Can you transplant sunflowers when they are in full growth?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Joy: Sunflowers cheer up a sun-loving garden like no other plant. I would not recommend transplanting them while they are full grown. The answer to your question all depends on the stage of growth your sunflowers are in. I assume you are growing the giant sunflowers that will reach 6 feet or larger and not the small varieties. If you are referring to the smaller ones that only reach a couple of feet, those you could transplant. This is especially true if they have been container grown. When digging up the larger sunflowers, you risk not keeping intact all the roots and jeopardize the stability of the plant. That being said, if you must move them, it is essential that you dig up as much of the root ball as possible. Take your spade and start digging a circle a couple feet around the plant, making sure not to sever any roots. Dig as deep or deeper than needed to keep the root ball together. Transplant immediately and water well. This will give you the best chance of success. It is always a good idea to have your new holes pre-dug so you can immediately replant. The longer the roots are out of the ground and exposed to the sunlight and wind, the more stressful it is on the plant. Summer transplanting is not recommended for this reason among others, but if you must move them or lose them it is certainly worth the effort to try to save them.