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Why do sunflowers follow the sun?

Sunflowers are in full bloom now, but they go through a unique journey to get there.

MACON, Ga. — As we continue our 13WMAZ Backyard Garden series, we're talking about sunflowers.

Now that they're in full bloom, we wanted to talk about their interesting journey to get there. Many of you probably already know that sunflowers follow the sun during their growth process, but do you know why?

Basically, sunflowers are the most frugal flower out there using every ounce of radiation to grow. 

As the sun rises in the east, the right side of the stem gets a boost in growth. This causes the stem to tilt west, following the sun as it travels through the sky

At night, the radiation from the moonlight does the same thing to left side of the stem. This causes the bud to lean back to the right as it waits for the sun to rise.

When it comes to growing these beautiful bright flowers, Georgia is great for it!

Credit: wmaz

Our long, bright, and sunny spring and summer days are just what these sun soaking plants need to thrive. 

Our soils, while sometimes a bit acidic, are fine for sunflowers, but the soil does need to be well-drained and nutrient dense. Supplementing with a fertilizer can help with keeping soil in top top shape.

Lastly, be sure you give them room to stretch. Grow the seeds at least 6 inches apart and each row about 30 inches apart.

We want to see the photos of your sunflowers in your backyard garden! Send the photos to 478-752-1309. You just might see them aired on our 13WMAZ Backyard Garden segment.


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