From Seed To Vase

By Mary Ellen Ellis | February 15, 2022
Image by LarisaL
by Mary Ellen Ellis
February 15, 2022

This year, for the first time, I grew sunflowers in my garden. For years I watched these majestic flowers grow in other gardens and bloom in my small town’s fall beds. I envied the gorgeous, sunny blooms, so I finally went for it. 

The Seeds

To get started, I picked up a few seed packets at my grocery store. I admit to not doing any research. I only wanted an assortment and to be surprised at what came up in the fall. Included in the packets were: 

  • ‘Helios Flame.’ This flower grows about 4 feet (1 m.) tall and has reddish and yellow-striped petals. 
  • ‘Italian White.’ I loved the idea of this white variety, but unfortunately none bloomed this year. 
  • ‘Evening Sun.’ This one has deep reddish flowers with a touch of gold at the petal tips. 
  • ‘Moulin Rouge.’ This type has strictly red flowers, a deep burgundy just right for fall. 
  • ‘Soraya.’ This short variety produced deep yellow, cheerful flowers. 

Sunflowers don’t transplant well, so although I was tempted to start them indoors, I sowed them directly into my flower beds. I put them close to the wall of my garage and along the patio for support as they grew. 

The Seedlings

Within a week or two I had seedlings. Sunflowers aren’t too hard to grow. My biggest challenge came at this stage. I have a lot of wildlife in my yard, including rabbits, squirrels, and deer. They all find sunflower shoots extremely tasty. 

Admittedly, I lost several plants at this stage, but I over-sowed to make up for the wildlife snacking. I also tried bird netting until the seedlings got bigger, although some critters still got under it. I also used a spray of soapy water and hot sauce to deter nibbles. 

The Flowers

For the survivors, flower buds began appearing in August, and by early September, I had flowers. My favorites were the small ‘Soraya’ blooms. Although small, they have a classic sunflower look. The other types with different colors are pretty as well. 

Using the Flowers

I cut a few flowers at a time to bring indoors. With cats in the house, this is one type of flower I know is safe and non-toxic. I also enjoy leaving the flowers in place to decorate my fall beds. I still love my wildlife too, so I will leave several flowers to produce seeds to feed birds and others as the weather gets chilly.

Tell us what you think: Leave a comment
1 person is already talking about this.
This article was last updated on
Read more about Backyard Stories
Did you find this helpful? Share it with your friends!

Get our latest eBook, “Bring Your Garden Indoors: 13 DIY Projects for the Fall and Winter”

As the seasons change, it’s time to think about bringing your garden indoors. From creating an indoor garden to using natural decor for your holiday decorations, our latest eBook features 13 of our favorite DIY projects for the whole family.

 Happy holidays from all of us at Gardening Know How.

  • sara
    Comment added February 26, 2022Reply

    I love everything you do for us, but I was particularly moved to comment by your simple explanation of why my plants sometimes suffered from dry tips. I did water, but..
    Now I feel stupid for not identifying the obvious.

    Will promptly visit the victims and re-pot, or clear roots if needed.

    Big thanks.

Leave a comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Join Us - Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips!