Friday, June 5, 2015

Growing Sunflowers: Tips and My Favorites For Growing and Cutting

I love to grow sunflowers and they are an easy summer flower to grow. Sunflowers can be grown for the flowers and the seeds and because I followed my earlier planting schedule, I already have a garden full of the cheery sunflowers I love.

sunflowers for vases, colorful sunflowers

Growing Sunflowers: Tips and My Favorites For Growing and Cutting

How to grow sunflowers and favorite varieties, bee on giant sunflower head

This large variety of sunflower is Mammoth. We took a picture of my hubby's mammoth head next to it for comparison.

Growing sunflowers: tips and my favorites, handsome man with sunflower

As the seed head dries it will turn brown. In about 45 days when the back of the sunflower is dried and you see the brown seed heads, the sunflower is ready for harvesting. I am growing sunflowers for chicken feed. The protein in the sunflowers is great for the chickens come fall when they begin to molt (loose their feathers) and grow new ones as feather growth requires lots of protein.

ripening sunflower seed head, Growing sunflowers: tips and my favorites

Best Sunflowers To Grow For Cutting:

If you like to pick sunflowers for bouquets, the best varieties are the multi-branched sunflowers. They will give you long straight stems perfect for cutting. One of my favorite red sunflowers for cutting is the  red Velvet Queen. A deep red velvet color sunflower.

I save sunflowers seeds from this variety to replant every year.  Red and yellow are by far the most popular but there are many colors including orange. This is the best orange sunflower by far.

 velvet queen sunflower, red sunflower

You can see how huge this sunflower grew and how many flowers were there for the picking.

velvet queen sunflower, tall multi branched sunflowers, red velvet sunflower, sunflowers for cutting

 Wondering how to grow sunflowers from seeds? They are easy to grow and low maintenance. If you amend with some compost when planting and water regularly, they will grow without care. Once established they are actually pretty drought tolerant which is good for us Southern California gardeners right now. You can grow sunflowers in a pot or container as long as it is fairly large to hold the sunflowers up.
Remember to water containers regularly as they dry out faster than the soil in the garden will.

Growing Sunflowers: sunflowers tall

Remember to check out my tips for making cut sunflower bouquets last longer.

sunflowers in vase, vintage tray, jadeite salt and pepper


  1. Used to see these around, but not in a long time. Yours are very pretty and grown so tall.

  2. I always mean to plant sunflowers. Yours are absolutely gorgeous - and aren't they so cheery! I think I'll go track down some seed. I've got 45 days. The photos are beautiful. I enjoyed them so much! Have a nice weekend, Elaine.

  3. Elaine... your garden is spectacular! You've done a wonderful job showcasing these sunflowers ...and the seeds for the chickens are a great idea.
    I didn't get any in the ground this year, so many reasons why... I bet I could still plant and get some. I'm going to give it a shot...
    You had me laughing at your hubby's MAMMOTH HEAD! LOL.... you crack me up!

  4. I need to go read your tips on how to make cut sunflowers last longer. I love sunflower seeds and sunflower butter. :)

    I have a funny story for you about sunflowers. When I was in first grade we were given sunflower seeds to take home and plant. After a certain amount of time, we were supposed to bring the flowers back to school and share them in the lunchroom. I can remember I took mine home and planted them close to the house by a downspout. I only had one grow, and I was so proud of that pitiful little flower. I took it to school, and everyone had beautiful sunflower bouquets, and I had this pitiful, tiny little sunflower about three inches in diameter. I was traumatized, I tell ya!

    Have a great Saturday!


  5. Your sunflowers are gorgeous! I have never had luck with them. I have horrible clay soil and drainage is a problem. I try a lot of different flowers, perennials and flowering bushes and have to see what can survive.

  6. Your flowers are beautiful! I've never seen sunflowers in any other color but yellow. Thanks for sharing, I might try to plant some here in sunny Fl:)