pull up or cut down sunflowers

lexie1397June 7, 2014


I have recently redone a bed intending to make it a cut flower garden, but I got started too late this year so I just stuck sunflowers in it so we can enjoy something this year.

I have decided to do mostly bulbs and purchased quite a few. It seems to me I ought to get them in the ground despite my temporary sunflower solution, but I don't want to disturb them overmuch in the fall. Once the sunflowers are finished, can I just cut the stalks back to the ground and allow the rootstock to decompose naturally or do they really need pulled up? Appearances over winter arent much of an issue- mulch/chips and snow take care of that!

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annual sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) can develop pretty thick stalks and strong root systems.

It could be difficult to plant bulbs near one with the root system still in place.

If you have plenty of space you could leave them in the ground, I think.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2014 at 6:16PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

what bulbs are supposed to be planted now?? perhaps its your use of the word bulb that confuses ...

bulbs would be planted in fall ... right after the sunflowers were removed for the season ... [and i dont even know who would be selling bulbs now]

perhaps we can get further if you tell us what you got ... rather than using the generic term


    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 10:01AM
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How about half and half?

Take down some sunflowers, using them for compost if available. Plant the bulbs and any permanent plants there (including annuals that reseed, perennials, etc)

Then leave another part with sunflowers so you can still benefit from them also. In the fall, seed that area with the desired plants.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 1:18PM
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alisande(Zone 4b)

You didn't say what kind of sunflowers you're growing, but by the time mine are finished for the season, their stalks are like wood. I can't imagine trying to cut them at ground level. Or at any other level.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 9:48PM
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