Do you want to produce your sunflower oil? Do you want to break the world record with a giant sunflower? Don’t worry; you can achieve that with the proper tips for growing mammoth sunflower.
Mammoth (Helianthus annus) is a variety of sunflower that grows into a giant flower from a single stem. The plant came from Russia and was developed in the 18th century to produce oil. As of today, the mammoth sunflower has become an agricultural plant planted to supply oil and meet the global demand for sunflower oil.
The tips for growing your mammoth sunflower in your garden can help you reach the plant’s full potential. The full potential can be when it has a height of 9 to 12 feet and a huge 20-inch sunflower head.
Growing sunflower is an easy task even for beginners; however, there can be challenges along the way if you don’t take care of it properly. Even though a plant is hardy and requires minimal maintenance, you still have to take care of its basic amenities.
Throughout the article, we will look at the different ways to help you grow the mammoth sunflower into a giant plant.
Essential tips for growing mammoth sunflower
When caring for a plant, you must know different ways to help it reach its full potential. These ways depend on the type of plant you have and the purpose of the plant. You must extract as much sunflower oil as possible for a mammoth sunflower.
Since the mammoth plant is a giant plant, it is not advisable to plant it indoors, but if you decide to use a pot, place it outdoor to ensure the lack of room does not hinder its growth. Let the plant grow in its natural habitat.
Here are the essential tips for growing your mammoth sunflower in the garden.
Sunflower plants have an extensive, deep root system that grows more than 2 feet into the ground. Plants with large usually search for their water from the ground, but you still need to provide them with water. With the big roots, you have to give plenty of water regularly.
However, most people mistake giving the plant and giving it more than it requires. That is overwatering. This is a common mistake that can kill your sunflower. Mammoth sunflower roots don’t like a lot of water. It can cause root rot.
When you water more than the soil can drain, the water blocks the holes in the soil, preventing air circulation to the roots. Thus, you stress the roots, which causes them to start rotting.
The best way to prevent overwatering your plant is to only water when the topsoil is dry. Also, a moisture meter can check whether the soil needs water. It’s a device that measures moisture content above and below the soil surface.
Under-watering the plant can kill it. It is not a common cause because the plant can survive for a few weeks without water. However, it can happen if you go without watering the plant for an extended period.
Choose the right seed.
In the production of sunflowers, the seeds you use during sowing will depend on whether you have success with your plant or a failure. The seeds have different genetic materials. So, when you are checking for mammoth seeds, ensure the description on the package has the requirement of words such as mammoth, giant, tall, kong, etc.
Most sunflower seed companies can have the same seeds but packaged in different names; they are the same flowers. In others, they use the same flower name but different flower seeds.
Grow in full sun
The sun is an important requirement in the growth of the flower. It requires direct sunlight every day. If you have your plant outdoors, it can get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight, which is good.
But, for the indoor plants, it’s not possible even if you place them in a window facing south. The plant will start to bend, looking for a source of light. You can use artificial bulbs to ensure it receives light.
Even though the plant likes the sun, it doesn’t like the heat that comes with the sun. When it rises above 30 degrees Celsius, it can cause it to wilt. You can use a shed to cover it or a fan to reduce the room temperature.
Grow in ground
The space to plant a mammoth sunflower is in the ground rather than using a pot. Why? Because of the roots.
A tall mammoth plant can’t work well in a small container; it needs space. Planting it in a pot can hinder root growth. As we discussed earlier, it is deep-rooted, and as roots grow deep into the ground, the healthier the plant will grow.
Use rich, well-draining soil.
Most people underrate the importance of soil in the growth of a plant. Sunflowers need nutrients that can help their development and well-draining soil to get enough to the deep roots. Without high-quality soil, you won’t get any returns from your garden.
If you have terrible soil in your garden, you can add compost through the growing period to provide the plant with the necessary nutrients.
Give them space
Giving the mammoth sunflower space to grow ensures it doesn’t have limited space to move in all directions. Most of its roots grow vertically and horizontally; thus, it’s best if it has a space of about 6 to 36 inches from the nearest plant. The closest plant can be another flower, tree, or shrub.
Provide them with a windbreaker
Among the tips to grow your mammoth sunflower, you shouldn’t forget to keep it in an area where the wind can’t affect it. As it becomes tall, the single stem can handle the sunflower head, but with the wind blowing on it every day, it will start to get weak and end up falling on one side.
The wind can’t affect all the flowers if you have a large farm of mammoth sunflowers. Only the outer ones will suffer to save the rest. But, for a single flower, provide a windbreaker or plant it out of the direct wind, such as near a fence or wall.
Mulch the plant
Placing mulch on the plant prevents moisture from escaping. This process can help the soil stay moist even when you don’t water it. Also, as the mulch decomposes, it will add nutrients to the soil.
The sunflower plant is known for its beautiful smell and attracting insects and birds to aid in pollination. This can be a good and bad thing. It is a good thing for other plants nearby, but to a mammoth sunflower, different pests are attracted to the plant, including insects such as cutworms.
Cover the sunflower seeds from predators from the seedling stage to the point where they can protect themselves from these predators. Use protective covers like frost cloths and fine wire cloches.
Remove side shoots
You shouldn’t forget to add pruning outgrown shoots on the tips for growing mammoth sunflowers. Shoots growing from different directions take up some energy they use to grow. Removing these shoots allows the plant to focus its energy on the growth in one direction.
Now that you know the tips for growing mammoth sunflowers, you can start caring for your plant as it should be.