Fires during sunflower harvest can be extremely common, especially during dry years with low humidity. Sunflower seedlings can take a bit of frost, and it’s safe to plant them outdoors about 2 weeks before the last expected frost date. Harvest the flower head when it looks completely dead. Method 1 of 4: Drying Sunflowers for Decorating 1. You may need to stake some of the taller varieties. Or when all fear of frost has gone, plant seeds straight into a well prepared, sunny growing site. Sunflowers are tall plants which can grow up to 3 metres in height. The morning you plan to cut your flowers, fill a clean bucket half full of warm water, between 100 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t forget to label your seeds with the crop type, variety name, and any useful notes about your seed source, when you harvested the seeds, and how many plants you … Alternatively, you can dry sunflower seeds for eating or the petals for decorating. Instead of devouring the seeds and destroying the flower, turn these ornate reminders of summer into a family heirloom. So, let’s start with growing them indoors. Question: Why did some sunflowers from the same package of sunflower seeds produce all black seeds, with only a few black and white? Select a complement of colors from the ProCut Series Sunflowers: solid petal colors from lemon to orange to deepest red, or bicolors. In this way, you will improve each generation by selecting the largest and most vigorous flowers to … Gardeners grow sunflowers for their beauty and their sweet-tasting seeds. Trying to collect seed from such plants will obviously be disappointing. Some families have made a tradition of gathering seed, going out in the fall and making sure they’ll have their favorite flower seeds available for spring planting. This can take from one to five days. When storing sunflower seeds for replanting, don’t forget to properly label them not only with the specific variety of seeds they grew, but also the date they were harvested. Dwarf sunflower varieties, which can be grown in pots or windy areas, are also available. Harvest partially open sunflowers. You can save and grow hybrids (a cross between two distinct varieties) into plants (for the most part). More on growing sunflowers: How to grow sunflowers from seed Personally, I tend to leave them up as natural bird feeders. If you are harvesting your seeds to save for future generations of sunflowers then the seeds you want to concentrate on collecting are the larger ones from around the edge. As the seed head nears the ripe stage, cover it with cheesecloth or a mesh bag and tie it around the stem. Surprisingly, it’s not so that humans can roast and eat the seeds – although I would highly recommend it. If you are growing an heirloom type, save seeds from the largest several plants, and plant the largest seeds (with the most life-sustaining endosperm) next season to increase your giant sunflower growing success. Keep your sunflowers well watered and feed weekly to encourage them to grow tall. However, some plants aren’t worth gathering seed from because they reproduce much faster by division. Save Sunflower Seeds To Plant The Following Spring. In fact, you can eat the seeds raw, but that’s a whole different subject. Here’s what to do… How to Grow Teddy Bear Sunflower Seeds in Pots Inside. Remember when you cut sunflowers for flowers, you are taking a lot of biomass from the field – the leaves, the stems, and the heads. Allow the sunflower plant to grow and mature for the entire season. After collecting the seeds, you can eat them right away, roast them with a little salt, or save some to plant for next season. Wait until the animals start sunflower harvesting for you and there’ll be nothing left for you! Sunflowers are annuals (meaning they complete their lifecycle in a year), and will not come back every year on their own, but you can easily save their seeds for planting next season. You can harvest sunflower seeds in the fall after the petals fall off and the back of the flower head turns yellow or brown. We've cut and sold sunflowers in late September before but just never staggered our plantings as late as into October. Harvest Sunflower Seeds: Hanging To Dry. Meanwhile, unroasted sunflower seeds can last for up to 2 to 3 months when stored in the pantry. If you intend to dry sunflowers for decorative purposes, it is better to use small- to medium-sized sunflowers that have only just begun to open. Annuals are the easiest because they’re the most prolific at producing seeds, but perennials and biennials are entirely possible. Growing sunflowers is easy and inexpensive and, as most bird-lovers know, sunflower seeds make great bird food. This can be handy if you have a short growing season like we do in here in Vermont. Don't cut them back, just let them grow. They can also be placed in the freezer, where they can keep for several months to a year. Sow seeds in pots from April and plant out when all risk of frost has passed. Hi, Erika. Check the bagged sunflower head every day. Use a pair of gardening shears to cut the head of the sunflower from the stalk. Place your newly harvested seeds into paper envelopes not forgetting to note the variety and keep in a dry location. There's more to sunflowers than being a 'Jack and the Beanstalk' plant to grow during the summer holidays, however, as they are also a major commercial seed oil and cut-flower crop. Here’s how to grow sunflowers. Shadow boxes, which are enclosed cases that many use to create decorative keepsakes and dioramas, are an ideal choice to immortalize your sunflower blossoms for several years to come. The covering also helps protect the seeds from wildlife. Sunflowers make excellent cut flowers but with just a few easy tips you can learn how to dry sunflowers. A sunflower's seed head is fully ripe when the leaves on the back of the head have turned brown. Sunflowers thrive best during long, hot summers. Lisa, Sunflowers are easy-to-grow annuals. Open the bag and feel the flower head for dryness. All black seeds have more bird food nutritional value. Congratulations on your wedding plans! Harvesting sunflowers is easy, but deciding when to harvest sunflowers can give some gardeners pause. Tomato seeds and beans can be left for many years in adequate storage conditions, while onion and carrot seeds are notoriously short lived. 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