Can sunflower seeds be grown
Sunflowers: Everything about planting, caring for and harvesting
Sunflowers are the epitome of summer and radiate a good mood in every garden and on the balcony. We have useful tips for your sunflower.
Summer, sun, sunflowers - the genus of sunflowers (Helianthus) embodies the summer soul of the flower world. Whether meter-high specimens in the garden, small varieties for the pot or particularly colorful flowers in the vase: Sun worshipers look good everywhere and become real eye-catchers when they are provided with sufficient sun, water and nutrients. With their nectar and seeds, they not only provide a source of food for native insects, birds and other animals. The hobby gardener can also use his own harvest as a healthy snack, for oil production or as seeds for the next season.
Sunflowers: meaning, origin and properties
With its large, yellow flowers, the sunflower is the epitome of the warm season. Because the large flowers not only resemble a sun, the love of these plants for life-giving light goes so far that the flower follows the day above the sun. She never lets the sun out of her sight all day and closes her bloom in the evening, saddened by the separation. As well as chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum) and dahlias (Dahlia) the sunflower belongs to the sunflower family (Asteraceae). The genus consists of 67 species, all of which come from North America. Already around 2500 BC There is evidence that the sunflower was grown on this continent. Nowadays, giving a sunflower as a gift is an honest expression of "I like you".
There are both annual and perennial plants that can reach heights of 20 centimeters to 4.5 meters. In Europe, the actual sunflower (Helianthus annuus) and the Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) known as crops. They are used as food, forage crops and also to produce biodiesel. The seeds of the sunflower are also real vitamin bombs. They contain vitamins A, B, E and F, and they are also rich in vegetable protein and minerals. The roots are strong and reach deep, so that sunflowers loosen the soil for subsequent crops.
Sunflowers: The flowering time
The basket-shaped inflorescences show up between June and October, depending on the species. The large pseudo-flowers house thousands of small flower tongues. A single sunflower seed is then formed from each of these.
Sunflower species: variety in growth and flower color
The genus of sunflowers (Helianthus) includes 67 species. Among them are annual species such as H. annuus, but also perennial species like H. decapetalus or H.microcephalus. But not only the endurance of the species differs. Countless varieties present themselves with simple, semi-double or double flowers. Varieties that stay small, such as 'Double Dandy' or 'Little Leo', look particularly good in pots, while large varieties such as 'Prado Red' or 'Sonja' transform your bed into a sunny sea of flowers. The flower colors range from the typical yellow tones such as 'American Giant' to orange varieties such as 'Sunrich Orange' to multi-colored varieties such as the red and white 'Floristan'.
We have put together a larger selection of annual and perennial sunflower species for beds and pots for you.
Buy and care for sunflowers in pots
With sunflowers in the pot, you can let the sun rise anywhere. However, when buying plants, you should always keep in mind the future size of the adult plant. After the purchase, it is important to ensure that there is sufficient supply, because the small energy power plants produce large amounts of biomass and accordingly quickly consume water and nutrients.
Sunflowers in pots: this should be considered when buying
Always ask in stores about the exact variety of sunflower. From 30 centimeters to several meters in height, everything is represented. Small varieties such as 'Pacino', 'Sunspot' or 'Orange Sun' are best suited for potting. Otherwise, the plants should neither stand in water in the trade, nor should the soil be completely dry. Yellow and brown leaves indicate improper care and a sick plant. It is best to choose a beautifully growing plant that has strong green leaves and whose flowers have not all opened yet. Always check the plant for pests as well.
Maintain, fertilize and water sunflowers in pots
Sunflowers need sun, regardless of whether they are in pots or beds. They are only really happy in a sunny spot. The light gives the plants a lot of energy, which makes the growth of the sun worshipers literally explode. Therefore, the happy flower needs huge amounts of water and fertilizer. The following applies to successful care:
- Watering: very high water consumption; Always keep the soil moist; Avoid waterlogging
- Fertilize: In the growth phase, fertilize regularly with an organic slow-release fertilizer, such as our Plantura organic flower fertilizer. Incidentally, the flower does not have to be cut off after it has faded.
You can find more detailed information about the sunflower in the pot here.
Prefer sunflowers and sowing
The strikingly striped sunflower seeds are not only great to eat, they can also be used to multiply the plants. With annual sunflowers, you can save part of the valuable harvest in order to have seeds ready for the next year. The seeds are sown in March in a large pot with a drainage hole and saucer.
When sowing sunflowers, do the following:
- Lay a drainage layer made of gravel or potsherds on the bottom of the pot
- Fill the pot with potting soil or a mixture of garden soil and ripe compost
- Sow seeds about 1 cm deep into the ground (dark germinator)
- Water the soil well
- Always keep the soil moist, water regularly and thoroughly
- Location: sunny to partial shade; Windowsill
- Temperature: around 15-20 ° C
- Germination time: 8-14 days
Always expect failures when sowing. You should therefore plant more seeds in the pot than you ultimately want. If too many sunflower seeds have sprouted and the pot has become too small, the seedlings are pricked at least ten centimeters apart or placed in their own pots. Take advantage of the opportunity and sort out weak, small plants. After pricking, the water is poured well again and the soil is kept moist. Sunflowers still need a lot of water during germination and as a young plant. From a size of 30 centimeters, the water requirement of the plants is then less. From mid-May the little sunshine can finally be planted out.
Plant and care for sunflowers in the bed
Whether large varieties as background plants or small ones as bright splashes of color between other greenery: sunflowers look wonderful in every bed. Because when you see the sun worshipers you immediately get in a good mood. However, proper care is required so that the flowers can shine well into autumn.
Planting sunflowers: when and how?
Sunflowers are planted out in mid-May when there is no longer any risk of frost. To do this, place the plant in a planting hole with twice the circumference of the root ball and fill it up with a mixture of garden soil and compost. The planting distance should be around 50 cm. The earth is pressed lightly and then properly poured on.
You can find out more about planting sunflowers, whether in beds or pots, here.
Water and fertilize sunflowers in the bed
The sunflower likes to bathe in sunlight, but unfortunately a lot of water is lost through evaporation. The plant has to take this up again through its roots. So pour sunflowers generously in the bed as soon as the top layer of soil has dried. In the summer you may even have to reach for the watering can twice a day. Always water in the morning or in the evening. It is best to fertilize with a predominantly organic organic fertilizer while it is growing. Our Plantura organic flower fertilizer is ideal for sunflowers and also strengthens the soil life and is therefore less harmful to our environment than mineral fertilizers. Perennial sunflowers are no longer fertilized from September.
Sunflowers: sow directly in the bed
Sunflowers can also be conveniently sown directly in the bed. The seeds are sown two to three centimeters deep in April. The garden soil is mixed in with compost beforehand and it is always kept moist from the point of sowing. At temperatures around 15 to 20 ° C, the first seedlings should appear within 14 days at the latest.
Sunflower in the vase
Sunflowers also exude their summer charm in the vase. Here, however, it is important not only to stage the vase as well as possible. With the right cut and under optimal conditions, you can get the most out of the cut flower and make it last much longer in the vase.
Cut sunflowers for the vase
The best time to cut is early in the morning on a dry day. Choose a flower that has opened slightly, but not yet fully. Now, when cutting the selected sunflower, do the following:
- Use clean and sharp secateurs
- Cut off the flower with the desired stem length
- Remove the lower leaves
- Cut the cut surface at an angle
- Cut into the cut surface about 2 cm deep
- Immerse the cut surface in hot water for a few seconds
The cut sunflower is then placed in a vase filled with fresh water in a place protected from direct sun and drafts.
Care for sunflowers in the vase
Even when cut flowers no longer grow, they need a certain amount of care. Therefore, trim the cut surface every two days. You should even change the water in the vase every day.
You can also find out more about sunflowers in the vase here.
Harvest sunflower seeds from your own garden
After flowering, the inflorescences are left on the plant because the seeds continue to ripen there. The seeds that ripen on the plant can also be covered with a permeable fabric to keep birds away. It is harvested as soon as the flower head is completely dry. It then hangs down and the sunflower seeds can be easily peeled off. Pull the bird repellent fabric together by the stem and seal it. After that, the flower head is cut off and hung in a dry, airy place. The seeds fall into the fabric by themselves and can be collected after a few days. Alternatively, you can cut off the head after flowering and let it mature and dry indoors. The seeds are then stored in a dry, cool, airy and dark place until they are sown.
Sunflowers not only cut a good figure on the wayside, they are also colorful eye-catchers in the vase. Check out this article for the best tips for making sunflower in the vase.
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I study plant biotechnology and am often confronted with the serious consequences that ignorance and misinformation can have for nature. That is why it is particularly important to me to bring people and nature closer together again.
Favorite fruits: raspberries, strawberries and pineapples
Favorite vegetables: zucchini, broccoli and cucumber
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