8/20/13

Reasons to Love Sunflowers

I love to garden! I love flowers and I love growing my own fruits and vegetables too! One of my favorite garden flowers is the sunflower. Sunflowers are an annual flower that I will always plant in my garden. I love their beautiful flowers, but there are other benefits too, that make them an indispensable part of my garden year after year.

Here are a few great reasons to plant sunflowers in your garden:
1. Easy to Grow
Sunflowers are very easy to grow! Their large seeds are easy to manage, and they sprout quickly. They can be sown directly into your garden and often come up as "volunteers" the following year. I feed wild birds during the winter when the ground is covered in snow and I usually have a few sunflowers sprout up the next spring. They are tough plants and once sprouted and grown, they don't need much extra attention.

2. Screens and Shade
Want to temporarily hide a spot in your yard? Plant a few rows of sunflowers in front of it. Do you want to provide a little shade during the summer? Sunflowers can really come in handy. This year, I planted tall sunflowers along one side of my duck and rabbit run. It not only disguises the boring chain link, but it provides some protection from the sun. As an added benefit, the plants are not harmful to animals who may happen to reach through and nibble the leaves.
3. Birds
Every year, I enjoy watching a variety of wild birds eating from my sunflower plants. They love the seeds! I've also harvested some of the seeds to add to my pet birds' diet.

4. Bugs
Sunflowers are well know for their ability to attract beneficial insects. Some beneficial insects are natural predators to garden pests, others are pollinators. More pollinators in your garden means more fruits and veggies!
5. Food
Those seeds are not just for the birds! Yum! Sunflower seeds are a tasty and nutritious snack! Some varieties of sunflower are grown especially for eating and produce extra large seeds. The whole plant is edible too, but I don't have any experience there. I think I need to do some experimenting...
6. Cut Flowers
Sunflowers make excellent cut flowers to enjoy indoors as well. Be aware that they will spill pollen, but just wipe it away with a damp cloth and don't put them over your nice linens. Do you have a friend who is having a bad day? Bring a sunflower bouquet to cheer them up! Sunflowers have got to be some of the most cheerful flowers out there! It's hard not to smile when you see their sunny blooms.

7. Variety
They come in quite an array of varieties. Some are super tall! Dwarf varieties are much shorter. They come in different colors as well: reds, oranges, yellows... Some have double petaled flowers. There are bushy ones and straight stalk types. With so many options it's not too difficult to find a place for them in your garden.

17 comments:

  1. I am growing Sunflowers for the first time this year throughout my yard and I am loving them,. Here's to Sunflowers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you are loving them! :)
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  2. I have always wanted to try sunflowers. We have a ton of babies sprouting under out bird feeders - would those grow into sunflowers if we moved them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Pam! Thanks for the comment!
      Those sprouts under your bird feeder will indeed grow into sunflowers, however in my experience they don't transplant very well, so I wouldn't try moving them. If they're in a place where you don't want them, you might just have to pull them up. Definitely try growing some sunflowers. If this year doesn't work out, there's always next year! You will love seeing the wild birds that the sunflowers attract! Good luck!

      Delete
  3. Yay for sunflowers! I noticed this year as I was browsing through seeds that I found a few pollenless varieties. If you intended to cut lots and don't want the pollen it might be worth looking into. It will always say on the package if they are pollenless or not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pollenless varieties! I need to pay attention next time I get some seeds! Thanks for the tip!

      Delete
  4. I love sunflowers and actually wrote a post yesterday about them because i recently moved to Kansas and finally saw for the first time ever mammoth sunflowers. And I am more in love now that I was before.

    Maria Angelique

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll have to wander over to see your post! Mammoths are amazing! Have a wonderful week and enjoy your sunflowers!

      Delete
  5. Seven really good reasons to love sunflowers - I adore them in the garden! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,
    Kathy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for hosting Home and Garden Thursday!

      Delete
  6. I grew several this year: teddy bear variety, a deep red shade, and another I failed to label, threw out the seed packet, and couldn't identify. They did ok. I had some pests nearly devour them but I enjoyed them enough that I want to try again next year. I agree, they are some of the easiest things to grow and the birds enjoy them so much! I think if I stay away from hybrids next year and try something a bit more hardy we'll have better luck. Thanks for sharing at the HomeAcre Hop! Hope to have you back again tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I adore the teddy bear sunflowers! So cute! We had to do some grasshopper hunting about mid-season. I was worried they would devour mine, but all turned out well, perhaps because I had so many of them. My ducks loved it 'cause I fed all the hoppers I caught to them. :)
      I'm glad you're going to try again next year and I hope they do better for you!
      Thanks for stopping by and thanks for hosting the HomeAcre Hop! See you tomorrow!

      Delete
  7. Love the photos! Thanks for sharing on The Creative Home & Garden hop :) You were featured on my blog! Hope you'll stop by again today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and for featuring my post at The Creative Home & Garden hop! Have a wonderful week!

      Delete
  8. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week!

    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick
    http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! Thanks for hosting a great blog hop!

      Delete
  9. I just saw your beautiful sunflowers on another blog and had to hop over to your blog. After seeing your pictures and information on sunflowers I am surely going to plant some next year.

    I would love to have you to link up at my weekly Clever Chicks Blog Hop: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/09/clever-chicks-blog-hop-week-52-one-year.html





    I hope you can make it!
    Cheers,
    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

    http://www.The-Chicken-Chick.com

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from my readers! Please remember to keep your comments uplifting and family friendly. Thanks and have a wonderful day!

Blogging tips