to store for winter feed for the wildlife, this is a good time to do so. You can cut the stem below the sunflowers head and store it in a dry place away from animals and wildlife.

If you have grown your sunflowers for the wildlife to enjoy and a nifty creature has n’t eaten all of the fallen seeds, then maybe the seeds might nestle in the undergrowth where they stay dormant for the winter.

After the warmth of the following spring, the seeds wake up and start to grow, and we can once again marvel at the 8 wonderful stages of sunflowers growth.

The growth chart shows the time period.

A quick reference guide for you can be found in the chart below. I hope it helps with the growth chart.

My conclusion.

I hope this has helped you, as it has been for me to write it. Sometimes I take for granted the beauty of mother nature as I enjoy the fruits of my labour. She nurtures the seeds I plant at the beginning of the spring.

Writing this has made me think about how my sunflowers grow. They use every opportunity to get the best from their environment without impacting on it. They give back what their growth has produced at the end of their timelines.

Questions that are related.

It takes an annual giant sunflowers about 120 to 180 days to bloom. The condition you grow them in can vary from one world to another.

If the seeds come from the same plant, no two sunflowers are the same. If you want to know when sunflowers will bloom in your area, then check out our table.

How much does a plant grow in a week ? Their development is dependent on the condition you grow them in and the care they are given. It is interesting to measure the growth of your own sunflower week by week because they are fast growing.

The packet on your seeds should tell you how tall the sunflowers will grow. Divide the height of the plant by the average growth per month to allow for a month at the end when it no longer grows or just blooms.

For a 5 month growing period from planting to the start of bloom, you can expect a 6 foot variety of sunflowers to grow up to 20 cm per month. Divide by 4 to arrive at the weekly growth of the sunflowers.

The tall single giant headed varieties bloom in the late summer and last for 2 to 3 weeks. The smaller and multi headed varieties can bloom at the beginning of summer if deadheaded regularly.

All illustrations by Pamela-Anne are her property.

Category: Flower

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