Jennifer FlatenThis post by Jennifer Flaten

Sunflowers are bright, cheerful, and ridiculously easy to grow. Nothing seems to stop them from bursting into big yellow blooms. DSCN9277

The year we moved here, in the spring my daughter started a few sunflower seeds in a pot. I wasn’t sure how well they would do a) under the care of a capricious kid and b) in a pot.

To my surprise, they grew and grew and grew. Before we knew it we had a 4’ sunflower plant that my daughter was adamant had to make the move with us.

On moving day, our car was stuffed with kids, pets and assorted stuff, so wedged the plant in the remaining space in the truck and drove an hour to our new house.

We unpacked the sunflower first, he was a little droopy from the heat of the truck, but overall made the trip with no problems. We found the perfect spot on the deck for her plant and every day I made sure to give it a good long drink of water.

I wanted a few annuals to brighten up the front of our house, but that summer was the worst drought on record, the garden centers had no stock. The only flower we had was our little sunflower, which continued to flourish.

In late summer, the sunflower finally bloomed. My daughter was overjoyed. I think she took about 100 pictures of her sunflower. We enjoyed it until it lost all its petals and before we put it out for the birds to snack on we saved a few seeds to sow next spring.

The next spring we pulled out our saved seeds and planted a little plot of sunflowers by the birdfeeders.

Just like the original sunflower, these grew despite a bit of benign neglect on our part. Again, that fall we saved a few seeds at the end of the season before leaving the heads to the birds.

This year we planted our saved seeds in our newly built raised bed. Sadly, a critter dug up all the seeds and left us with no sunflowers. So, next year we will have to buy some new seeds from the store because nothing is going to stop us from having sunflowers.

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9 thoughts on “Sunflower

  1. I planted sunflowers this year too, but I planted them pretty late so I don’t know how they will do, but I love them. I had very big sunflowers one year, about 9 or 10 feet tall. Cher’ley


  2. This year my flower pots on the patio, which have been reseeding themselves with chrysanthemums, were full of sunflowers instead. I have no idea how that happened, perhaps a garden gnome played a trick on me. They are beautiful and great for bird feeders. And a gal I know made a very lucrative business fashioning great boquets and wall hangings out of a sunflower center and other flowers and herbs that could be hung in the house then outside to feed the birds. She came up with a non toxic glue to hold it together. They were beautiful. Enjoyed your blog.


  3. I was living with an aunt for a few months after I graduated from law school and she had a sunflower bloom unplanted and unexpected near her garage. One evening we sat on the porch after the flower had bloomed and the seeds turned black and I said to my aunt, “If you want to dry those seeds, you need to pick it soon before the birds get to it.” She said it would be fine until tomorrow. The next day we found the stem on the ground and the head of the flower gone. We joked that the squirrels heard us and grabbed the flower before we could. Love sun flowers.


  4. I’ve never planted sunflowers, Jennifer, but your post makes me want to. I do love them, and the plants that do best for me are those that thrive on benign neglect. 🙂


  5. Love this post Jennifer! When we were in Mexico my husband planted a few lonely sunflower seeds he found at the Mercado. He put them in a tiny bit of earth in front of our house. They grew tall and strong (all two of them) and everyone stopped by and remarked how pretty they were. One morning we awoke to find out that someone had cut our two blooms! Needless to say, the hubster wasn’t happy. In the spring that year when we came back to WI to our camper on the lake he again planted sunflower seeds but I didn’t know it. I walked two miles every morning and to cool down before I went inside I usually hoed weeds around our flowers. One morning I decided to help out by hoeing the hillside where Ralph had some cabbage and carrots planted. I did a really good job of hoeing. But when hubby came out the door and looked he was aghast! I had hoed all his seedling sunflowers to a horrible death! He’ll never let me live it down and he now puts them in one area that I’m not allowed to touch! Also, last year we were driving and saw a glorious field of sunflowers. I took lots of pics – they are definitely one of my very favorite flowers!


  6. Jennifer- that’s a lovely but sad ending to your story. I bet you wished you had planted just one in a pot. The bright side is that there are so many varieties of sunflower available that next year you’ll be spoiled for choice! ps the sunflower seeds I planted this year- in pots- with my granddaughter were dug up as well- by my granddaughter! She’s been helping me weed the garden, so this year I have almost no annual plants to brighten the front terrace. 😦 but she’s aye learnin’ .


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