Teddy Bear Sunflowers – A Cuddly Giant Flower

I love all sorts of sunflowers.  They are my daughter’s favorite flower and I plant them in all of my garden beds each year.  I have some in my test garden that are about 7 feet tall right now and still not opened.  I plant the large yellow type and rust colored ones too, but I have never had a chance to plant these beautiful teddy bear sunflowers.

How to grow Teddy Bear Sunflowers

Image adapted from a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license photo. Photographer Mike Peel.

Unusual Teddy Bear sunflowers.

The beautiful thing about these plants is the huge and round blossoms that it puts out. The variety is called a Teddy Bear sunflower and it is just gorgeous. The image below is by photographer Pamela Nocentini who has captured one in all its glory.

Teddy Bear SunflowerThe plant is an annual, sown from seed each year in the spring. Helianthus annuus is the botanical name.  Like all sunflowers, it will need staking to support the heads.

Kids really love this Teddy Bear sunflower. This unusual member of the sunflower family is unlike regular types. It has cuddly-looking, 4-5 inch fully-doubled yellow flowers that are held up on sturdy dwarf plants 2 1/2-3 feet tall.

  • Full Sun
  • Sow seeds in April to May.
  • Days to germination 7-14.
  • Water deeply but infrequently.
  • Amend soil with organic matter.
  • Do not over fertilize or the stems may break.

One source that I have found for the seeds is Territorial Seed Company. I have also seen seeds for sale for this plant on Amazon.  

There is also a dwarf version of the teddy bear sunflower.  It does not have quite the same puffy blossom but is still very pretty. This variety grows to about 3 feet tall so is quite manageable.dwarf teddy bear sunflower

I have not tried to grow this plant from seeds from either company. If you do, please let us know how they germinate in the comments below.

When fall rolls around, I combine sunflowers with pumpkins in a unique no carve sunflower pumpkin display. Check it out!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  56 comments for “Teddy Bear Sunflowers – A Cuddly Giant Flower

  1. dee
    06/30/2013 at 8:22 am

    ones i use to plant never got tall, maybe 12-20in.

    • admin
      06/30/2013 at 8:41 am

      I have two sunflowers in my yard right now just ready to open that are at least 7 feet tall. They are the biggest ones I have grown yet.

      Not the teddy bear ones though. I would love to get some seeds for them.


      • Tracy Laghos
        11/03/2019 at 10:19 am

        I had lots of teddy bear sunflowers, some as big as 7 feet tall . I had about 20 flowers., but can’t seem to save seeds to grow next year, only got about 10 seeds, anyone know how to get the seeds from the flower?

        • Carol Speake
          11/03/2019 at 12:49 pm

          I have heard that you can place a bag over the sunflower heads to catch the seeds. This keeps the birds away from them.

        • Glen
          05/03/2020 at 12:19 pm

          Wee bouth them at terra flower shop

    • Cathy Redman
      10/20/2018 at 10:29 am

      I planted the dwarf teddy bear type..they r really cool..really easy to grow, just like other sunflowers..

      • Carol
        10/21/2018 at 3:51 pm

        Hi Cathy. I planted some this summer and loved the way they look!

        • Gwyn Witt
          09/11/2020 at 11:48 am

          I live in Redding Calif & have planted for 9 yesrs. My favorites are the Teddy Bears & the ones with a Teddy Bear Face. This yrs Harvest my prise is the MAMMOTH.. it grew 15′ tall higher than my roof and its Flower is dinner plate size. A Passion I so Desire with SWEET REWARDS.

    • Ann Vosen
      06/22/2019 at 9:45 am

      I would love to plant these flowers!

      • Jess Hill
        07/13/2019 at 7:59 am

        My teddy bear sunflower just opened its first bloom. It’s only about a foot tall but I believe that’s due to the size pot it’s in.

        • Carol
          07/13/2019 at 11:25 am

          Unusual for the stalk to be so short. Is it a miniature variety?

    • Dennis
      08/15/2019 at 8:37 pm

      I started with the dwarf teddy bear seeds last season. They grew to about 2 – 3′ tall. Multiple blooms and beautiful textures. This season I only grew one plant. It grew to about 6′ feet tall. It grew one large bloom about 4 – 5″ inches and 5 additional flowers on the 2 – 3 ” range. They are spectacular to watch grow. I suggest growing the dwarf seeds and replanting the seeds next season, you might get the same results. My Mammath seeds grew to almost 15` feet this year with 10 to 12 inch heads and thick loaded with seeds. Next year I expect an even larger yield. But most of all, the Teddy’s now are my favourite sunflower to plant each year. However all sunflowers are easy to grow for anyone willing to plant some seeds in the garden. Good Luck!

      • Carol
        08/16/2019 at 7:53 am

        It sounds like you have just the right conditions for them!

  2. Cindy
    08/18/2013 at 1:45 pm

    I would be very interested in finding out where to get these seeds from,they are beautiful.

  3. Martiens Prinsloo
    12/18/2013 at 1:15 pm

    Hi There

    Were can we get hold of this seed. This giant sunflower is very nice to look at and to have in you’re garden. We are searching for the giant Teddy Bear sunflower website but can only find a few but there is no place for us to contact the people. Please can someone e-mail us in this regard. We had some seeds and the flowers that we had were very giant, approximately 6feet high. We can only get the Teddy bear ‘dwarf” seeds from Starke Ayres. We believe Kirchoff’s may have some packets of seeds (giant flowers/seeds)
    Thank you

    • admin
      12/19/2013 at 1:43 pm

      I have not seen the seeds for this variety for sale anywhere so I can’t help on that Martiens. Carol

      • Delmar Gillette
        09/15/2016 at 12:31 pm

        Google “Teddybear Sunflower Seeds”

        You can see lots of places. If you order from Amazon, please read the reviews about the provider before you order. (always good advise for any item you purchase on Amazon)

        • Patricia Casey
          06/20/2019 at 2:23 pm

          I bought the seeds . They germinated so far 17/20 . I’ll let you know how it goes .

  4. Mmarilyn
    05/06/2016 at 6:05 pm

    I purchased my seeds on ebay. Planted two weeks ago and so far nothing. It says to stagger the plantings. So the will be in bloom lomger

    • Carol
      05/06/2016 at 7:18 pm

      I am hit and miss on my sunflower seeds. They seem to like to be sown in very warm weather.

  5. 05/31/2016 at 2:20 am

    I have just four seedlings from a packet and am really looking to seem them grow.
    I am not often on this website so you will need to keep in touch for progress reports.

    Important post script: I am not a gardener.

    • Carol
      05/31/2016 at 6:17 pm

      Hi Sidney. Would love to see some photos if they grown for you! Carol

  6. Delmar Gillette
    09/15/2016 at 12:28 pm

    Google “Teddybear Sunflower Seeds” to find out sites to buy seeds.

  7. Dana Romero
    04/23/2017 at 2:18 pm

    My daughter picked these seeds out at Menards and we are going to plant them soon. We are not professional gardners, so wish us luck!

    • Carol
      04/23/2017 at 10:06 pm

      HI Dana I hope they grow well for you. Would love to see a photo if they are successful. Carol

  8. Uka
    05/09/2017 at 2:33 am

    My mom would love teddy bear sunflowers……she has the most unusual but nice backyard I have seen.

    • Carol
      05/09/2017 at 9:50 am

      Hi Uka, I would love to see pictures of it! Carol

  9. Susan Hanifin
    05/12/2017 at 10:49 pm

    I am trying the Dwarf Teddy Bear sunflowers this year in Anchorage, Alaska. I got my seeds at Walmart. I planted them in small pots in my South facing window. Very easy so far. I put them out in my garden May 10, 2017. If they do well I will add a photo.

    • Carol
      05/13/2017 at 12:26 pm

      Thanks Susan. Hope they grow well for you. Sometimes transplanting sunflower seedlings can be a challenge. Carol

  10. Anna
    07/14/2017 at 7:11 pm

    I bought some seeds in late May from Walmart. Of all the seeds I planted, only one grew. And just this week it started blooming! So incredibly proud of my little plant (it’s only about a foot and half tall)!

    • Carol
      07/14/2017 at 9:51 pm

      And how pretty it is too!

  11. Peggy
    08/25/2017 at 11:51 pm

    I found my Teddy Bear seeds at Wal-mart , started them in starter kits , they are about
    inch tall now , I will put them in larger pot’s as they get a little taller . it has been fun
    getting them started . can’t wait to see them grow out door’s . I found my starter kits at
    the 1.00 tree for a 1.00 each,


    • Carol
      08/26/2017 at 7:32 pm

      I’d love to see pictures when they grow outdoors!

  12. Sunflower images
    02/22/2018 at 6:40 am

    Very nice teddy bear sunflower images and pictures with ideal way to present how one can it grows. Useful information related seed of teddy bear sunflower and how it raise? Nice work

  13. Megan McMillen
    04/30/2018 at 10:14 am

    This Spring is my first time planting Teddy Bear sunflowers from seed, and the germination was a breeze! Usually I soak my sunflower seeds in wet paper towels, but I just straight sewed these, and they sprouted in about a week.

    • Carol
      04/30/2018 at 2:02 pm

      I just planted some this past weekend. Can’t wait to see those huge fluffy heads! Carol

  14. Megan McMillen
    04/30/2018 at 10:17 am

    Also Hudson Valley Seed Co. carries Teddy Bear sunflowers for a decent price. All my seeds sprouted instead of the usual 50/50.

  15. George Trojack
    06/27/2018 at 11:05 pm

    I have 16 teddy bear plants and all have 3-4 buds. They are doing great but I am curious because a couple look as though they are not going to bloom – but seed instead. DOes anyone know if this is common r if I did something wrong. We had a streak of 2 days over 95 degrees and they were stressed but so many are perfect and some are ‘seeding’ and not blooming. See pictures… ANY ADVICE?

  16. Carole
    08/15/2018 at 7:58 pm

    Here’s a “very unusual” one from my garden. It appeared recently with a little face in the middle.
    (Yes, it had a little help from a felt tip pen. I couldn’t pass it up. Lot’s of fun showing it to friends and getting their reactions….from total amazement and belief, to furled forehead and squinted eyes, but always a hearty laugh share by all.

  17. Carole
    08/15/2018 at 8:05 pm

    This “unusual” Teddy Bear recently appeared in my garden. ( I admit it had a little enhancement from a felt tip pen!)

    • Carol
      08/16/2018 at 2:44 pm

      Too cute! Love his face! Carol

  18. Val
    08/15/2018 at 8:55 pm

    I planted a pack of flower seeds in the sprinf and two sunflowers appeared. One is at least 8 ft tall, just opened and it is the teddy bear sunflower. I counted and it has over a dozen blossoms on it! It is the most stunny flower! I am going to attempt to harvest seeds from it for next year.

  19. Val
    08/15/2018 at 8:56 pm

    This is my Teddy Bear right now!

    • Carol
      08/16/2018 at 2:43 pm

      So pretty. Thanks for sharing the photo! Carol

  20. Mike
    02/17/2019 at 12:46 pm

    I have been growing various types of sunflowers for years now as they are my favourite and make a nice cover as well for privacy around decks and what not. I have had some as tall as ten feet and harvest the seeds each and every fall. Some are used for replanting the next year and the rest go to feeding the birds over winter. Just purchased teddy bear seeds last night off amazon and look forward to planting when spring comes around.

    • Carol
      02/17/2019 at 6:54 pm

      My daughter loves them so we always have them here. I had good luck with my teddy bear seeds last summer.

  21. 04/18/2019 at 1:02 pm

    can anyone help me with the fungal or bacterial diseases of teddy bear sun flower i want to do research on it but i am unable to find data regarding this ?

  22. Sarah Patten
    05/14/2019 at 1:52 pm

    We have grown Teddy Bear sunflower for it years. It is one of our favorites and grow it as a freebie when people come and buy from our greenhouse. True to its description it will only get 2 1/2 -3 ft tall with a beautiful head. It needs support once the head starts to form and stays in bloom for weeks. We get our seeds from Baker Creek heirloom seeds

    • Carol
      05/14/2019 at 4:15 pm

      Thanks for the tip Sarah. It is nice to know about reputable sellers of seeds.

    • JPackard
      06/17/2019 at 6:15 am

      Just curious as this is my first year with teddy bear sunflowers, I received mine mothers day weekend from our daycare, it was already potted for me and is about a foot tall with pretty green leaves; how long before it sprouts the actual heads? there are five stems if that matters and is in a small to medium potting container (desk size). Any advise as I am anxiously waiting to see how gorgeous this flower blooms.

      • Carol
        06/17/2019 at 11:29 am

        It depends on your actual variety but most sunflowers bloom about 50-60 days from planting.

  23. Peggy
    06/30/2019 at 9:34 am

    I was at the Philadelphia Flower Show and purchased Teddy Bear Sunflower seeds (along with many others) from Hudson Valley Seed. They do organic gardening which I appreciate. Mine haven’t bloomed yet but they’re growing beautifully!!🌻

    • Carol
      06/30/2019 at 10:39 am

      You are in for a treat when they do bloom!

  24. Maria Fallone
    08/25/2020 at 9:47 pm

    We grow the tall Teddy Bear Sunflowers every year. Start them from seed in March, keep them in sunny spot. Plant in ground when no frost. Wish I could post photos. Love them

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