Sunflowers, the summer plant

Sunflowers or heliotropic, flowers say “summer” like no other plant. We love their big happy faces! Native to North America, sunflowers are heat-tolerant, resistant to pests and beautiful. The ultimate summer flower has been identified with the sun, the summer, the holidays, the carefree moments of the most beautiful time of the year. Sunflowers have big, daisy-like flower faces of bright yellow petals (and occasionally red and orange) and brown centers that ripen into heavy heads filled with seeds that you can even harvest them. Some sunflowers grow to over one meter in height, though there are also varieties today that have been developed for a pot on the balcony or small places.

One of the key features of this flower is that its stem is turned towards the sunlight. If you are wondering why this happening, the answer is very simple ... the plant wishes to receive the maximum amount of sunlight.

Most sunflowers are remarkably tough and heat and drought tolerant as long as the soil is not heavy.  They make excellent cut flowers and many are attractive to bees and birds.

Do you like sunflowers? Learn more about how you start growing these happy flowers in your garden. They are the easiest flowers to grow even for beginners.

What we will need to plant sunflowers - 5 simple but basic ingredients:

·    Seeds

·    Soil

·    Fertilizer

·    Water

·    Sun light

The process is simple:

1.         Select the right variety of the seeds.

2.         Choose a point to plant them - it should have plenty of sunlight.

3.         Keep the area around the sunflowers clean from herbs and other troublesome plants.

4.         Soil: A well-drained soil, to which you have added enough manure or fertilizer, will help them strengthen and heighten better

5.         Plant the seeds, every 60 cm, if you have chosen a regular variety, 90 cm for larger varieties, or 30 cm. for low-growing varieties.

6.         Water the seeds. Pour enough water for the first time but avoid excesses.

7.         Wait for the first sunflowers to appear after 1-2 weeks. In the meantime, do not neglect to water regularly.

8.         The next 90 days will be fully developed.

9.         If necessary, support the sunflowers with a pole or wire. This will help them not only to grow fast and be taller, but also to deal with the air and the bad weather.

More care tips:

  • Do not plant the sunflowers unless the first heat starts. Sunflowers love the heat and do not thrive in the cold. A light application of fertilizer mixed in at planting time will encourage strong root growth to protect them from blowing over in the wind.

  • If you see birds scratching around for the seeds, spread netting over the planted area until seeds germinates.

  • Once the plant is established, water deeply though infrequently to encourage deep rooting. Unless the weather is exceptionally wet or dry, water once a week with several amount of water.

  • Feed plants only sparingly; over fertilization can cause stems to break in the fall. You can add diluted fertilizer into the water; though avoid getting the fertilizer near the plant’s base.

  • Sunflowers are relatively insect-free. A small gray moth sometimes lays its eggs in the blossoms. Pick the worms from the plants.

  • Do not use chemicals or grass seeds near the sunflowers.

  • Do not move them because you can prevent their proper and rapid growth

  • For fertilization, you prefer to use general use, which you should add up to 15 more days. You should not lubricate the varied variety. If necessary, choose livestock manure.

Use the sunflower:

Not only sunflowers look great in a vase in any place, they also offer a wide variety of nutritional benefits.

To create a bouquet of sunflowers just cut the main stem before its flower bud has a chance to open. Cut stems early in the morning. Handle sunflowers gently. The flowers should last at least a week in water at room temperature. Arrange sunflowers in tall containers or vases that provide good support for their heavy heads, and change the water every day to keep them fresh.

Harvesting sunflower seeds is easy. The back of the flower head will turn from green to yellow and the bracts will begin to dry and turn brown. This happens about 30 to 45 days after bloom and seed moisture is about 35%. Generally, when the head turns brown on the back, seeds are ready for harvest. Cut the head off the plant (about 4 inches below the flower head) and remove the seeds with your fingers or a fork. Scrape the blossoming piece of the plant. Cut it carefully, rub it on a clean piece of cloth and collect the seeds.

They are rich in vitamin E, B-1 and the mineral copper. Help protect your cells against the chemicals that damage your cell membranes. It also promotes healthy circulation and the production of red blood cells. Vitamin B1 helps process the energy from foods and helps produce essential nucleic acids. The copper found in sunflower seeds can benefit both your hair and skin in addition to supporting metabolism.

Wedding and sunflowers

Sunflower, as a perfectly summer plant, very often dominates the adornment of weddings or baptisms. It’s no surprise that many summer and autumn brides choose this spectacular flower to be a part of their bridal bouquet. Whether used as an accent and combined with other flowers, or on its’ own, a sunflower bouquet is sure to be both joyful and unforgettable. If you're a sunflower-lover, definitely plan on a July, August, or September wedding, when the blooms are at the peak.

Whatever is the occasion,you will find beautiful and fresh ideas to decorate your home, office, shop and even your boat at www.anthemionflowers.gr. Order online and we will take care of sending your bouquet or arrangements on the same day to your recipient.