Ashleigh Smith + photo

Ashleigh Smith

Jul 14
2 min read
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Growing Fall Sunflowers

Yes! You absolutely can grow sunflowers late in the summer as long as you have enough days left in the season before the first fall frost comes. Sunflowers are known as a late summer bloom however, they play a big role in the fall as well. You are sure to find plenty of sunflowers displaying their beautiful showy petals from August to November in landscapes as well as interior design.

Start planning now for your show-stopping fall decor, Thanksgiving centerpieces, and fresh flower bouquets. Some of my favorite fall decor combinations include the iconic sunflower, colorful corn varieties, pumpkins, oak leaves, and dried wheat bundles. Try your hand at a DIY floral arrangement with a harvest from your very own garden. Add a touch of brightness throughout your home as the daylight begins to shorten.

Growing Fall Harvest Sunflowers

Usually, sunflowers need 55-75 days to start blooming. If you live in hardiness zones 8 or higher you can plant in mid to late August. Below Zone 8 you can still see some good blooms if your plant as soon as possible up to early August. When starting seeds during the summer the most important thing to be aware of is how moist your soil is. Check on your seeds regularly and hand water for additional moisture when needed.

General Sunflower Growing Information

TLM Unique Sunflower Recommendation

Chocolate Cherry Sunflower

55-75 Days until Blooms form (dependent on chosen variety)

4-10 Days to Germination

Full Sun

Well-draining, nutrient-rich soil

Sow seeds ½” deep

Keep your soil moist

Thin After Sprouting

  • Large Varieties - 1ft apart
  • Small Varieties - 6-8 in apart

Early frost can stunt growth

Varieties good for late summer planting include the Sungold Dwarf, Teddy Bear, or the Italian White

  • Height: 72 inches
  • Bloom: 5-8 inches
  • Days to Blooming: 65-75
  • Ideal for gardens or as a cut flower
Ashleigh Smith's photo

I'm Ashleigh Smith, a native to Northern Utah. I first gained a love of gardening with my grandmother as I helped her each summer. I decided to make a career of it and have recently graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Horticulture from Brigham Young University - Idaho. My studies have focused on plant production while I also have experience in Nursery & Garden Center Operations.


Rosanna Castro

I need your catalog.

Erin Harkness

Perfect timing on this article, thanks for sharing! A bunny got my last batch of sunflower seedlings and I was afraid it was too late to give it another try. Your article has given me hope that I might still get a good show in my NC 7b/8 garden and I’m going to start some more. Any suggestions on how to keep the bunnies away from these? 🤦🏻‍♀️

jo Carpenter

I’m looking for some heather to place in a planter in my courtyard. Thoughts and/or plants? Parrish, Florida 34219