Sunflower Harvesting

garlicgoddess(Z8 Seattle)October 13, 2008

I grew sunflowers for the first time in this climate (NE Seattle) and it doesn't seem like I will be getting any actual seeds for my efforts. I read that you should wait until the back of the flower turns from green to yellow to brown, then it's time to harvest them for drying. However the flowers in my yard that are yellow or brown in back are also molding where the seeds would be forming. Is there a way to salvage these, and is this typical?

Thanks for any suggestions.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sunflowers can be hit or miss, particularly in this wetter than normal transition from summer to fall that we seem to have had. I wouldn't use any seeds that came in contact with mold. Try again next year and I'll bet you'll have more luck.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 12:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
madrone(VancIsl BC)

Next summer, you might want to let each plant only produce one or two big sunflowers by cutting away any other flowers while they are still small. That will put more of the energy into producing bigger heads. It will also give you all summer to ripen those two flowers. In the fall, when the flower petals have shrivelled and before our rains hit, cut off the flower, leaving enough stalk so that you can hang it in a sunny, dry, hot spot to cure. You should get the majority of the flower producing viable seed. (But watch out, for the birds will know when the seed is dry and start harvesting it themselves!)

    Bookmark   October 20, 2008 at 11:09PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Question re: NW Garden show
We are planning to go to the NW Garden show for the...
August Bloomers
We have a family reunion planned for our house in mid...
Anyone "wintersowing" tomatoes in the PNW?
I wintersow/spring sow everything else and have for...
2nd annual 'Shovel Prune' plant swap (Portland area)
Just wanted remind people to start thinking about,...
Holy aphids Batman!
With the arctic freeze moving on, I went out yesterday...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™