When the seedlings have produced 4-8 leaves you can then gently separate them, being careful not to damage the delicate roots, and plant them in a sunny weed-free spot in the garden. Plants grown in the ground with plenty of space and sunlight will flower most impressively, but it is possible to grow the seedlings in large containers on the balcony or patio.
Sunflowers and cornflowers are annuals but don’t prune off the dead flowers as birds will enjoy eating the seeds from dead flower heads. Keep them on throughout winter for as long as possible as they offer a good source of food for hungry birds. When spring appears, cut back the Echinops so they flower plentiful in the summer.
How to identify your seedlings:
Cornflower seedlings have long, slightly silvery leaves. Cornflower likes moist soil during spring and summer which helps prolong flowering. Dead flower heads can be removed to encourage flowering in autumn.
Echinops seedlings will have a pair of pale strap like leaves.
Sunflower seedlings have oval-shaped and slightly hairy leaves. Sunflowers like full sun and may need support.