11 votes
Accepted

Why do sunflowers move only flowers towards the sun?

Sunflowers are tall, so contrary to most of the compositae (Asteraceae), the flowers appear vertically (and not horizontally). In this manner bees will see the flowers without the need to fly very ...
Giacomo Catenazzi's user avatar
10 votes

My sunflowers are too tall (over 5') and butting into the top of my enclosed garden

Sunspot is a relatively "short" variety that only grows to 4 feet. Autumn beauty will grow to about 6 feet. The Mexican sunflower Tithonia diversifolia (which is not really a sunflower at ...
alephzero's user avatar
  • 11.4k
9 votes

How to make sure a sunflower produces seed?

Sunflowers that self-pollinate produce viable seeds. The only thing to watch out for is inbreeding, that is in a few generations the plants will exhibit traits that you don't see now on your current ...
Alina's user avatar
  • 5,406
9 votes
Accepted

Can sunflower be used in Three Sisters planting instead of corn?

Firstly I don't think the sunflowers will provide the trellis. I think they are much weaker than corn. Secondly, I haven't heard of anyone using sunflowers for companion planting. Maybe because they ...
Rohit Gupta's user avatar
  • 2,370
6 votes
Accepted

How do you tell the difference between sunflowers and sunchokes?

Sunflowers and sunchokes are both members of the genus "helianthus", hence related and some similarities are to be expected - think family resemblance amongst cousins. Sunflowers' Latin name ...
Stephie's user avatar
  • 16.3k
6 votes
Accepted

How long do sunflower seeds stay viable?

According to this temperate climate permaculture site, they stay viable for 5 to 7 years. It lists the viability of a number of kinds of seeds, and I recognize the lengths stated for some seeds as ...
Brōtsyorfuzthrāx's user avatar
5 votes

Can you recommend any short, large-seeded sunflowers?

I found a couple sunflowers that look like they could work. They are Dwarf Sunspot and Yellow Pygmy. They appear to have large heads and large seeds, and appear to be dwarfs. Dwarf Sunspot only gets 1–...
Brōtsyorfuzthrāx's user avatar
5 votes

What is the fate of this sunflower? Will it produce seeds?

Many sunflowers are able to pollinate themselves using their own pollen in the case that they do not get pollen from a different plant. Now that the ray florets have matured and fallen the seed should ...
Colin Beckingham's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Should I use epsom salt foliage spray on giant sunflowers?

You're unlikely to notice any big difference from this treatment. It would be more useful as a soil treatment. For consistent giant sunflowers, soil and light are the most important things to get ...
J. Musser's user avatar
  • 51.7k
4 votes

How can sunflowers be grown in a squirrel and chipmunk rich environment?

I don't have so many squirrels, and I think they didn't know yet that such seeds are good. [and they could find easier way to get it: chicken foods contain a lot of sunflower seeds. BTW my sunflowers ...
Giacomo Catenazzi's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Why is the stem of one of my sunflower seedlings shriveling?

Most likely sun scorch on the leaf tips, because they may not be used to all the sun light if you do not. As for the stem, it is a fungal dry rot. The soil is too wet and it looks like there is mold ...
Ljk2000's user avatar
  • 2,582
4 votes
Accepted

Can young sunflower transplants take a light frost?

Sunflower plants are not frost tolerant, but the seedlings are, they will tolerate down to -3deg C at the cotyledon stage for a brief period; that is why the suggestion to sow 2 weeks before the last ...
Bamboo's user avatar
  • 133k
4 votes
Accepted

A single large sunflower among herbs - a good or a bad idea?

Below is a photo of the single Sunflower ‘Sun King’ planted in our community garden patch this year. It has been entirely worth it! So many creatures have enjoyed this flower, including humans. ...
andrewbuilder's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Sunflower with multiple flowers, is this normal?

Some varieties of Helianthus have multiple heads, like the variety Valentine for example. I don't know what variety you have there and where the seeds came from. They look more like a giant kind of ...
benn's user avatar
  • 13.1k
4 votes
Accepted

When to harvest sunflower seeds

The question of when to harvest the seeds depends a lot on how safe the seeds are in their current location. If not eaten by birds or varmints, the sunflower's seeds will remain viable outdoors until ...
Kilobyte's user avatar
  • 858
4 votes
Accepted

What is the fate of this sunflower? Will it produce seeds?

Whilst sunflowers are wind pollinated by other sunflowers growing nearby, they are also pollinated very effectively by insects such as bees, so yes, it should produce seed.
Bamboo's user avatar
  • 133k
3 votes
Accepted

How to make sure a sunflower produces seed?

Sunflowers have perfect flowers with both male and female parts. So, yes, it should be self-pollinating. Titan is an heirloom; so, it should breed true, too, provided it isn't cross-pollinated by ...
Brōtsyorfuzthrāx's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Sunflower leaves wilting and yellowing

The cotyledon (the first leaf like green) will wilt and fade with time. That should be expected. That being said the other leaves are showing stress. There may more than one factor that is ...
GardenGems's user avatar
  • 2,368
3 votes
Accepted

Do plants react differently to artificial light than to sunlight?

Lots of plants are grown under artificial lighting. Plants only need light to power photosynthesis so as long as you provide the correct wavelengths it doesn't really matter to them. Sunflowers are ...
Graham Chiu's user avatar
  • 23.2k
3 votes
Accepted

How should I grow mexican sunflowers (Tithonia) from seed?

So far as I'm aware, Tithonia varieties are no more sensitive to being transplanted than, say, Aquilegia or other plants that produce a tap root over time. You've got a choice; you either sow them in ...
Bamboo's user avatar
  • 133k
3 votes
Accepted

I've read that butterflies like sunflowers, do they also like sunchokes?

Sunchokes will tend to attract smaller butterflies, especially (in my experience), the European cabbage butterfly (Pieris rapae). They might not be such an attraction to your monarch butterflies. Also ...
J. Musser's user avatar
  • 51.7k
3 votes

Sunflower with multiple flowers, is this normal?

It's normal for many kinds of sunflowers. It's not normal for others (such as Mammoth Gray Stripe). However, as benn pointed out, it could be the result of cross-pollination (that's my guess, if you ...
Brōtsyorfuzthrāx's user avatar
2 votes

Should I use epsom salt foliage spray on giant sunflowers?

I use foliar sprays extensively. I have found there are certain garden varieties which do not do well when sprayed with Epsom salt. Among these are Sage, and most succulents. I suspect the Sage fuzzy ...
herb guy's user avatar
  • 536
2 votes

How long do sunflower seeds stay viable?

In general commercial seeds are viable for at least a year if kept dry, dark and cool (below 70 F). Dry is very important and you may want to use a metal container and toss in a desiccant package.
Philip Bolton's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Repotting sunflower to bigger pot?

Sunflowers have a lifecycle of a few months. They sprout, grow tall, grow a flower, and then they die. You might be able to extend the lifecycle a bit with special care indoors, or you can trick the ...
greggles's user avatar
  • 1,404
2 votes
Accepted

Sunflowers: Young leaves turn yellow and die

Probably the cause is lack of root room, since you're growing them in fairly shallow containers. Pot them up in good sized pots to allow space for good root development.
Bamboo's user avatar
  • 133k
2 votes
Accepted

How to recognize when sunflower seed are ripe for harvesting?

The seeds will still ripen if you protect the flower head with a paper bag. Alternatively, tie a few CDs loosely to the sunflower stalks so the wind moves them around. The flashing "rainbow colours" ...
alephzero's user avatar
  • 11.4k
2 votes

Is it true that sunflowers improve soil structure?

I haven't heard that sunflowers specifically improve soil structure before, but it's certainly possible. It's especially that a specific sunflower variety improves soil structure, although finding the ...
greggles's user avatar
  • 1,404
2 votes

Is it true that sunflowers improve soil structure?

No, not really. If that were true, then any plant would improve soil structure, because they all have roots that penetrate the ground, to a greater or lesser extent. In many respects, long term, ...
Bamboo's user avatar
  • 133k
2 votes

When to harvest sunflower seeds

With the large flowers like this, they can go mouldy after picking. Make sure to cut the fleshy back off the flower if you use the lazy way of letting it dry inside. Of course, as kilobyte says, ...
Polypipe Wrangler's user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible