Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Growing Mammoth Sunflowers reminds me of the phrase, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

Allow me to introduce the good.  Look up to the top of the picture... waaaaaaay up there... do you see it?  Yep, that is a mammoth sunflower standing majestically tall!  Nice!  Right???

Allow me to introduce the bad and the ugly (apologies for the cell phone pic).

Do you see the brown heads drooping in the middle of the mammoth sunflowers and all along the dwarf sunflowers at the bottom?

After three months of coddling my sunflower babies, I went out of town for a week (while Dear Husband was at home) and I then arrived home to large, brown, droopy sunflower heads.

I was furious.  Deflated.  Frustrated.

I was sure that the droopy heads were due to lack of water... because maybe someone (my husband) didn't water them while I was away.  Perhaps!  Maybe???

However, I found this little tid bit about droopy sunflowers and it made me feel better (and got my husband out of trouble).

From a forum:
"If you are referring to the head drooping, that is normal, they are starting to make seed, you will see the inside of the head, sort of shedding small petals the head droops, the coating in the the inside fall off and the seed start to form. You need to feed it through out its life, until you harvest the heads. Simple blossom booster will work well. Miracle grow makes this but there are many brands. Once all the petals fall off and the lower leaves start to brown it is time to harvest your heads. Cut them off with enough stalk to be able to hang them to dry. Once dry the will easily fall from the blossom, and you can soak in salt and bake or harvest for your birds.
If you leave them on the stalk to dry with out cutting, you may loose your seeds to the wildlife.

If your leafs are what is drooping, this is caused by too much water, towards the end of the season the plant requires less water, the roots are actually slowing down. Pull back on the water and allow it to dry well in between.

I have these beautiful flowers all through out my garden. I am growing some to eat but most for the birds. Mine also have reached 12 feet and plus! are they just too awesome!"
The moral of the story is: when you see the heads turn brown and start drooping, do not put your husband in the dog house. This is not his fault.  This is nature's way of providing home grown sunflower seeds for the birds to feast on this winter.  mkay???

So, what was once lost is now found again... and I am now thrilled (proud actually) with my bold and brown drooping sunflower heads.  Aren't you?

Did you know that the sunflower heads would turn brown and sag?
Why didn't anyone tell me this?

1 comment:

Fairy Grandmother said...

I did not know this...and am so happy for you dear husband that you found this information. :-)