Grow Brilliant Dwarf Sunflowers in Your Garden To Add Color and Interest

BY Khushvinder Dagar
Last Update:

Adding dwarf sunflowers to your garden is PERFECT to make your home garden exquisite. Let this article be your GUIDE for knowing dwarf sunflowers.  

There are many different TYPES of dwarf sunflowers. AsterGardening helps you in finding the BEST flowers.

The sunflower plants are an amazing choice to grow as they are easy to MAINTAIN. Our experts have crafted this guide to make caretaking easier for you.

You get to know about growing DIFFERENT varieties of dwarf sunflowers. You learn that not all sunflowers are tall or yellow with black centers.

Let’s dive in to learn more about GROWING dwarf sunflowers and their varieties.

Dwarf Sunflowers

Background of Dwarf Sunflowers

Background of Dwarf Sunflowers

Dwarf sunflowers are stunning and adaptable flowers that bring joy to every garden. They are scientifically KNOWN as Helianthus annuus.

The dwarf variety of sunflowers belongs to the Asteraceae family. The name finds its roots in the Greek words Helios and Anthos, which means SUN and BLOSSOM.

The wild sunflower originated in North America. But the commercialization of these dwarf sunflowers happened in RUSSIA.

These flowers are available in stores and are easy to maintain. Dwarf sunflowers possess a DISTINCT quality due to their compact height.

You can use them as borders, containers, or hanging baskets. In addition to their AESTHETIC value, dwarf sunflowers attract bees and butterflies.

They are a great choice to add color and joy to their GARDEN.

How to Grow Dwarf Sunflowers Successfully

Hey, my FRIEND! Follow these key points to grow a sunflower plant;

Key Points of Growing Information

Key Points of Growing Information

Dwarf sunflowers are a great option for those with limited SPACE in their garden. Despite being smaller than other varieties, they produce abundant bright yellow FLOWERS.

Here are some of the key growing tips necessary for dwarf sunflowers to grow well;


Sow them in spring after the final FROST. Ensure sowing them in a spot with full sun and well-drained soil for optimal growth.

You can take 3 to 4 seeds in groups and plant them ½ inches deep. It is better to practice thinning on the arrival of TRUE leaves.

Now sow the seeds in the container with enough room for sowing. You can place 1 seed per 6 inches or 3 seeds per GALLON container.

Days to Germination

The dwarf sunflowers germinate for about 7 to 14 days when the temperature is 21 – 25 degrees C.

Growing On

It is better to keep them at 70–80 degrees F during the day; the cooler TEMPERATURES must not be lower than 10 – 16 degrees C.

When the temperature is warm, it STRETCHES the plant; when it is cold, it grows into a dwarf sunflower.

Soil Requirements

To ensure PROPER plant growth, the soil must be light and well-drained. Nutrient-rich soil is best for full-size sunflowers.

Plant Spacing

Ensure keeping the plant spacing between 8 to 12 inches. The plant leaves should not TOUCH each other.

When the leaves TOUCH each other, there is a high chance that these plants grow taller but weaker.


Dwarf sunflowers need WATER during the growing season. So, water them once a week during dry spells.


To ensure their health, apply a well BALANCED fertilizer. It is better when the flowers complete their blooming.

Leaving the stalks and seed heads in the garden is good for attracting birds.


Once the stalks become DRY and brittle, you can cut flower heads off. Dwarf sunflowers will add height and a burst of SUNSHINE-yellow color to your garden.

With the RIGHT care, the flower bed blooms beautifully all summer long.

Dwarf Sunflowers Growing Steps

Dwarf Sunflowers Growing Steps

Sunflower cultivation PRESENTS an entertaining and satisfying opportunity for garden lovers. The bright and cheerful yellow blooms range from 12 inches to 3 feet TALL.

Even if you are planning them for the first time, you can easily grow dwarf sunflowers and expect to see success.

Preparing Soil Medium

To get started, you should plant your sunflower seeds indoors.

You will have to mix equal quantities of sand and peat MOSS. I prefer to add compost when growing inside pots.

Sowing Seeds

If you have limited space, consider GROWING dwarf sunflowers. They are best for adding summer cheer to your garden for months.

Use small containers filled with a high-quality seed-starting mix. Ensure sowing each seed about 1/4-1/2 inch DEEP.

I ensure to plant them half an inch down; they germinate just PERFECT. The space between them must be SEVEN inches apart.

Let the Seed Emerge

The sunflower seeds usually grow in the late SPRINGTIME outdoors. But you can start growing them at home anytime.

Keep the well-drained soil consistently MOIST. You should see your seedlings emerge in about 7-14 days.


Once your seedlings have grown true LEAVES, the threat of frost has passed. It’s time to move them outdoors.

My best choice for transplantation is an area with full SUN and well-draining soil.

Before transplanting the seedlings, ensure the soil is at least 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant the flowers in CLUMPS of two or three with at least a foot of space between each plant.

After Transplantation Care

Occasional watering is necessary for young plants. Adding ORGANIC mulch helps them stay moist. Implementing measures to shield the soil from higher temperatures is important.

Dwarf sunflower beds’ bloom time is about 60-80 days. So, water the soil regularly as you APPROACH this period.

I remove any fading petals to keep them in the best shape. Giving them a water-soluble fertilizer or diluted compost tea every two weeks is also essential.

Keep looking for the attack of several pests and diseases and act quickly. Remove infected flowers, use INSECTICIDAL soap, and ensure proper VENTILATION. 

Plant Care

Take the following steps to ensure proper plant care;

Problems & Pests

Plant Care

After planning to raise dwarf sunflowers, you must know all the POTENTIAL problems.

Common Problems

Fellow GARDENER, you have to tackle these problems to ensure proper plant care;


One issue to watch out for is overwatering, which can lead to root systems and cause sunflower STEMS rot.

Ensure that your sunflower patch has proper DRAINAGE. Water your sunflowers at most twice a week to prevent this.

Nutrient Deficiency

Another potential issue is nutrient deficiency, specifically in nitrogen, PHOSPHORUS, and potassium.

Your soil may lack these nutrients if you notice pale leaves or DEFORMED blooms. Incorporate a balanced fertilizer to deal with it.


The third potential problem is a plethora of pests, both large and small. Many pests attack sunflower gardens. Here are some commonly known pests;

Sunflower Budworm

One of the biggest issues is the sunflower beetles and budworms. It can cause damage and DISCOLORATION to flower buds and pollen.

Using insecticidal soap or neem oil to combat sunflower beetles is better. Closely monitor your patch for signs of INFESTATION, especially for sunflower borers.


Sunflowers are highly susceptible to damage caused by different types of cutworms. 

Farmers make a HELIANTHUS border around the fields or garden. Keep the cutworms away from the crops.


Sunflowers can get affected by many DISEASES. But primarily, they are fairly hardy.

Leaf Spot

Some of these plants suffer from LEAF SPOT on the leaf surface. It causes yellow patches on the lead area but is not always possible. 

Mildew and Head Rot

Another concern for your plants is the POSSIBILITY of mildew and head rot infection.


WHITE mold, otherwise identified as sclerotinia stem rot, presents a substantial additional risk. They can cause sudden leaves wilting, sunflower stem cankers and ROOT ROT.

It is better to ensure proper PLANT ROTATION to minimize these diseases. With the right care, your sunflowers should be a BEAUTIFUL addition to your garden.

Caring Tips

Caring Tips

Preventing pests and diseases is essential for maintaining a healthy garden. Here are some of the caring TIPS for the plant;

  • It is necessary to select healthy seed sunflower varieties. Choosing DISEASE-RESISTANT varieties is advisable if you live in a disease-prone area.
  • Removing weeds and debris from the garden area is essential. It helps to eliminate potential SHELTERS for insects and diseases.
  • I ensure providing sunflower SUNNY spots with well-drained soil. It keeps them healthy and vigorous.
  • You should provide them with light moisture until they establish a root system. Fertilize them with a BALANCED mix at sowing time.
  • DEADHEADING is another helpful technique that can encourage more blooms. It is my favorite practice to keep the plants growing.
  • It is important to keep the foliage from the base of the plant clear. It ensures better air CIRCULATION and helps to prevent fungal diseases.
  • When caring for your plants, avoiding wetting the foliage during watering is important. If you have seed heads on your plants, you may notice birds coming to FEAST on them.
  • Consider MULCHING your sunflower plants with straw to help insulate the soil. I have seen better results when using organic mulch for this purpose.
  • Keep a lookout for aphid INFESTATIONS. Take action by dipping affected parts of the plant in a bucket of soapy water and removing debris.
  • Using an approved insecticide can also help to control INFESTATIONS. If you ask for my suggestions, NEEM OIL or INSECTICIDAL SOAP is best.
  • Ensure growing them between 1 and 2 feet; sometimes, they can OUTGROW and reach up to 4 feet in height.
  • Cultivating these small flowers below a height of 3 feet is more ADVANTAGEOUS.
  • For ideal results in container gardening, it is advisable to have drainage openings.
  • Providing them with 6 to 8 hours of SUNSHINE daily is best. Sunflowers have earned their name due to their constant need for ample sunlight.
  • All they need is moderate water. An adequate water supply is NECESSARY for your plants.

8 Different Varieties of Dwarf Sunflowers

1. Suntastic Yellow

Suntastic Yellow
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 2-11
  • Soil Type: Well-drained, Sand, Loam, Clay
  • Fertilizer Requirement: Slow release before blooming
  • Propagation: Seed, Division
  • Bloom Time: July- September

Do you know something COOL about this dwarf sunflower? They are one of the smallest flowers available in the market.

Suntastic yellow is a dwarf sunflower that looks beautiful in your home garden. You can also add the plant near your window to make it look PRETTY.

All these flowers grow to be the full 5 to 6 inches FLOWER. Each plant produces 20 flowers of the same height.

I prefer them over others as they are FAST-GROWING and PRETTY-LOOKING plants. It took 65 days for me to GROW these amazing plants.

2. Firecracker

  • Family: Asteraceae
  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 2-11
  • Soil Type: Well-drained, Loam
  • Fertilizer Requirement: Balanced during blooming
  • Propagation: Seed, Division
  • Bloom Time: July-September

As the name suggests, firecrackers resemble fireworks and other explosives.

The reason why I adore these DWARFS is their discrete look. The firecracker bursts into thin air so that it looks amazing.

The plant is surely a DWARF sunflower plant, but it is prominent due to its unique spreading design.

The firecracker Sunflower is a PERFECT garden plant due to its vivid colors.

These dwarf sunflowers need some support to stay ERECT. It’s the HEAD that keeps them struggling with the weight balance.

3. SunBuzz

  • Family: Asteraceae
  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-9
  • Soil Type: Well-drained, Sand, Loam
  • Fertilizer Requirement: Light application once a month
  • Propagation: Seed, Division
  • Bloom Time: July September

Are you looking for an easy pot-growing variety of sunflowers? SunBuzz is the right flower for you in this CASE.

These sunflowers are a PERFECT fit for these containers. They grow best in EARLY spring due to ideal growing conditions.

They also grow during summer, LATE spring, and early fall.

SunBuzz is one of the miniature sunflowers that grow in all seasons except winter. 

4. Sunbright Supreme

Sunbright Supreme
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 2-11
  • Soil Type: Well-drained, Sandy, Loam
  • Fertilizer Requirement: Throughout the bloom season
  • Propagation: Seed, Division
  • Bloom Time: July-September

Sunbright Supreme boasts considerable size, standing apart from other SUNFLOWER cultivars.

They can grow to 5 feet tall. This length is taller than most of the other DWARF sunflower varieties.

Its stunning APPEARANCE is enhanced by the exquisite yellow petals and brown discs. This dwarf sunflower variety is a perfect addition to your garden.

The plant can endure WINTER with considerably shorter days.

5. Teddy Bear

Teddy Bear
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 2-11
  • Soil Type: Well-drained, Loam, Sand
  • Fertilizer Requirement: Once a month
  • Propagation: Seed, Division
  • Bloom Time: July to September

My gardening friend! Here is Teddy Bear Sunflower – a distinctive among dwarf sunflower varieties. The main reason they look so different is PETALS.

The petals look unique due to their cozy, airy, and layered petals. Due to this reason, this sunflower variety is also a teddy bear sunflower.

Most of the time, the petals of these flowers are present on cakes and several salads as GARNISHING.

I have grown this economic plant for eating and COOKING. I like how they attract birds and bees.

6. Rio Carnival 

Rio Carnival 
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-9
  • Soil Type: Well-drained, Loamy
  • Fertilizer Requirement: Once a month
  • Propagation: Seed, Division
  • Bloom Time: July to September

Are you looking for the perfect border plants for your mini yard?

I am sure these Rio carnivals will be the BEST for you. I have grown them as border plants for my home garden.

The dwarf variety is especially due to the perfect red inner circle. There is an uncanny resemblance between this beautiful flower with a SUNSET.

The name Rio Carnival shows the perfect colors of Rio. The perfect flower heads are there for 5 to 7 inches all around and 25 INCHES tall all around. 

7. Sundance Kid

Sundance Kid
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 4-9
  • Soil Type: Well-drained, Loamy
  • Fertilizer Requirement: Light Application once a month
  • Propagation: Seed, Division
  • Bloom Time: Summer

Do you wonder about the oldest dwarf sunflower? The Sundance kid is one of those older plants. It grows to the MAXIMUM height of two feet.

You will also find some semi-double leaves with red and yellow colors and a BROWN center.

Here is the tip: leave some space when growing them with other varieties. They like to keep a distance.

Sundance Kid is one of the best sunflower varieties. It continues to grow for a longer time. The flower uses a lot of WATER.

Don’t get me wrong, but they can compete with neighboring plants. They can absorb more moisture from garden beds.

8. Double Dandy

Double Dandy
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-9
  • Soil Type: Well-drained, loamy soil
  • Fertilizer Requirement: Light application once a month
  • Propagation: Seed, Division
  • Bloom Time: Mid-Summer to Fall

I present you with a different sunflower variety – Double Dandy. This type of sunflower produces colorful flowers.

The flowers are multicolor with hints of various hues. You can find the blooms in purple and cream colors.

Double dandy is also an annual flowering plant. This Superman sunflower variety can survive many conditions and all USDA zones.

Living in the US gives you all the chances to grow them. The double dandy can light up your garden with COLORFUL blooms.

FAQs about Dwarf Sunflowers

1. How long does it take for a dwarf sunflower to bloom?

They can take 8-10 weeks to start blooming. These amazing flowers produce stunning and showy yellow flowers in the right conditions. The bloom lasts throughout the spring until early fall.

2. Can I plant two dwarf sunflowers together in one pot?

Dwarf sunflowers are versatile plants that can tolerate any sunlight exposure. If you plant them together in one pot, they will still look fabulous. The colorful flowers produce amazing blooms when planted in the same pot.

3. Do tall sunflower plants grow faster than dwarf sunflowers?

Tall and dwarf, all kinds of sunflowers grow similarly. All different types of sunflowers reach their full height within two months. The rate of growth of these sunflowers often gets affected by different factors. 
Factors affecting flower growth include soil preparation, water supply, and temperature.

4. Do dwarf sunflowers Rebloom?

Dwarf sunflowers do not rebloom. It is because most varieties are annuals, which means they are ready to harvest at the end of the growing season. Some other varieties are perennials but need rebloom. As they typically produce only one flush of flowers.

5. How far apart should you plant dwarf sunflowers?

When planting dwarf sunflowers, it’s important to space them properly. It means keeping them around 24-36 inches apart from each other. Planting them too close or far apart could impact the sunlight and nutrients.
Each sunflower receives sunlight, ultimately affecting its growth.

What’s Next

Dwarf sunflowers are an IDEAL choice for making your garden glow. They are durable, simple to CULTIVATE, and provide an extended period of color.

Most dwarf sunflowers grow only up to 24 inches tall. But they have a more extended bloom period and BIGGER blooms.

They are also well-suited for CONTAINERS. They are adding a touch of brightness to balconies and patios.

Their bright colors contrast dark green bodies and foliage. They are a fantastic way to add stunning color and TEXTURE to any garden.

Are you looking to BLAST your garden with some LOVELY dwarf sunflowers?

At AsterGardening, we specify in providing expert advice. Check out our website to give your garden the care and attention it DESERVES.

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Khushvinder Dagar

Hey, I'm Khushvinder. I am a marketer by profession but love the feeling of getting my hands dirty and watching plants grow and have a particular interest in native plants and sustainable gardening practices. I also enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience with others and have written articles on gardening for various publications.