Sunfloweeds from petstore?

cookie8(zone 5 ON)January 28, 2010

I was just reading on sunflowers and an article mentioned buying the seeds from a petstore? Has anyone heard of this or tried this? I would assume it would you basic field sunflower which I am looking for as I would like to plant quite a few. Thanks for any input.

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I don't think I'd buy them from a pet store. You don't know how long they've been there or what conditions they were kept in.

I'd check out a farm supply store in your area, if you want to buy them in bulk. You can find out if there are any nearby at 411 on line The link is below

Here is a link that might be useful: seeds

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 6:13PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

think of it this way ...

a bird/rodent ... will eat a seed that has been laying on the ground for years ....

since these are non-food grade seeds ... you can not predict where or how they have been stored ...

personally i would store pet food a whole lot different than i would store seeds for planting ...

i suppose if you got lucky .. and the seeds were basically this season.. and freshly packed and properly stored ... it will work ... and it would be a fun experiment ...

but if i were needing to rely on success ... then i would pony up the little extra that GOOD seed would cost ...

any local grain facility .. farm store.. etc .. should be able to give you the info you seek ... and i wouldnt be surprised a price better than a pet store ...


    Bookmark   January 29, 2010 at 8:59AM
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Hahaha...funny you should ask! I had sunflowers popping up in all of my gardens last summer! At first I didn't realize what was happening, then i realized the darn Chipmunks take them out of the bird feeders and "plant" them all over the place! I left a few and they turn into the kind of sunflowers that have huge seed heads. The kind of seed i use for the feeders are the Black Oil type. They seem to be very viable!!!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2010 at 9:00AM
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cookie8(zone 5 ON)

I figured they would be the type for very large heads with lots of seeds (which I wanted). I am bad at buying seeds - I pick the picture of the packet I like best but in real life they look like duds! Very deceiving those packets. Maybe I will check out a farm store as they probably more function than esthetics there. Thanks for the tip. I am looking for a sure thing and not experiment I also want cheap as the packets are expensive vs. how many seeds you get.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2010 at 8:26AM
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I don't see any reason not to use sunflower seeds for birds to plant for ornamental enjoyment or your own bird seed, other than most sunflowers raised for commercial production are usually hybrid anymore. Therefore the seed you plant may not produce offspring exactly matching what their parents looked like.

I've had lovely volunteers and ugly scrawny volunteers. If you are interested in a quality head, or ornamental attributes, you may be money ahead by buying them bulk and f1 if you can find them that way. If you just want sunflowers you might try bird seed. Most farm supply stores sell both. It's your dime. LOL.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 2:59AM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

just a warning on the sunflowers- I've also had nice sunflowers grow from generic birdseed, the black oil seed will most likely give 4-6 foot branched plants with smaller blooms, the grey stripe will probably give the same height with large single blooms. My warning is that some of the hybrid birdseed may bloom pollen-free.... not a big deal and sometimes a plus for cutflowers, but if you want seed the birds can eat you will need to plant sunflowers that produce pollen at the same time in order to cross pollinate and produce edible seeds.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 6:22PM
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Propaganda Garden Design

I've never had a sunflower of any type that didn't produce edible seed that the birds loved.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 3:14PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

Somewhere I have noted: "this casual observation ... I tossed a handful [wild bird seed] and raked it in a bit and watered and got at least six different varieties of plants growing from wild bird seed; mustard, two different sorts of sunflowers, two or more different grasses and something as yet unidentified. "

And somewhere else I noted: "The cheaper mammoth sunflower seed in the bird seed section of Walmart have good ... [I could not find the rest of this post. ]"

    Bookmark   February 26, 2010 at 4:52PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

clematis- my comment "if you want seed the birds can eat" wasn't clear. My point was that the plants did not produce any seed at all. They bloomed nicely but the seed heads were full of empty husks, not fertile seeds. The birds would pick at a couple but give up once they found out there was nothing in there to eat.

Later in the season I had some other volunteer sunflowers come up and bloom. These did have pollen and from that point on the bees could get to work and all the sunflowers in the yard started to set viable seed.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2010 at 8:42PM
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