Sunflower evolution

A celebration of sunflowers

If you've been following me on instagram you will have seen my overly excited posts about my sunflowers. Until this year I have never had success growing them, and this year, I did, and they grew in a pot! So here is a post dedicated to the sunflowers of the summer of 2014.


I think seeds are the most important thing to sunflower success, don't buy the cheap seeds, and make sure your seeds are fresh. With anything, the bigger the seeds, the quicker they go off. Also, with big seeds you need to be super careful that you don't over water or the seeds end up rotting. I actually read that sunflowers don't do well transplanted, but I raised mine in little cells and transplanted them and they were fine.
Sunflower Seeds Sunflower Seeds

Growing sunflowers

I planted these out amongst some petunias, the hope was to bring more bees to the yard. In the center I placed an eggplant. Now I have no idea if they are good companions, but they did grow well together in this pot. The sunflowers did take over, so the petunias didn't have much of a chance.
Sunflower Seedlings 3 Sunflower Seedlings with an eggplant in the middle and scattered petunias
This is about 10 days later, as you can see the sunflowers are in control here.
Sunflowers Sunflowers ruling the pot
They grew pretty fast from here, this is a week later.
Sunflowers Growing Sunflowers Growing
Not long after this we had a pretty brutal storm here in Brisbane, I didn't think they were going to make it, they look pretty battered afterwards.
Sunflowers battered after a storm Sunflowers battered after a storm
But the flowers were forming.
Sunflower Forming Sunflower Forming
A week later they were really coming into shape, you can see the yellow of the petals now.
Sunflower ready to burst open Sunflower ready to burst open
Two days she was open in all her glory.
Hello Sunflower Hello Sunflower
It was really interesting watching the sunflowers evolve over the days, each day a ring in the center of the flower would pop out. It's also amazing seeing how perfect nature is, check out the patterns of the flower.
Sunflower evolution Sunflower evolution
Pretty Sunflower Pretty Sunflower
The other flowers followed with their amazing opening, after a while they did get a bit top heavy and began to droop.
All three sunflowers All three sunflowers
Sad sunflowers.
Sad sunflower Sad sunflower
Eventually the petals had dropped and the flower was starting to expose the seeds. It was at this point that I 'dead headed' the sunflower and left the flower head in a dry warm spot to dry out.
Dead heading the sunflower Dead heading the sunflower
Now I am left with this mass of seeds and I can start the process again, although I am not sure if these will grow as I only saw 1 bee on the flowers. So we'll see.
Sunflower seeds Sunflower seeds
I am still not entirely sure how to hull the seeds easily so I will try a few ways of doing that so I can start adding them to my salads. If you have any tips I would love to hear! I planted the seeds in late September and picked the flower heads in late December, so they took approximately 8-10 weeks to grow. Although the flower was very short lived, I would definitely grow them over and over again. They make me so happy seeing them tower over my garden! How much do you love sunflowers? Leave a comment below!
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