Watering Sunflowers: 19 Important Things You Need to Know

If you’re new to watering sunflowers, then you’re in the best place.

In this article, you will learn everything about it, for example, what time of the day you should water sunflowers, what time of the day you should do it, or what are the signs that your sunflowers need to be watered.

1. How Often Should You Water Sunflowers?

The frequency of watering sunflowers depends mostly on the weather conditions. However, on average, you should water your sunflowers 2-4 times per week and keep the top layer of soil wet.

If you live in a place with drought-like conditions, where rainfall is rare, your sunflowers will dry up pretty quickly. In that case, you should consider watering sunflowers about 4 times a week.

If you live in a humid area where rainfalls are pretty frequent, and the temperature isn’t too high, watering sunflowers 2-3 times a week will be enough.

However, when it comes to the frequency of waterings, you should use your common sense and every other day check if the top layer of soil isn’t dry. If it’s dry inch down, you should water your sunflowers. Ideally, you should keep the top layer of soil wet all the time.

You don’t need to water your sunflowers if rainfall is keeping the soil moist.

2. How Should Sunflowers be Watered?

You should water your sunflowers with a sprinkle hose or a watering can. Water your plants deeply, to the point when the top layer of soil is wet, but don’t let the flowers sit in the puddle.

Watering your sunflowers with a sprinkle hose (if you don’t have one, this one from Amazon is really good) or watering can ensure that you don’t leach the roots, and don’t affect the growth of your sunflowers.

In order to ensure that water reaches the wider root system, widen the area of watering up to around 6-12 inches (15-30 cm) around the plant.

Water your sunflowers until the moment when you see the ground has problems absorbing water, and the puddle starts to form. A small puddle isn’t a problem, because the ground will quickly absorb it, but if it’s bigger, and persists for a longer time-at least 10 hours, it might negatively impact your sunflower health, or kill it.

3. Can You Overwater a Sunflower?

You can easily overwater a sunflower, by watering it so much that it sits in the puddle for more than a day. If you do so, the roots can become soaked and soggy, which leads to disease, root rot, pests, and mold that can ultimately kill your sunflower.

If you don’t want to overwater a sunflower, make sure that water doesn’t appear on the surface of the soil. It will prevent diseases, and root rot. Sunflowers thrive in wet, but not overwatered soil.

Sometimes rainfall can also overwater a sunflower. If you notice the puddle sitting for more than 24 hours, there can be a problem with inadequate soil drainage. In that case, you should consider transplanting your sunflower to a different location.

4. What are the Signs of Overwatering Sunflowers?

The most common signs of overwater sunflowers might be yellow leaves, rooting or brown stem, and wilting plant.

These are the most popular signs, but sometimes it’s easy to confuse overwatering with other problems.

Yellow leaves might also be the reason behind underwatering. The best way to differentiate both problems is to look at leaf consistency. If the yellow leaf is crispy when you hold it, it might be because of underwatering. However, if the leaf is soft and limp in your hand, it’s because of overwatering.

If your sunflower is wilting, but it looks like it has plenty of water, then you might be sure that it’s because of overwatering. Soil that is constantly wet won’t have enough air pockets and plants will not be able to breathe by taking up oxygen with their roots. When this occurs, your plants will wilt, giving the appearance of too little water, even though the soil is wet.

In many cases, you can also experience leaf fall.

5. How Do You Save an Overwatered Sunflower?

If you’ve overwatered a sunflower, reviving it isn’t easy, and depending on the advancement of the problem, sometimes it can be impossible to rejuvenate the plant. However, you can try to do the following steps.

  1. Carefully dig up an overwatered sunflower.
  2. Gently remove the soil from the roots.
  3. Use sharp clippers to remove any damaged roots.
  4. Set the plant on a baking rack.
  5. Let the sunflower dry out for 1-2 hours.
  6. Replant the sunflower to mulched soil with proper drainage.

You can successfully save an overwatered sunflower if most roots are intact. If most roots are rotten, the chances of success are low. Also, if lots of fungus or mold appeared on your overwatered plant, it will certainly lower your chance of a successful rescue process.

6. How Long Can Sunflowers Go Without Water?

Up to 20 days after planting, when sunflowers are in the germination, and leaf development phase, they can’t go more than 4-5 days without water. When they’re in the flowering phase, they can go without water, even up to 20 days.

How long the sunflower goes without water depends mostly on the stage of its development.

The first stage is germination and establishment of seedlings. It usually lasts up to 15 days. During this time, your sunflower will not last more than 5 days without water. Because of its very small roots, such a small sunflower isn’t able to incept water from the ground, and it will die quickly. If you don’t want to kill your plant, make sure to water it every day or every other day.

The next phase is leaf development. It lasts another 30 days. During this phase, leaves and roots are developing. Because of that, a sunflower can last without water longer-usually up to 8 days in the beginning, and up to 10 days at the end of this stage.

In the flowerbud phase, the roots are bigger, and after about 1,5 months after planting the seeds, it can last about 15 days without water.

When the sunflower is flowering, its roots are strong enough to cope for up to 20 days without showing any sign of stress.

So, if you forgot to water your sunflowers, you know that they don’t die so fast. However, if you want to keep your plants thriving and in good health, water them regularly and keep the soil wet.

7. Do Sunflowers Like Wet Soil?

Sunflowers prefer wet soil, and they grow best in soil that is moist, but not overwatered. Wet soil is especially important when their roots aren’t fully developed. In the flowering phase, when they’re about 20 inches (60 cm) tall, they don’t need frequent waterings, as they can incept water from the ground.

Because of that, it’s recommended to water them a few times per week deeply, without letting them sit in a puddle.

In too dry, as well as in soggy conditions, sunflowers tend to die quickly. Wet soil is the best for them.

8. How Much Water Do Sunflowers Need per Day?

Considering that sunflowers need 2 gallons (about 7,5 liters) of water per week, it means that on average they need about 0,26 gallons (about 1 liter) of water per day. However, it’s an average number and daily watering isn’t recommended.

You should water your sunflowers about 3 times per week. In that case, with every watering, you should use about 0,7 gallons (2,5 liters) of water per sunflower.

However, because of rainfalls, in most cases, you will need to use less water than it’s required. The most important thing to know is to use enough water to keep the soil wet, without letting the puddles sit on top of the soil.

9. How Much Water Do Sunflowers Need per Week?

Sunflowers need about 2 gallons (about 7,5 liters) of water per week to ensure healthy growth and prevent weak stems and other issues. Watering sunflowers 3 times a week means that one sunflower needs about 0,7 gallons (2,5 liters) of water per one watering.

Keep in mind that these numbers relate to watering sunflowers when there is no rainfall. The equivalent of rainfall per week is around 1-1.5 inches (2.5 – 4 cm), so you should adjust the amount of water to rainfalls. There will be weeks when you won’t have to water your sunflowers at all, because of rain, and there will be weeks when you will have to use 2 gallons of water.

When it comes to watering sunflower seedlings, there is no exact amount of water. In that case, you should use your common sense. Water them every 1-2 days, and just keep the soil wet.

10. How Do You Know When Sunflowers Need Water?

To find out that sunflowers need water, you need to inspect their soil. If it’s dry on the surface, and 1-2 inches down (2,5-5 cm), it means they need to be watered.

Sunflowers might be dry on the surface, but it doesn’t mean they need water. It’s best to check how wet they are by sticking your index finger 1-2 inches (2,5-5 cm) down into the growing medium.

If you find out that the growing medium is wet, you don’t have to water them. However, if the growing medium seems dry, it’s time to water your plants.

If your sunflowers are below 24 inches (60 cm), you should check the dryness of the soil every 2-3 days. If your sunflowers are in the flowering stage, they don’t need to be watered that often, so you can check the dryness of the soil once or twice a week.

When it comes to watering seedlings, you should water your plants as soon as you see the surface is not wet anymore.

11. How Many Times a Week Do You Water Sunflower?

The frequency of watering sunflowers depends mostly on the stage of growth. Below, you can see the table on how many times a week you should water your sunflower according to the growth stage.

Stage of GrowthNumber of Waterings per Week
1. Germination and establishment of seeds7
2. Leaf development4
3. Flowerbud 3
4. Flowering3
5. Seed development1

A lot depends on the weather, and these numbers can be adjusted to the rainfall and droughtiness. If the weather is hot, and without rain, you might have to water your flower one more time than it’s recommended in the table above.

If it’s rainy, sometimes you can water your sunflowers less than at the table, or you won’t have to do it at all.

Remember that these numbers are average. The best indicator if your sunflower needs water is a soil check. Dry soil, 1-2 inches down (2,5-5 cm), means that a sunflower needs water.

12. Do You Water Sunflower Seeds After Planting?

After planting your sunflower seeds, it’s recommended to water them deeply until the soil is wet, but not soggy. You should maintain wet soil all the time by watering your seeds daily for the next 10 days until the germination phase.

Sunflower seeds don’t have roots, so they won’t incept water easily from the ground. They also contain large amounts of natural oil, so they need light and frequent waterings.

Keep the soil wet, but don’t overwater it, because you might kill your plants. Wet soil ensures healthy and steady growth.

Water your sunflower seeds with a watering can with a rose.

Alternatively, you can cover your pots with clear plastic wrap to keep in moisture.

Also, if you plant sunflowers in pots or containers, read this article to learn everything you need to know about growing sunflowers in pots.

13. How to Water Sunflower Seeds?

There are a few things you should know about watering sunflower seeds.

  • Water your sunflower seeds with a watering can.
  • Water the ground daily.
  • Keep the soil wet, but not let it sit in a puddle.
  • Give your sunflowers about 2 gallons (7.6 L) of water a week until germination occurs.

Watering sunflower seeds is a very important thing. If you don’t it correctly, your sunflowers will have thin, weak stems that won’t hold the heavy flower head upright.

14. How Often are You Supposed to Water Sunflower Seeds?

You should water your sunflower seeds once or twice a day to keep the soil wet all the time. Use about 0,26 gallons (1 liter) of water a day. This will guarantee healthy growth and prevent future problems with weak stems.

For example, water your seeds in the morning and in the evening. In that case, use 0,13 gallons (0,5 liter) of water per one watering.

You should do it for about 10 days until the germination phase begins. If you want to know how often to water your sunflower in the next stages, scroll up to the 11th headline.

15. What Time Should You Water Sunflowers?

The best time of the day to water sunflowers is in the morning, as the plant has time to dry before the sun goes down. At night, water tends to rest in the soil, around the roots, and on the foliage, which encourages rot, fungal growth, and insects.

Watering a sunflower in the morning prepares the plant for the day to come. More importantly, watering in the morning actually helps the plant retain water.

If you water in the afternoon, especially during summer, the heat and sun are at their peak and the plant’s water will evaporate instead of absorbing into the soil and roots

16. How Often Should You Water Sunflower Sprouts?

You should water sunflower sprouts about 4-5 times a week and not let the top layer of soil dry out.

Sunflower sprouts don’t need as frequent waterings as seeds, but their roots aren’t fully developed yet, so they need to be watered pretty frequently.

4 times a week is enough. If the weather is hot and without rain, you can consider watering them 5 times a week.

The rule is simple-water them until the wet is soil, but not soggy if you don’t want to harm the root and let your young plants die.

17. Can You Water Sunflower Leaves?

Watering sunflower leaves isn’t recommended. Not only will you end up wasting water, but it can also cause your plants to have weaker independence and be more susceptible to disease from being watered so frequently.

Your sunflower will do best if you water only its soil. That way, you hydrate the root, which distributes the water to the entire plant.

If the leaves look wilting, it’s not the reason to water them. There might be many other reasons for wilting leaves, like fungal infection, pest presence, or even too little watering.

Of course, occasional leave watering will not harm your sunflower, but doing so on regular basis can cause more harm than good.

18. Can You Water Sunflowers in the Sun?

Generally, you shouldn’t water sunflowers in the sun, because it is not water efficient–as much of it will evaporate before entering the soil. The best time to water your plants is in the morning.

In the current hot breezy weather, it is probably best to water in the early morning.

Alternatively, you can water sunflowers in the early evening to give your plants time to dry out before the night, because at night, excessive water tends to rest in the soil which in the long run might rot the root.

19. When to Stop Watering Sunflowers?

You should water your sunflower throughout all of its lifespan. However, if it’s in the last growth stage-seed development, you can stop watering them once all the seeds are fully grown.

When the seeds are fully grown, it means that pretty soon your sunflower will be dead. Thus, there is no need to water the plant.

You can even stop watering a sunflower a bit earlier, once the seeds are visible, but not fully grown yet. A sunflower at that stage will easily last 20 days without water, and if there is rainfall, you can be 100% sure that you will reap the benefits and harvest a sunflower head with all the seeds.


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