Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunflower seeds

This is my first time saving seeds from a sunflower. I bought this sunflower from a local nursery few weeks back (as i failed with all the seedlings previously): It looked good until yesterday morning that i noticed the petals started going away. I thought it must be time to do something but i was not sure what.

Being very panic, i cut the head off (!!)

Oh-oh. I bet i did it wrong. The seeds aren't mature enough yet. I can't see a single 'seed' on it. I'm confused. Do you leave the droopy head on the plant until the seeds pop out by themselves? Or do you leave it until the seeds are nice and fat and cut it off? How do you save your sunflower seeds? And do you think i still can save some seeds from this head? 1 or 2?...nope??


Autumn Belle said...

Since the petals have all fallen off, I guess the flower head is matured already. This has happened to me too. When I was growing the wild sunflowers, I threw away the whole plant when it started to droop and dry up. I thought it was sterile without checking further. During my second batch, I waited longer, i.e. until the flower head has dried up and when I open up the flowers, I found seeds which later germinated to become new plants.

I would suggest that you dry the flower head under the sun. Later in the day, try to crack open the edge and see if there are any seeds inside. They are hidden underneath so you can see them now.

On the other flower that you have not cut down, leave it to mature until it is just dried enough, then proceed to cut off the head to harvest the seeds. I don't think the seeds will pop out on their own. I found a useful link for you here:

Rosey said...

I think Autumn Belle said it well. I hope that you do get some seeds out of it. Keep trying!

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

You can dried the flower head for a while. But be careful not to leave it out open, I leave it on the table and went in for awhile and suddenly the birds were having a party on that table. But next time you can just leave it on the plant itself to dry. The germination rate is much better and fatter seeds. Don't worry it won't pop. You can get hundred seeds in one flower head.

Malar said...

I think Autumn Belle is right! I have seen my neighbour drying the flower under the sun! Good luck to you!

Tete said...

Hi girl- thought I would pop in and see what you are up to. I used to do sunflowers years ago so here is what you need to do.
Plant your seeds in a row near a fence for support. My sunflowers would get about 9 feet tall.
The leaves will start to come off and the head will start to droop. That's when the seeds will begin to dry. Keep checking it every day. At the point when the seeds begin to fall out- tie a plastic bag around the head to catch the seeds- leave the head on the plant.
When your bag is full- take it off and then pull the stock.
All your seeds will be in the bag and won't hit the ground and the birds won't get them.
Lay your seeds out inside- again the birds will get them outside. Let them dry and then put them in a bag with some holes in it so they do not mold.
Hope that helps- the head you have now is no good- toss it.
Hugs- Tete

milka said...

Thank you all for the valuable info. Appreciate that :)

Curtains In My Tree said...

I always leave my head dropping then collect the seeds. But I am sure the seeds usually start falling out when drying up. so collect them then.


Ellada said...

A nice way to know, is by looking the bird. When they will start to come on the flowers, to eat the seed, that means the seed are ready.

A another way, it is to take one seed, and open it with a knife, if it is to juicy, it is no ready.

Good luck.

Rebecca said...

I only have prairie sunflowers-the kind with small sunflowers all up and down-I just let it totally dry up and then the seeds fall all over-I have tons and tons of these sunflowers now-sure hope your plant seeds again!

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Hi Milka,
Would you like some Evening sun sunflower seeds the same one I grow for at the back of my fence post? I have heaps of it from last year collections. Because my cousin is going back to Sabah next week so she can post it via POS Malaysia. Message me your address if you like some.

Bangchik said...

It is not a pretty sight, but we have to leave seeds to mature on the stalk. ~bangchik