Phase 4 is where you watch them grow and let nature do its thing. But first, you may be looking for a post about Phase 3. There isn’t one. I didn’t take any photos of Phase 3, but that is the step where you take the small sunflower plants from their paper cups and stick them in the ground. There is no magic to this step, other than choosing a good place to plant your little sunflowers. They can be planted in pots (as long as they are large enough) or directly into the ground. For maximum growth, put them in the ground. Keep in mind that they like as much direct sunlight as possible. After planting them in the ground, water them well. Depending on how much rainfall occurs, you may need to water them periodically while they grow. As long as they get enough sunlight and water, they can grow in the most unusual places.
Back to Phase 4: We have had plenty of rain this summer, so I haven’t had to water my sunflowers (the ones in the ground) more than once or twice. Below are some photos of late Phase 4 sunflowers that I planted around a parking lot in my neighborhood of downtown Columbus, Ohio.
This one was planted straight into the gravel, between a parking garage and a sidewalk.
During a storm, the wind and heavy rain knocked it over. Here you can see where I added a stake to stabilize it and wedged part of a cinder block against the stalk to help prop it up.
This one is planted amongst the concrete and rocks (and a little dirt), between a sidewalk and a building.
Here is a close-up. This type of sunflower grows multiple “heads” or flowers, as you can see here. Each head is loaded with pollen, and the bees love them. Note how the leaf in the foreground is covered with it.
These are a couple of different sunflowers. Note the reddish ring around the head.
Check out the bee on this one. He appears to be covered in pollen.
This one hasn’t bloomed yet, but will soon. It was planted up against another building in a small area of mulch.