While the sunflower (Helianthus annus L.) originated in North America, it was introduced to Russia through trade routes and acclimated well to the soil and climate. The sunflowers ‘Russian Giant’ and ‘Mammoth Russian’ grow to extremely large proportions, 10 feet tall or more, with a 1-foot flower head. Russian sunflowers require adequate soil drainage, and their nutrient needs can be met through application of fertilizer. Plant seeds in springtime in a sunny area.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Fold a paper towel in half once, then in half again in the opposite direction. Dampen it with water, and lay it on a plate. Place sunflower seeds on the paper towel, not touching each other. Cover the seeds with another damp paper towel folded in the same manner. Keep the top paper towel slightly damp for one to two weeks, and the seeds will begin sprouting.
Prepare the planting site. Layer 3 inches of compost over the planting area, followed by a 5-10-5 fertilizer, according to package directions. Till the area to an 8-inch depth.
Dig 3-inch holes in the prepared soil. For giant sunflowers such as Russian sunflowers, space the holes 2 feet apart.
Place one seed into each hole. Select only germinated seeds that have a green sprout for planting. Cover the seeds with soil.
Water the newly planted seeds until the soil surrounding them is moist.