Tips for Planting Sunflowers

(Family Features) The easiest way to add some brightness to your garden is to plant that hearty, yellow favorite - the sunflower. With ancestry traceable to dry prairie lands, these sturdy plants can grow just about anywhere in locations with full sun.

Here are a few tips to add a little sunshine to your garden or home landscaping:

Avoid Waterlogging - Sunflowers love full sun (about 6-8 hours daily) and they hate overwatering, so try to avoid planting them where the soil is overly soaked.

Direct Planting - Though sunflower seedlings can be started indoors in early spring, sow seeds directly into the ground for ease. Just make sure the threat of frost is over, as sunflowers love soil temperatures of 55 degrees F and above.

Water Regularly - The 20 days before and after flowering are the crucial growth periods for sunflowers in which it is important to water on a regular basis.

Give Support - Sunflower stems are naturally sturdy, but may need extra support as they grow tall. Use tall stakes or grow against a tall fence to reduce strain on stems.

Bring On the Bees - Bees are attracted to sunflowers which means healthier, happier plants throughout your garden.

Not only are sunflowers a cheerful addition to any garden or landscape, they can also be dried out and harvested for seeds. So, use some of these tips and have your family join in on the fun of planting your own sunflowers.