HELP! Can I save my Sunflowers

mla2ofusOctober 5, 2013

It was 23 F degrees last night and my huge sunflower leaves are almost black and wilted. The flowers are huge and the seeds are well developed but still green. Is there any way to save them so that they can ripen? Maybe cut them and hang them in the shop to dry?

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digit(ID/WA)

I bet that would work.

Skybird is the expert at hanging things upside down. She and some pilots actually made a career out of it, as best as I understand. Yes, things fall out of people's pockets when you do that and airline personnel, well, those resources then belong to them.

With your sunflowers, I'd include as much of the stem as you can hack or saw off. It would be even better to rip the plant out of the ground. All that plant nutrition is just trying to get into those seeds.

digits

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 3:39PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

LOL! I admit there were a few folks I would have loved to hang upside down, Digit, including an occasional flying partner, but I never found anywhere on the ceiling to hang them from!!! But if I had been able to do it I would most definitely have returned anything that fell out of their pockets-----maybe! I don't think I've ever been upside down in a plane, but the turbulence was so bad on one flite--after dark--that I really can't tell you if we were right side up, upside down, or somewhere in between! Can tell ya that when we finally managed to land, after aborting the first attempt, the pax were all so freaked out there was absolute silence in the cabin, and it stayed that way for the entire deplaning! As for me, I decided I was glad it was dark out so I couldn't see what was going on outside! [I haven't been posting very much around here, and I don't think I've mentioned this, but as of last December, I'm an Officially Retired Little Olde Lady! No more of that looking for a way to "hang" my passengers!]

About the sunflowers! I don't know if the seeds will ripen if they're cut or not, but at this point I'd say you don't have anything to lose in trying it! You must not have any squirrels!!! My neighbors have a couple of those BIG ones, and I've been finding chunks of the seedheads (sans seeds!) laying in my perennial beds! The squirrels climb the stems, gnaw off a chunk of it and then, apparently, carry it to my part of the fence (the neighbors have dogs!) where they eat the seeds and then leave their trash laying in my yard! Yesterday I saw one of the squirrels hanging upside down (speaking of upside down!) on their one remaining intact seedhead, happily chowing down--the dogs were inside! I agree that keeping a fair amount of the stem attached to the seedhead might help, but if yours are as tall as my neighbors, I'm kinda thinkin' you're not gonna be able to pull them out by the roots to hang them--unless you have a room with a VERY high ceiling! If you cut and hang them I'm sure they'll dry for you (duh!) but what I'm not sure about is if they'll turn black or not--but I'm kinda bettin' they will!

As for me hanging things, I have seven tomato plants hanging in my garage, and four paprika pepper plants all tied into one bunch. Still have two cherry tomatoes outside that have been covered for the last two nites and will be uncovered tomorrow, nighttime temps starting tomorrow are supposed to stay in the 40's for about a week, and will decide when I see the forecast beyond that if I want to cut them too or try to leave them out the a little longer. Have three eggplants covered too, so am really hoping it stays "not too cold" for at least a couple more weeks. Hanging eggplants in the garage is NOT gonna help them! The lowest I got last nite was 29.

If you decide to hang the seedheads, let us know what they look like in a month or so!

Skybird [Stew no more -- Skybird Forever!]

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 12:48AM
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mla2ofus

Thought I'd give you an up-date. As the stalk is still bright green we decided to leave the plants standing for now. we will cut them and hang them inside the Tall shop before it snows. Personally I don't think they will do much as some still have the dried up blossoms on the seeds, though a few have a little bit of brown showing. It doesn't cost anything to try though. Thanks for answering.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 10:20AM
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