This post, “Sunflowers” was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 



Keep your face to the sunshine
and you cannot see the shadow.
It’s what sunflowers do.
 Helen Keller


Sunflowers are such happy plants.  Bright, cheery yellow, and always facing the sun.


I have tried growing sunflowers from seed in the past, but, unfortunately, not very successfully.  I do not think they received enough sun.  But, the tenacity of nature can be amazing.  This photo of a sunflower is one that sprang up from the bird seed that we put out daily.  No seed planting, no real watering, no fertilizing, and, yet, here is a great sunflower.  We feed the birds a small, black oil sunflower, and I never knew those seeds could produce such a pretty flower.  It is about five inches across, and the plant is about four feet high.


I am seriously considering planting some of these seeds in the circle garden where I have mostly yellow plants.  If they do as well as this one, they would make a great addition to those flower beds.  Who knows, if enough of the sunflowers would succeed there, maybe this winter we wouldn’t have to buy seeds for the birds.



  1. May 8, 2008 at 5:18 am

    Is that sunflower blooming right now in your garden? Here in my garden, we won’t see sunflowers bloom until mid to late summer!

  2. Nancy Bond said,

    May 8, 2008 at 6:38 am

    The tenacity of Nature certainly is amazing — I emptied last year’s soil from pots on the balcony, and the largest container had *hundreds* of sunflowers sprouting, strays from the bird feeder. 🙂 I hadn’t the heart to just compost them, so soil and seedlings ended up in a sunny corner of my apartment building lot. I’m hoping they grow there. I saved a few of the larger seedlings in a small pot for the balcony. These were from the black sunflower seeds you mentioned, so hopefully, they don’t grow too tall. They are a very pretty flower. 🙂

  3. Mary Beth said,

    May 8, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    I’m like you and have had much more success with “bird seed” sunflowers than with the packaged seed. As much as I”d love to have some of the special color variations, they seem more suseptible to mildew. I love to see sunflowers as feeders packed with birds munchin’ straight from the center.

  4. Brenda Kula said,

    May 9, 2008 at 11:33 am

    No doubt if you actually “planted” these seeds, they probably would not come up as successfully as one that just “happened” to spring up by accident! But good luck anyway. I don’t usually have any luck with seeds, except for morning glories and other vines.

  5. Jan said,

    May 10, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    Yes, Carol, that sunflower and a few more are blooming right now in my garden. Remember, it has been warm here for many weeks.

    Nancy, I have some of these sunflowers blooming at all different heights – any where from two to four feet. The taller ones have larger flowers. I am sure yours will do well because I have not done anything to make mine grow other than water them.

    Mary Beth, I agree with you that having birds feast on sunflowers that you have grown is a great sight.

    Brenda, I have been pretty successful with growing plants from seed, so I think that planting some of these sunflowers will be okay. We’ll have to see how successful they well be when actually planted on purpose.

  6. May 11, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    I ‘ve had a terrible time growing sunflowers down here in Houston. In Massachusetts all I had to do was toss seeds out the window and I’d have beautiful sunflowers all summer.

    I’m not sure they like the heat or perhaps the humidity much?

  7. Jan said,

    May 11, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    Linda, you may be right. Mine started in the cooler months and are now blooming before the real heat of summer starts. Maybe it is the variety of sunflower, too. I do not know enough about sunflowers to know.

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