Growing Sunflowers in a Tropical Country

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The last of the sunflowers that my husband planted in July have issued their last blooms and finally wilted and died. He got the seeds last summer from a sunflower garden in Baguio City. The seeds were planted in pots due to limited space in the backyard. I find it awesome that despite the prevailing heat in Cavite province, the sunflowers grew and bloomed. And even though these sunflowers were small, they brought so much joy to our family. Growing sunflowers in a warm climate can be a challenge, but it can be done! 

We have still a packet of sunflowers (dwarf variety) which we got from a store, and another packet from my friend who grows sunflowers in Bulacan province. We hope to plant these seeds before September ends. Rains still come to our region every now and again, thanks to typhoons and the southwest monsoon. We hope that despite the El Nino phenomenon, which is expected to last until February of 2016, our sunflowers will grow and thrive even just for two months. 

Over at Twitter, a user asked me where she could get seeds to grow. Here in the Philippines, seeds are available at the Bureau of Plant Industry and at commercial stores like the supermarket, the bookstore, and hardware stores. People who tend community gardens should also have some seeds to share.

If you are growing sunflowers for the first time, you may start with two or three seedlings which you can buy in Tagaytay City or in Silang (Cavite province). Gardening resources are available everywhere. I rely mostly on books about sunflowers, but websites and forums are just as helpful.

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