Stretch up and reach for the sun with super sunflowers!
They're attractive, easy to grow, bees and insects love them and their seeds make great food for birds. What amazingly colourful, wildlife-friendly flowers they are.
If you're the competitive type, challenge your family and friends to see who can grow the tallest sunflower!
If you don't have a garden, don't worry. Sunflowers can be grown in pots if you have a nice bright and sunny indoor space to put them. Alternatively, do it with friends and family and use their garden as a home for your sunflower, or even ask your teacher if your whole class can do it for your school grounds or garden.
Are you doing this activity as part of your ild Challenge? Find out how you are progressing – are you getting closer to gold?
Did you know: the tallest sunflower ever recorded was in Germany and reached an enormous 9.17m. That's taller than five average-height men stood on top of each other.
What you will need
Just a few ingredients and you'll be on your way to sunflower glory:
- Plastic cup
- Garden sunflower seeds
- Large flowerpot
- A watering-can or hose
It'll take about eight weeks to grow a sunflower from seed and here's how:
- Put some compost in a plastic cup, almost to the top. Poke your finger in the soil to make a hole for your sunflower seed.
- Pop a sunflower seed into the hole then cover it with a little compost. Give it a water so it's nice and damp.
- Put the cup somewhere sunny like a windowsill. Give your sunflower a little water whenever it feels dry.
- After about 1 or 2 weeks your seed should germinate and a shoot will poke through the soil. Now's the time to start measuring how much it grows each week - make a log of its progress.
- When your plant grows too big for the cup, plant it in a bigger flowerpot or outside if you have somewhere warm and sunny.
- Keep checking on your sunflower, making sure it doesn’t dry out (but no need to overwater it) - how tall will it grow? Here's where the competition starts if you're challenging your friends and family. Good luck!
- When the sunflower head starts to turn brown, cut it off and hang it somewhere dry and airy. When the seeds are dry, rub them together to loosen them. Birds can eat your seeds if you leave them in the garden. You could even put them in a bird feeder.
- Don't forget to tell us when you have completed the activity! When you mark the activity as complete, you will be asked to upload a photo, drawing, painting or description of your experience to help earn your award.
Completing the activity
Use the 'Mark as complete' button at the top of this page to tell us you've completed your activity. You'll need to show us what you did by uploading a photo of your sunflower or you or your family planting or watering it! Alternatively, draw or paint what you saw or upload a description of your experience.