As a part two of the original post entitled: “First Sunflower’s Bloom” – here is an update of my sunflower’s newly developed ‘flower-to-seed’ status. 🙂
How to harvest a Sunflower is rather simple:
1.) Once the leaves of the sunflower begin to turn brown and the petals begin to wither; it is time to harvest. 😉 🙂
2.) Make sure to check the face of the flower before cutting the head of the flower off. How to do this is by gently rubbing the disk-and-ray flowers. If the disk-and-ray flowers release, they will reveal the developed sunflower seeds. Do not worry if the seeds you rubbed back are still white. The seeds are still quite usable [they will turn back and white while drying]. 🙂
The bloom of the sunflower is known as a composite flower, composed of up to two-thousand individual disk-and-ray flowers. Situated on a receptacle, each disk floret is a perfect flower, containing a stamen and pistil. The ray florets are sterile and do not produce seed. Pollination begins at the outer rim of the disk and moves toward the center. It takes fifteen to thirty days after pollination is completed for the inflorescence to reach maturity. My Sunflowers only took fifteen days to mature into seeds. 🙂
3.) Cut off the entire flower’s head with a pair of scissors.
4.) Remove remaining petals; compost flower petals or chop petals to sow into soil.
5.) Place sunflower heads in a sterile-dry bucket without lid. Allow to air dry overtime. Keep in a cool, dry place.
Check on the sunflowers once a day to make sure moisture is not taking place. Moisture can create mold on your sunflowers.
6.) Once completely dry remove seeds [sunflower will not surrender the seeds if still moist]. Using your thumb rub the sunflower seeds over a large bowl.
7.) Toast in the oven with a pinch of salt and pepper for a tasty treat, or create into sunflower seed oil later. 🙂