The Big Sunflower ProjectThe Big Sunflower Project

The Big Sunflower Project began in 2011 and aims to raise awareness of the rare neuromuscular condtions known as centronuclear and myotubular myopathy by asking people to grow a sunflower.

Why a sunflower?

Sunflowers have been prominent in the design of our website for some time now. They were chosen for the cheery and positive outlook they convey, growing to such dizzy heights, as if they are on a mission to touch the sky and nothing can hold them back. Every year since 2011 we have given away sunflower seeds in return for photos, which are displayed on our website, in our newsletters and on social media to raise awareness of centronuclear and myotubular myopathy. Taking part is easy, keep reading to find out how.

Getting started

Each year our aim is to get as many people as possible growing sunflowers and we usually start distribution around March and continue until June. Participants can obtain their own seeds or can request seeds from The Information Point by emailing their name and address with the subject line 'The Big Sunflower Project'.

Seeds can be sent to anyone in the UK and Europe - unfortunately we are unable to send seeds outside Europe but if you are able to obtain your own seeds, we would love you to join in too. Those living in Canada and the USA can now take part in The Big Sunflower Project Canada and USA.


Take photos

Take photos of you or your family growing your sunflowers or of your sunflowers when they have flowered.

Share with us

Sharing the photos helps The Information Point to raise awareness of centronuclear and myotubular myopathy, as well as allowing participants the opportunity to see the sunflowers being grown by others taking part in the project. Photos may be displayed on our website, in our newsletter and on our Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Instagram pages. Don't forget, when posting or emailing your photos to tell us something about you, how you heard about The Big Sunflower Project, where in the world you grew your sunflower, why you decided to take part and how tall your sunflower grew.

Top tips for growing sunflowers

  • Sunflowers like plenty of sun but also like to be kept moist, so choose a sunny spot when planting but don't forget to give your sunflower a regular drink (when sunflowers are well established they can also be given a drop of lawn or tomato feed which helps them grow tall)
  • If you are starting your sunflowers off in doors, introduce them to the outside world slowly - a couple of hours outside before returning them inside overnight helps to prepare them for being outside permanently
  • If you are starting your sunflowers off outdoors be aware that sunflowers are prey to predators - slugs, snails, mice, rabbits and other animals have a healthy appetitie for baby sunflowers, so be on your guard
  • Plastic bottles make for useful shelters - try cutting the bottom off a plasic bottle and putting this over the top of your sunflower, this will deter anything that thinks your sunflower might be dinner, while allowing the sunflower access to light to grow upwards out of the top
  • Gravel or egg shells placed around the base of a sunflower makes for an uneven surface for the likes of slugs and snails which need a flat surface to move about on

Resources

Learn more about growing sunflowers at the websites below.

Watering sunflowers.Get planting

Sunflower seeds can be planted anytime from March - June. They like to be kept moist and enjoy lots of sun. We hope everyone will have fun growing their sunflowers and look forward to seeing and sharing the varied and colourful results of everyone's work later in the year.

A big thank you

The Big Sunflower Project 2013 has been made possible by Tuckers Seeds, Packet Seeds, Thompson and Morgan, Suttons Seeds, Asda and Wedding in a Teacup.

To keep up with The Big Sunflower Project throughout the year, please see our
most recent newsletter.

Download our flyer (PDF, 266.71KB)

Visit The Big Sunflower Project on Facebook

The Big Sunflower Project 2013 on Flickr

View our photos from 2011 on Flickr
| View photos from 2012 on Flickr