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Helping grow a generation of gardeners!

Over the past four months, 13,795 youngsters from 277 kindergartens across the country took part in our Daltons Sunflowers in Kindergartens Project, and we can proudly reveal the winners below. The fun project engaged budding gardeners in friendly competition, where each Kindergarten strived to grow the tallest sunflower and the sunflower with the widest head in their region. This year's event was particularly significant, achieving the highest level of participation since the project's inception! While mother nature threw wet and wild spring weather at many of the regions, this did not dampen the enthusiasm of the dedicated kindy growers who learnt skills on how to protect and care for their sunflowers.

best photo
prize draw
Regional Tallest Sunflower 2023

Auckland Kindergarten Association: KiNZ Myers Park, 272cm
Central Kids Kindergartens Association: Central Kids Kindergartens Apanui, 251cm
Dunedin Kindergartens Association: Roslyn Kindergarten, 121cm
Inspired Kindergartens (Tauranga):  OPEYS All Day Kindergarten, 250cm
Kidsfirst Kindergartens Christchurch: Kidsfirst Kindergartens Hei Hei, 195cm
Kindergarten Taranaki: Stratford Central Kindergarten, 182cm
Marlborough Kindergarten Association: Mayfield Kindergarten, 150cm
Nelson Tasman Kindergartens Association: Grove Street Kindergarten, 249cm
Northland Kindergartens Association: Waitangi Kindergarten, 213cm
Waikato Kindergarten Association: Pukete Kindergarten, 206cm
Whanau Manaaki Kindergartens (Wellington): Wellington South Kindergarten, 258cm

Regional Widest Sunflower Head 2023

Auckland Kindergarten Association: Greenhithe Kindergarten, 31cm
Central Kids Kindergartens Association: Central Kids Ōtorohanga Kindergarten, 25.8cm
Dunedin Kindergartens Association: Mornington Kindergarten, 7cm
Inspired Kindergartens (Tauranga): Pāpāmoa Coast Kindergarten, 23cm
Kidsfirst Kindergartens Christchurch: Kidsfirst Kindergartens Ilam, 9cm
Kindergarten Taranaki: Pukekura Kindergarten, 11cm
Marlborough Kindergarten Association: Witherlea Kindergarten, 11.5cm
Nelson Tasman Kindergartens Association: Nayland Kindergarten, 19cm
Northland Kindergartens Association: Waitangi Kindergarten, 23cm
Waikato Kindergarten Association: Hukanui Kindergarten, 15.5cm
Whanau Manaaki Kindergartens (Wellington): Wellington South Kindergarten, 12cm

Sunflower Photo Girl
Smelling a sunflower
The 2023 Daltons Sunflowers in Kindergartens Project launched on the 21 August 2023

Since its inception in 2013, thousands of Kindergarten children nationwide have taken part in the Daltons Sunflowers in Kindergartens Project which encourages Kindy kids to become the next generation of gardeners. 

The project runs biennially and this year 13,795 children through 277 kindergartens across 11 kindergarten associations took part. It has been stem again stem, flower against flower, as the Kindergartens compete regionally to grow the tallest, or widest, sunflower - whilst learning gardening skills for life. 

This year we have kept the homegrown sunflower award which we introduced during the pandemic, giving children an opportunity to grow their own at home and share their gardening skills with family. We hope all the participating tamariki from Kindergartens and Centres have fun and learn some valuable gardening skills along the way!  

Important dates

  • Register before Friday 30 June 2023 (registrations are now closed)
  • Project started Monday 21 August 2023
  • Submit Final photos and measurements by project end date 
    Monday 11 December 2023
kids sunflowers


Regional Kindergarten Associations

  • The Tallest Sunflower Award
  • The Widest Sunflower Head Award
  • Prize packs for each of the regional winners



  • Prize Draw for all participating kindergartens
  • Best Photo Award – prize for winning photo
  • Daltons Best Little Gardener prize for each Kindergarten (included in your starter pack)
  • Tallest Homegrown Sunflower Award


late bloomers

Late Bloomers Awards

We recognise that not everyone had flowers bloom in time, or tall enough sunflowers at end of the main project (Monday 11 December 2023) due to their location or the weather. With this in mind, we are running the Late Bloomers Awards in recognition of those kindergartens in regions that may have struggled.

Kindergartens can send in photos and measurements of their blooming best sunflowers anytime from Wednesday 13 December 2023 to Monday 12 February 2024

About the Project

The Daltons Sunflowers in Kindergartens Project is a much-loved initiative designed to empower a generation of gardeners and provides an opportunity for children to win prizes for their kindergarten along the way. At the heart of the project lies Daltons' goal to spark children’s interest and grow a passion for gardening. The project provides a platform for children to learn gardening skills and a basic understanding of plants by sowing seeds, learning about germination, caring for seedlings, planting them out and daily care of their plant, and much more. 

The tallest sunflower grown nationally since the project’s inception was a giant 3.41 metres and the widest sunflower head was 35 cm across. 

Thank you to our Sponsors

A huge thank you to our sponsors, Kings Seeds, The Warehouse and GARDENA who join us again this year and help make this project possible. 

King Seeds

Kings Seeds have been a partner of the project since its inception and supply Sunflower Skyscraper Seeds - without them we have no project!

The Warehouse

The Warehouse has been a valued project partner since 2013 and generously donate vouchers for our winner’s prize packs.


GARDENA kindly donate one of their fantastic watering nozzles into our winner’s prize packs.

*This Daltons Sunflowers in Kindergartens Project is only running in selected regions of New Zealand for 2023 in participating kindergarten associations. For more information, please review the project terms and conditions here.