Sunflower Facts and Tips

Transplanting:
Sunflowers transplant easily if moved with some soil , disturbing the roots as little as possible. When well grown, gradually acclimatize to outdoor conditions before planting out after all risk of frost.Water regularly and fertilize twice during the summer. Most plants should be spaced approx. 46cm (18) apart.

Growing Tips:
Keep soil moist and well weeded and protect seedlings from birds with netting or with little plastic berry baskets (making sure to remove them before plants get crowded). Water regularly and fertilize twice during the summer. When plants are 30 cm (12) high, dissolve 5 ml (1tsp) borax in 350 ml (12oz) water and spread over 5m (15) of row to supply enough boron to help the seeds develop in the big seed heads. Some tall varieties may need staking, particularly if growing in an exposed or windy position.

For Long Lived Bouquets:
Cut in the morning, just after blooms open. Strip off lower leaves and place in water. As ornamental varieties bloom, gather for bouquets regularly. Remove spent flowers before they set seed to encourage more blooms.

Seed Harvest:
To harvest the seeds and get to them before the birds, watch for when the centre disc florets dry up (seed heads turn yellow). Then cover the ripening seed heads with paper bags to foil the birds. When ripen kernels are full and hard shelled, cut entire heads and dry fully by hanging upside down. Remove seeds by hand by rubbing them loose and then dry them on trays indoors.