Stretch up and reach for the sun with super sunflowers!
They're easy to grow, look great, 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? Take a look at your progress and go for 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.
- You should see your plant poke through the soil after about 1 or 2 weeks. 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.
- Watch it grow - how high will it go? 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 a piece of writing talking about 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 what you saw or your family on the look out! Alternatively, draw or paint what you saw or upload a piece of writing talking about your experience.
The sunflower competition has now closed. Thanks to everyone for the fantastic photos!
Henry from East Sussex is the winner with a sunflower that measured a gigantic 3.72 metres!
Henry has won a pair of wellies from Muddy Puddles!
Jack and Emma, our youth magazines team, have been growing their own. Check out their progress in the slideshow or read their blog here.