Do Sunflowers Transplant Well – Learn About Moving Sunflower Plants

Woman Holding An Uprooted Sunflower Plant And A Small Pot
transplant sunflower
(Image credit: wojciech_gajda)

Growing sunflowers in your landscape provides big yellow blooms that simply shout summer. Birds flock to the mature plants to enjoy the seeds, so you can use it as part of a plot planted to attract birds, bees, and other pollinators. Do sunflowers transplant well though and should you move them at all? Read on to learn more.

Do Sunflowers Transplant Well?

Put sunflowers in their permanent location when planting. Due to their taproot, moving plants is not advisable. It is nearly impossible to move growing plants with taproots once active growth has started.

Can you transplant sunflowers from a starting pot? If you want to get started early growing this plant, you may grow from seed in a container. Transplanting sunflower seedlings shortly after sprouting is the best practice.

Tips for Moving Sunflower Plants

Since the seeds are large, grow quickly, and have a long taproot, moving sunflower plants from the sprouting container into the ground can be tricky. Do this less than three weeks after planting or as soon as you see leaves developing. If you leave plants in the starting container too long, growth of the long taproot may be stunted.

The best way to grow sunflowers is by planting seeds directly into the ground when soil has warmed and frost danger is passed. If for some reason you must start sunflowers in containers, use pots that are biodegradable and remove them as you’re putting the plant into a hole. Make sure dirt is loosened several inches (8 cm.) underneath to provide room for the taproot to grow.

If you buy a growing sunflower in a pot, look closely to make sure top growth appears healthy and, if you can, take a look at the roots. Don’t purchase this plant if it appears rootbound.

If you want to grow sunflowers in a container, choose a pot that is deep and possibly a dwarf variety of the plant. Sources say a one to two gallon pot is big enough for a dwarf plant and that the mammoth types need at least a five gallon container. Sunflowers growing in a container will likely need staking too.

So, do sunflowers transplant well? Answer: in most cases, not so well. Only attempt to transplant those you’ve started from seed and do that as quickly as the plant allows.

Becca Badgett

Becca Badgett was a regular contributor to Gardening Know How for ten years. Co-author of the book How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden, Becca specializes in succulent and cactus gardening.