Transplanting LARGE sunflower

Todd1313(6)July 3, 2014


Due to the work of a hungry squirrel, I am thinking of replacing a partially eaten four foot tall sunflower with one from a different area of my garden that is nearly five feet tall. I've grown about ten of them from seed and they have been doing just fine now for a couple of months. (I expect, when full grown, for them to reach nine to ten feet - this is based on past years of growing this kind.) Does anyone have any experience with doing such a thing? I am very hesitant to disturb the one I may use as replacement, yet eager to see the results.

Thanks for any information or experiences.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

why dont you just enjoy the show of watching how it responds to the insult ... it will reflower .. surely there is enough time left in the season ...

i guess i would rather watch that show ... rather than kill two SF .. as i highly doubt you are going to move a 4 to 5 foot annual in JULY/AUGUST ... in most of the country ...

but then.. that would be a learning experience also... what the heck.. go for it... take pix.. do a post.. let us know ...


ps: i wonder if gal will roll thru.. and tell us they do it in the PNW all the time... lol .. happy 4th gal ...

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 10:09AM
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It would be awfully surprising to move a sunflower, what about a month before blossoming begins ? I can't imagine it being successful here in Arkansas without going to very extreme measures.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 12:34PM
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mollyjanea(z5 RI)

i have done must be sure to anchor it well and keep it very wet for a week or so. it will wilt, but return, if my experience holds true. water the hole before you put it in.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 2:20AM
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samhain10(5a - MI)

I'd like to see this myself. My thoughts were following right in line with what Ken Adrian said: "leave it, see how it recovers, it should have enough time...", and then: "oh, what the heck - do it! See if the transplant makes it. It will be a learning experience." If you do, though, I'd suggest you follow MollyJane's advice of anchoring it well and watering it CONSTANTLY. You might even want to rig up some sort of shade, if that were possible with it's being so tall. At least you could shade the lower half maybe, since you're wanting it to get its roots established ASAP.
Good luck!
- Alex

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 9:27AM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

FWIW all sunflowers I have transplanted were stunted in growth. They develop a deep tap root very quickly that if disturbed seems to affect growth. IME if they were supposed to get 9-10ft tall it will get 6-7 if moved. I agree with ken to see how it comes back but also agree with Molly if do move it.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 9:54AM
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NO! Don't transplant. Sunflowers don't transplant well when they are little, much less at that size. They have an incredibly long tap root, from the very beginning, which is why they do best when you start them from seed outdoors rather than starting seedlings indoors. Unfortunately, the squirrel has done you in. Just leave things the way they are. :) Scroll down at the link for some good information about growing them, as well as the info about the long tap root. Hope this helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sunflower Growing Info.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2014 at 2:34PM
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mollyjanea(z5 RI)

i transplant everything! my dad said "the best time to move a plant is when you have a shovel in your hand." granted, it doesn't ALWAYS work, but if you follow the basics, it usually will. my brain is such that if i wait till the "right time", it probably won't get done. so, anchor, water like crazy for a week or till it shows no stress when not watered, provide shade if it's a really sensitive plant...i keep an extra shade umbrella and stand in my yard and use it for this purpose all the time...get one cheap at a yard sale...and whisper sweet nothings to your transplant. just my (and dad's) experience. ;-)

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 1:15PM
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Thank you for the information and for describing your experiences. I've decided to leave the damaged plant as it is and observe its progress.

Directly below the wound, two petioles have developed large, strange, and bulky growth where they attach to the stem. I have not seen this before on a sunflower. About an inch and one-half in diameter, they appear to be compensating for or adjusting to the wound that is just a couple of inches above them. (You can see the cut off point in the picture.) These developed after the damage, occurring a bit over two weeks ago. Leaves further down the plant show no such growth, and I wonder if anyone knows what kind of response this is. I will later post a picture of what a normal, "unafflicted" petiole looks like, taken of a plant grown two feet away, resembling the other dozen or so in the garden.

Thanks for any ideas as to what this process is called, and I sincerely thank you for your thoughts and experiences with transplanting this type of flower; your posts made me equally eager to do so and to just leave it and watch the results.

(As a side note, I do have eight of the same variety, a new, separate planting, now no more than two feet tall, one of which I will be deliberately transplanting to see the results - I will post the results with a picture in months to come.)

This post was edited by Todd1313 on Thu, Jul 17, 14 at 21:03

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 7:44PM
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Here is the picture of the normal diameter of a leaf petiole for this variety at this stage in growth.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 7:48PM
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what variety is this?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 7:10PM
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It is Helianthus annuus and this damaged plant is still growing in every visible way but height.

This post was edited by Todd1313 on Mon, Aug 4, 14 at 23:21

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 11:19PM
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