Harness the Sunniness of Sunflowers

Vego Garden
Vego Garden

You’ve lovingly planted the seeds, anticipating the moment your sunflowers majestically reach for the sky. It’s a beautiful sight.

But, now what?

Vego Garden Horticulturist Sydney Fiene answers some of the most common questions about how to make the most of your sunflowers.

Q: When do sunflowers stop growing?

A: This really depends on what type of sunflowers you are wanting to plant. Mammoth sunflowers, for example, are summer annuals, which means they get planted and grown during the summer months. Sometimes they do slowly continue to shoot out blooms along the stem, sometimes they do not. 

A bushy variety of sunflowers continues to bloom throughout the season, typically summer through autumn. 

The time it takes sunflowers to bloom from seed depends on the type you are planting, but it typically takes 11-18 weeks. 

Q: What can we do with sunflowers once they have fully bloomed?

A: There are lots of things you can do with an edible variety, such as grilling the whole sunflower head, harvesting the seeds, etc. Other types of sunflowers can be preserved, pressed, and cut for flower bouquets.

(Check out this recipe for roasting in-shell sunflower seeds.)

Q: How and when can/should we bring sunflowers indoors and add them to a vase?

A: Cut sunflowers can typically last in a vase from 6-12 days with proper care. I like to cut mine when they first open to get the healthiest, brightest looking blooms. Be sure to immediately add them into water to lower the risk of them drooping. 

Q: If you missed out this year, when do we plant the next seeds? Can we use the actual seeds from this year’s crop?

A: Sunflower seeds are very heat tolerant, and depending on your location, they can be planted into soil until around the end of June. Otherwise, the soil needs to be a constant temp of around 60 degrees to germinate.

As long as the seeds have been properly harvested and dried, then yes they can be planted again next year. 

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