Dwarf Sunflowers: Everything You Need To Know About These Dwarves (2023)

Dwarf Sunflowers: Everything You Need To Know About These Dwarves (1)

Dwarf sunflowers are miniature counterparts of the tall garden sunflower (Helianthus annuus), preferred for small height and spectacular blossoms. They appear in various colors, including yellow, orange, pink, and red, and the flowers are frequently multicolored.

These flowers can be single or double, and stem length and size vary, some of them make excellent cut flowers. In this post, we’ll lay out everything to know about Dwarf Sunflowers, from how to grow dwarf sunflowers and their care, continue reading to find out more.


  • What Are Dwarf Sunflowers?
  • Dwarf Sunflowers Care
    • – Water Requirements
    • – Light Requirements
    • – Soil Requirements
    • – Temperature Requirements
    • – Humidity Requirements
    • – Fertilization Requirements
    • – Pruning Requirements
  • Propagation
    • – Propagation By Stem
    • – Propagation By Seed
  • Problems
    • – Diseases
    • – Pests
  • Frequently Asked Questions
    • – How Long Do Dwarf Sunflowers Last?
    • – How Long Do Dwarf Sunflowers Take To Grow?
    • – Do Dwarf Sunflowers Rebloom?
    • – How Tall Do Dwarf Sunflowers Get?
    • – Where Are the Best Growing Zones And Conditions for Dwarf Sunflowers?
  • Conclusion

What Are Dwarf Sunflowers?

Dwarf sunflowers are small variants of their larger counterparts. They may be small, but they produce beautiful vivid yellow blooms. The bloom heads are a few inches in diameter and reach a height of three feet. Nonetheless, they have the same appearance as regular sunflowers, with the exception of their height.

Dwarf Sunflowers Care

– Water Requirements

Sunflowers need a tiny bit of water, however, plants growing in containers will require more frequent watering as their water dries up a little quicker, but again the water needed is a tiny bit.

These tiny flowers can withstand drought, but they thrive in soil that is kept moist. It’s essential to keep the soil moisturized (but not soggy) during the first several weeks of growth. Sunflowers that bloom quickly need to be kept moist to flower correctly.

– Light Requirements

Dwarf Sunflowers: Everything You Need To Know About These Dwarves (2)

These plants require between six to eight hours of sun per day to thrive. After all, the word “sun” isn’t in their name by accident! When shorter time under the sunlight is spent, it will allow them to survive, but the plants will grow less vivid.

– Soil Requirements

Light, nutrient-rich, and well-drained soil are ideal for sunflower plants. When planting in pots, make sure the bottom has drainage holes.

(Video) Growing Dwarf Sunflowers | Sunflowers 'Helios'

Additionally, their root systems are shorter and have more fibers than other varieties, indicating that they will not grow as far into the soil as different types.

– Temperature Requirements

During the day, growing at 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 27 degrees Celsius), and at night, at 50 to 60degree Fahrenheit (10 to 16 degrees Celsius). Warmer temperatures can lead dwarf sunflowers to stretch, whereas cooler temperatures can cause them to shrink even more.

– Humidity Requirements

Sunflowers thrive in low-water environments and are typically drought tolerant. They can still withstand extreme humidity, but they need well-draining soil and excellent air circulation to avoid root rot and other diseases.

– Fertilization Requirements

To preserve the plant, and keep it healthy and happy, use a slow-release, well-balanced fertilizer now and then. Add compost or other nutrients to the soil regularly. To keep them looking their best, pinch off yellow or brown leaves.

Sunflowers rarely ever require fertilization because flower blossoms are hampered by excess nitrogen.

– Pruning Requirements

To grow many stems with plenty of flowers, you need to prune dwarf sunflowers on a regular basis.

  1. After they’ve grown four to six inches tall, pull back dwarf sunflowers a little above the first or second leaf set. Pinch with your fingers, or use small clippers or scissors.
  2. Pinch back new growth when it has grown an additional two to four inches, just above a leaf set, around one or two inches. Continue doing this until your plant has bushy and between 12 and 18 inches tall. Stop pruning your dwarf sunflower so that it can produce a large number of blossoms.
  3. After the foliage dies back, trim dwarf sunflowers to the ground. They are hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones four to nine. This form of pruning can be done in the late fall or early winter, or you could just wait until the new growth starts in late winter or early spring.


Dwarf sunflowers can be propagated both through cuttings and through direct seeding. Read on to learn which method might be better suited for you, and see your sunflowers prosper and increase.

– Propagation By Stem

Softwood cuttings obtained before the current season’s growth has developed and hardened are the best way to reproduce dwarf sunflowers. Although the optimal time to collect softwood cuttings is in the spring, they can be gathered at any time of year with varying success.

Because flowers divert a plant’s energy away from roots, cuttings must be obtained before the plant blooms fully.

Dwarf sunflowers’ center stem rarely makes for a viable cutting, thus propagation material should be taken from the more strong and succulent lateral branches. A stem that is 4 to 6 inches long and has mature leaves but no buds or flowers will root better and create a more shapely plant.

Remove all but two terminal leaves and clip off the top half by an inch of the cutting, in order to remove any nascent flower buds and prevent moisture loss through evaporation. Rooting hormones are not required for sunflower cuttings to root properly, though it may accelerate the process.

(Video) How to grow dwarf sunflowers at home | Growing sunflowers in pots

If preferred, dust the leafless portion of the stem with industrial rooting hormone talc and tap the stem to remove any excess powder.

With the leafless section of the stem underneath the surface, pot the clipping in a sterile medium such as a half-sand, half-peat moss mix. Preserve light moisture in the medium by keeping it warm and moderately shaded. Covering the plant with a large clear plastic bag will help with roots.

In two to four weeks, gently tug the cutting to feel for movement, and if it doesn’t move, it has rooted.

– Propagation By Seed

If you plan on sowing dwarf sunflowers directly from seed, after the last frost, sow the seeds in groups of three to four, half an inch deep. Once the real leaves start to appear, thin this arrangement down to one plant.

If you wish to transplant seeds, sow one seed in every six-inch container or three seeds in each gallon container. Make sure you do this three to four weeks before planting out. Darf sunflowers do not like root disruption. Wait for three to four true leaves to develop before transplanting the seedlings to beds.


– Diseases

Sunflowers are occasionally impacted by illness, but it is not frequent. These plants are typically quite hardy. Leaf spot, which forms yellow areas on the leaf surface, might occur occasionally, but it is uncommon. Mildew and rot can be a concern sometimes, but not very often.

Sclerotinia stem rot, popularly known as white mold, is the most severe threat to sunflowers. These fungi can cause sudden leaf wilting, stem cankers, and root or head rot. Plant rotation, combined with proper watering procedures, can reduce the risk of this disease occurring.

– Pests

There aren’t many pests that afflict small sunflowers since there aren’t many illnesses, but those cause havoc in droves. The following are the most common hazards to sunflowers:

– Sunflower Beetles

Sunflower beetles mainly feed on the foliage of sunflowers and do not harm older plants. The early leaves of young sunflower plants, on the other hand, can be damaged or destroyed by these pesky beetles.

Sunflower beetles are easily distinguishable. They are brown-red rounded beetles. They also have creamy reddish-brown red stripes on their wings. The larvae have green bodies that are circular. These pests are only found in North America and are the most severe threat to sunflowers.

– Sunflower Borers And Stem Maggots.

These pests can feed on sunflower stems by burrowing through them. This can quickly deplete the plant’s foliage and other flower parts.

(Video) How to Grow Dwarf Sunflowers from Seed to Flower (Complete Process)

– Caterpillars

Sunflowers are a favorite food of the Vanessa cardui caterpillar’s larvae. Although the damage is usually minor and does not require treatment, it is helpful to know what is feeding on your prized plants and reassure yourself that it is nothing evil; they are simply beautiful insects.

Frequently Asked Questions

– How Long Do Dwarf Sunflowers Last?

USDA plant hardiness zones two to eleven are ideal for dwarf sunflowers. These plants bloom from summer to early fall in these growing zones. You can even plant some later in the growing season to ensure a steady supply of blooms.

– How Long Do Dwarf Sunflowers Take To Grow?

Water thoroughly only every so often to encourage the development of a deep root system as your plant matures, which takes around 85 to 95 days for most sunflower kinds. Usually, watering once per week is enough; just ensure that the water does not pool in the soil.

– Do Dwarf Sunflowers Rebloom?

Dwarf sunflowers are comparable to full-size sunflowers, except depending on the type, they may produce numerous flowers per stalk. They are annual flowers that die after blooming.

– How Tall Do Dwarf Sunflowers Get?

Dwarf sunflowers are ideal for growing in pots, either alone or in combination with other types, or in the garden, where they will grow a little taller. Depending on the type and growth conditions, the average height is six to 42 inches.

– Where Are the Best Growing Zones And Conditions for Dwarf Sunflowers?

The USDA plant hardiness zones two to 11 are ideal for dwarf sunflowers. They blossom from summer to early fall in these growing zones. You can even plant some later in the growing season to ensure a steady supply of blooms. Keep these sunflowers clear of the wind if at all possible.


Dwarf Sunflowers: Everything You Need To Know About These Dwarves (3)Sunflowers are charming plants, and if properly planted and cared for, they will make a lovely addition to your outdoor environment. Here’s what we covered throughout the article:

  • Dwarf sunflowers are an excellent choice of sunflowers to add to your collection because they bring you vibrant colors without being stalky and taking up too much space.
  • Most of these flowers only grow to be one to three feet tall.
  • You may grow them indoors or outdoors in pots, provided they get adequate sunlight.
  • There are many varieties of tiny sunflowers for you to choose from.

Now that you’re loaded with all this information on sunflowers, it’s time to plant your first dwarf sunflower plant. Good Luck!

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How tall do dwarf sunflowers grow? ›

Slender sunflower or dwarf sunflower is a tufted perennial with groups of stems rising only 1 ft. in height. Its leaves are lance-shaped and the 2 in., yellow, daisy-like flowers occur in profusion on long stalks.

How often do you water dwarf sunflowers? ›

Light and Water

Water deeply once a week, but if the leaves on your plant appear droopy, it's a sign that you may be overwatering. Sunflowers need good drainage, so if the problem persists even after you cut back on watering, consider repotting the plant with a faster-draining soil mix.

How long do dwarf sunflowers last? ›

– How Long Do Dwarf Sunflowers Last? USDA plant hardiness zones two to eleven are ideal for dwarf sunflowers. These plants bloom from summer to early fall in these growing zones. You can even plant some later in the growing season to ensure a steady supply of blooms.

Do dwarf sunflowers have multiple heads? ›

Scientific Name: Helianthus annuus

Suntastic Yellow is one of the dwarf sunflowers that has multiple stems shooting from a strong stalk, producing multiple flower heads on each stem. Each plant grows about 20 flowers. It produces flowers multiple times in a growing season.

How fast do dwarf sunflowers grow? ›

Sunflowers have a reputation for hardiness, handily tolerating heat and pests alike; in moderate temperatures, dwarf varieties can reach germination in about seven to 14 days and will provide continual blooms throughout the summer — a suitably small turnaround for a wonderfully small sunflower.

Do dwarf sunflowers bloom more than once? ›

Dwarf sunflowers (Helianthus annuus hybrids) are similar to full-size sunflowers, although they may produce multiple flowers per stem, depending on the cultivar. They are annuals that die after they bloom.

Do you cut dead flowers off dwarf sunflowers? ›

If you want a longer flowering season, plan to deadhead sunflowers. Cutting back the spent blooms encourages new flower shoots to grow. What is this? If you'd prefer to have sunflower seeds for roasting or future planting, do not cut the spent sunflower heads until they are dry and brown.

Why is my dwarf sunflower dying? ›

Usually the reasons for sunflowers dying are because of root rot due to overwatering and slow draining soils or a lack of sun. Sunflowers need well draining soil and 6-8 hours of sun. If the soil is consistently damp, the leaves turn yellow with a drooping, dying appearance.

What does an overwatered sunflower look like? ›

Yellow Leaves – Oftentimes yellow sunflower leaves mean your sunflower is overwatered or dealing with poor drainage. If the plant gets too much water from rain or watering, the leaves may turn yellow. Yellow leaves may also indicate a nitrogen deficiency.

Do dwarf sunflowers spread? ›

Since their habit of growth is bushier than other sunflower varieties, they are ideal for pots and containers. It's important to ensure that the container is large enough for the plant to spread.

Do sunflowers grow back after cutting? ›

Yes, it is possible for sunflowers to grow back. If a sunflower variety is a perennial, it will naturally return and blossom again the following year. Annual varieties must be replanted every year.

Can you grow dwarf sunflowers in pots? ›

Plant one dwarf sunflower seed per six-inch pot, or three in a one-gallon pot. Make sure the plants receive full sun outdoors or significant light indoors. Plant in well-draining soil. Place pots where they're protected from strong winds.

Should I cut off dead mini sunflower heads? ›

To prevent reseeding, remove spent sunflower heads before they go to seed. Alternatively, leave the flowers on the plant if you'd like to collect seeds for future planting or to save as food for wildlife. Frequent deadheading results in healthy, full sunflower plants.

How long do sunflower plants live? ›

Your seeds should be ready to harvest within 110 to 125 days after you planted the flower. This means that if you planted your seeds in May, your sunflower will die in early or mid-August and you should have ready-to-harvest seeds in late-August or September.

Do dwarf sunflowers follow the sun? ›

Although popular culture has embraced the myth that sunflowers always follow the sun, this is inaccurate. Only young flowers “move” to face it throughout the day. Once they reach maturity, they stop sun-tracking—their blooms forever turned eastward.

How tall do sunflowers grow in 2 weeks? ›

Sunflowers can grow from 2 to 2.5 inches (from 5 to 6.25 cm) per week and take from 85 to 95 days to mature. Depending on the variety, sunflowers may grow at that rate until they are up to 16 feet tall. However, the growth rate and success of your sunflowers depend on good husbandry and many other factors.

How much space do dwarf sunflowers need? ›

Branching dwarf sunflowers – Space plants 12 to 18 inches apart, or grow one plant in 3 gallon pot, or 3 plants in a 7 gallon pot. Giant sunflowers – Space plants 18 to 24 inches apart or grow one plant in a 10 to 15 gallon pot.

Do dwarf sunflowers transplant well? ›

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.

Do dwarf sunflowers come back every year? ›

Are sunflowers annuals or perennials? While most varieties of this bright beauty are annual sunflowers, meaning they will not come back the following growing season, they may self-germinate from dropped seeds if you leave the heads on the plants throughout the winter.

Do sunflowers need watered every day? ›

Sunflowers do not need daily water. Daily watering can actually be detrimental to the health of your sunflowers. This is because they love the sun, as their name implies, and they do not do well in shady, wet conditions. Instead, plan to water your sunflowers 1–2 times per week to keep them alive.

What do I do with a dead sunflower? ›

When it has run the course of its' life, dried sunflower heads make tasty bird feeders in the winter. Harvest and roast the seeds and sprinkle on salads or enjoy as a healthy, tasty snack.

How long do potted sunflowers last? ›

They produce a happy yellow flower on a short dwarf stalk. The plant will grow 12-15 inches tall in a container but the bloom is a whopping 5 inches across. They bloom in the summer, work for the container or the garden, and when cut, will last in a vase up to two weeks.

How do you keep potted sunflowers alive? ›

Sunflowers need regular watering to keep them healthy. They put on lots of growth in a short time, and water is a key element to supporting this (along with sunlight and good soil). If you're not sure how often to water sunflowers, the best approach is to check the compost in your sunflower pots regularly.

How do you keep sunflowers alive? ›

Add 1 teaspoon of sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and/or 1 tablespoon of vinegar to the water to keep your flowers looking vibrant and healthy. This helps delay sunflowers from wilting. Make sure your sunflowers are not exposed to direct sunlight, cool drafts or heat.

How do you keep dwarf sunflowers blooming? ›

Sunflowers require a moderate amount of water. If grown in containers, you'll have to sprinkle the plants a lot more regularly. To guarantee that your plant flowers often, an adequate water supply is crucial. Use a slow-release, well-balanced fertilizer from time to time to keep the plant healthy and balanced.

Why do sunflowers droop at night? ›

The reason it does this is because of a plant behavior called phototropism. Simply put, phototropism is the growth of a plant in response to a light stimulus. A phenomenon mostly observed in plants but also a behavior exhibited by some fungi (just in case you're a fungi fan like me 🍄).

Do sunflowers represent death? ›


A common sight at any church or funeral, sunflowers are another popular funeral flower. They symbolize the light that the deceased person has brought to people close to them while they were alive.

What animal eats sunflower plants? ›

Squirrels And Birds Eating Sunflower Blooms: Protecting Sunflowers From Birds And Squirrels. If you have ever fed wild birds, you know they love sunflower seeds. Squirrels, too, compete with birds at feeders and generally make a nuisance of themselves.

Do sunflowers close at night? ›

Some people believe sunflowers close at night. This isn't true. Mature sunflowers do nothing at night, or in fact during the day. They simply stand still.

How do you make dwarf sunflower bushy? ›

To create bushy sunflowers, pinch out the growing tips of the plants (the cluster of leaves at the top of the plant). The plants will respond by putting out lots of flower-bearing side shoots. For tall sunflowers, pinch out the tips when the plants reach 20cm (8in) tall.

What kind of bugs eat sunflower leaves? ›

If the leaves of your sunflower are being eaten at night, cutworms are the culprits since they hide in the soil during the day. Other common sunflower leaf-eating pests include beetles, grasshoppers, moths, aphids, caterpillars, slugs and snails, and leafcutter bees.

Can you save a dead sunflower? ›

Depending on how severe the symptoms are for the sunflower and the cause of its problems, you might be able to save the plant before it is too late. Sunflowers that die of natural causes can be safely placed in a compost bin and repurposed, but diseased sunflowers should be discarded.

Can potted sunflowers survive indoors? ›

Sunflowers can be grown in pots or sown directly into the ground. They can be started off indoors in early spring and will grow quite happily on a window sill for a time.

Do sunflowers in pots need feeding? ›

Sunflowers grown in a good quality compost/potting mix may not need additional fertilisation. What is this? However, to keep your flowers as healthy as possible and get them to grow to maximum size, you should consider feeding your pot-grown plants with a potassium-rich liquid plant feed.

Why has my sunflower got multiple heads? ›

Sunflowers can grow multiple heads due to genetics or as an adaptation response. Multiple flower heads are most commonly found in the non-domesticated sunflower species and varieties. The best example is the wild sunflower which can grow more than 20 flowers per plant.

Do sunflowers rebloom if deadheaded? ›

If you deadhead your sunflowers, they will keep pumping out new blossoms in their will to create seeds and more sunflowers. Don't cut the stalk way back, the next sunflower often forms just inches from the place you deadheaded. Leave the very last batch of spent flowers for the birds and for next year's flowers.

Do sunflowers need a lot of water? ›

Make sure that it is relatively moist, but not soaked, in between watering. While sunflowers are drought-tolerant with long roots, they do require at least 2 gallons of water per week to mature and flower. It is estimated that sunflowers need around 34 inches of water yearly for optimal growth.

What month do you plant sunflowers? ›

When to Plant Sunflowers. It's best to sow sunflower seeds directly into the garden (or outdoor containers) after the danger of spring frost has passed anytime after soils have warmed to at least 50°F (10°C). In the northern half of the U.S. and in Canada, this will fall between April and mid-June.

How many times will a sunflower bloom? ›

When do sunflowers bloom? Annual sunflowers bloom during summer and into autumn. Sow new plants every few weeks and you'll enjoy non-stop flowers until the first frost. Perennial sunflowers bloom for a period of 8-12 weeks with some beginning as early as July and others finishing as late as October.

What flowers sleep at night? ›

But flowers that close up at night, such as tulips, hibiscus, poppies and crocuses, aren't sleepy. They're just highly evolved. Plants that tuck themselves in for bedtime exhibit a natural behavior known as nyctinasty.

Do dwarf sunflowers attract bees? ›

Yes, they do. But, not every flowering plant is attractive to insects and this is true for sunflower varieties too. A beautiful addition to any bee garden, just be sure to choose the best sunflowers for honey bees and you should have many winged visitors.

Do sunflowers smell? ›

Some people compare the scent of sunflowers to wood. But it's more like when you step out in the garden full of fresh trees, leaves, and an earthy atmosphere. You can smell a sweet and vibrant combination in your aromatic space.

Do you cut back dwarf sunflowers? ›

Prune back new growth after it grows an additional 3 to 4 inches, pinching back about 1 or 2 inches, just above a leaf set. Continue to do this until your plant is bushy and reaches about 12 to 18 inches tall. Stop pruning so your dwarf sunflower can produce lots of flowers.

How long do sunflowers last? ›

Care Tips: With proper care, sunflowers should last from six to twelve days. To maximize the vase life, look for flowers that are just starting to fully open. Choose strong, straight stems with perky flowers that look at you.

How fast do sunflowers grow? ›

There are various varieties of sunflowers, and each one will grow at a different rate. On average, though, it takes between 80 and 120 days for a plant to mature and develop seeds.

Can dwarf sunflowers be grown in pots? ›

Now I'm going to amp up the encouragement, as we talk about dwarf varieties. The sunflowers that are low-growing, reaching somewhere between 12 inches and three feet tall, are ideal for containers. They don't usually need any support, and you can grow one plant in a six-inch pot, or three in a gallon-size container.

Can you eat dwarf sunflowers? ›

The young, sunflower buds are edible, with a flavor similar to artichoke hearts. They can be grilled, marinated, or sauteed for an unusual appetizer or side dish. Attracts pollinators and birds enjoy the seed heads in autumn and winter. Kids can dry the seeds for their own homegrown tasty snack.

Do sunflowers bloom again after cutting? ›

Gardeners should be careful when they go to prune their plants because annual sunflowers that are cut will not produce new blooms.

Do sunflowers need lots of water? ›

Sunflower care only requires a few basic growing tips. Although sunflowers require a lot of water to germinate, they only require an inch of water per week during the growing season. Use a watering nozzle to easily water once a week until the top 6 inches of soil is moist.


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