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Sunflowers

Helianthus annuus
Orange and Yellow Sunflower

One of the easiest plants to grow from seed, and with spectacular flowers are the Sunflowers. And as they are native to North America they grow well over a wide area. However it is the cultivars that are widely grown in gardens today.

The appeal of sunflowers is the quick growing nature, easy care, ability to grow with little water, and of course the pretty as a picture flowers.

If you were under the impression that all sunflowers were tall and yellow then think again. Over many years the sub species have been hybridized, we have red flowers, yellow flowers

Grown as an annual, although with some hybridization, perennials varieties can also be found. Sunflowers can reach great heights, some up to 12 ft in good soil and good conditions. You can also find dwarf varieties that are suited to growing in containers.

Sunflowers are excellent plants for children to grow, they are fast, reliable and the brilliant flowers reward and encourage kids for the effort.

 

Where to buy sunflower seed

  • You can buy seeds of named cultivars Online, this will get you the colors and size of plant you are looking for.
  • You will also find that sunflowers grow well from the ‘sunflower bird seed packets’, usually yellow flowers.

How to collect seed from last years crop.

  • You need to watch the seed formation in the flower head. Once the seeds ‘look like seed’ you will need to act quickly to beat the birds to them.
  • Use a fine mesh bag to tie over the flower heads, this will keep the birds away while the seeds ripen.
  • The seeds will eventually start to come away from the flower head.
    You are ready to cut the flower head off, shake out the seed, let it dry and store it in a cool dry place until next spring.