No matter what kind of plants you are growing, indoors or out, you’ll have to get a lot right if you want to see them grow big and strong. One of the most important resources for any plant, of course, is water.
But you cannot give plants too much water or you might wind up hurting them worse than not giving them enough.
Let’s look at sunflowers, for instance. These huge, sun-loving flowers are incredibly impressive, but how much water do they need?
Sunflowers that need about an inch of water every single week, though more water might be necessary in dry conditions. More frequent watering will promote higher quality and larger blooms, but you should also let the topsoil dry out between waterings.
Some people think they’re ostentatious, but there is hardly anything I love more than seeing a stand of massive, sun following sunflowers throughout the summer and into early fall.
If you can keep them up right, these plants are surprisingly hardy, but you’ll need to nail those water requirements to get there. I’ll tell you more down below.
What’s the Best Time to Water Sunflowers?
You can water your sunflowers any time of day if they need water. But, you should only water sunflowers periodically, and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
The worst thing you can do to sunflowers is to water them regularly enough to keep the soil moist around the clock. That will lead to diseases and poor health overall.
The easiest way to know it is time to water is to check is to test the top couple of inches of soil where they are planted: if the topsoil feels dry, it’s time to water. If it feels moist, leave them alone.
Sunflowers can tolerate dry conditions, but not true drought
How Much Water Do Sunflowers Need Per Week?
Sunflowers usually need about 1 inch of water a week, although some varieties can do with around 2 inches if they are in very arid conditions.
Again, you should be very cautious about over-watering. Keeping the soil moist, or swampy will likely harm your sunflowers.
How Often Should You Water Sunflowers?
You should typically water your sunflowers twice a week, though some might only need watering once per week depending on your soil conditions and climate.
Remember, the key with sunflowers is to let the soil dry out between waterings.
Give them enough water to hydrate them and keep them alive, and then leave them alone until the soil dries out, or at least the first couple of inches of soil dries out.
Don’t fall into the trap of giving them water daily or you will slowly, and surely, harm their health. This is especially likely for new sunflower growers who worry over them during very hot conditions.
Everything you need to know is in the name: they love the sun and heat!
Do Sunflowers Like Wet Soil?
No! Sunflowers want water when they need it, but no other time. The soil should not be kept continuously moist, or else you’re going to open up your sunflowers to disease.
Water them, and then let the soil dry out before watering them again.
Can Sunflowers be Overwatered?
Absolutely, yes. No sunflower likes soil that is constantly wet. Lots of sun, and generally dry conditions are what they want to thrive.
What are Some Problems Associated with Overwatering Sunflower?
Sunflowers that are kept in soil that is too moist will quickly begin to droop and wilt, and most cultivars are highly vulnerable to root rot. Even watering your sunflowers too much in one go can lead to them drooping.
This can be a major problem for people who are trying to grow sunflowers in areas they get even a nominal amount of precipitation.
Sunflowers are native to areas that get tons of sun and relatively little rain, and specially areas that don’t get hard, soaking rains very often.
If you have your sunflowers in containers, try to move them to keep them from getting too much rainwater. In all other cases, if your plants get rain periodically you probably won’t need to water them at all.
I don’t say this lightly: your sunflowers can potentially die if they get severely overwatered even one time!
How Will You Know if Sunflowers Aren’t Getting Enough Water?
On the other hand, sunflowers, like all plants, still need water. The issue with them is that a droopy bloom is a symptom of both too much water and not enough.
The solution, as always, is to just check the soil. If the soil seems moist at all, assume that they have had too much water. If the soil is bone dry, and has been for some time, they probably need water.
Also, pay attention to the leaves and not just the head, because if the leaves are starting to curl up, they probably need to be watered.
And, don’t rule out a false positive on either: Sunflowers get very tall and those big, bright, beautiful blooms can get very heavy, leading to them naturally drooping.
Expect taller sunflowers to need support, but if they are supported and still drooping, check the soil as described above and act accordingly.
How Often Should You Water Sunflowers in Pots?
If you were growing your sunflowers in containers you must follow all of the guidelines outlined above, and take special care to ensure that the soil will still drain completely even though it’s in a container.
A container that holds on to too much moisture, even if it’s just a little, might adversely affect the health of your sunflowers.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that you need to take special precaution to ensure your containers are stable.
As mentioned above sunflowers are notoriously top-heavy and can easily topple over if you have a container that is too narrow to support it, particularly if it will receive any wind at all!
Tom has lived and worked on farms and homesteads from the Carolinas to Kentucky and beyond. He is passionate about helping people prepare for tough times by embracing lifestyles of self-sufficiency.