Easy tips on how to dry sunflowers that will keep forever. Sunflowers are easy to dry and preserve and can be used to make beautiful fall wreaths or in dried bouquet arrangements.
Grown for their beautiful large yellow, orange, and even red petal, sunflowers bloom from summer to autumn. Sunflowers make excellent cut flowers, but you can learn how to dry sunflowers with just a few easy tips.
Growing Sunflowers to Dry and Preserve
Very few flowers say “summer” like the sunflower. They tolerate the humidity, resist many pests, and look beautiful in the garden.
Sunflowers can come in various colors, styles, and heights and are grown as an annual plant. Sunflowers are heliotropic, which means they turn their heads to follow the sun throughout the day.
Easy to grow, sunflowers are well-loved by the bees and various pollinaters. Even the birds will favor them if you allow the brown centers to ripen into heavy heads filled with seeds.
Growing Sunflowers to Dry
Have you looked at buying sunflower seeds? There are wide varieties. Some are grown for seeds, some for the oil, and others for cut flowers.
I choose to grow heirloom sunflowers for saving seeds. Then, I also grow varieties without pollen for cut flowers.
Sunflowers are great for pollinators, and the seeds can be saved to plant for the following year. There are also heirlooms, hybrids, single stem, and even multi-branching varieties.
My Favorite Heirloom Sunflowers for Drying
Most of the seeds I order come from a company in Missouri. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds has a wide array of sunflower seeds.
When to Pick Sunflowers for Drying
Sunflowers are best picked on a dry day. Choose sunflowers that have blooms that are free of dew. Then, choose sunflowers whose heads are almost all the way open. Be sure to choose the prettiest ones that have the most petals intact.
Pretty options for displaying and drying sunflowers
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- Peg Rack: Hang sunflowers upside down from a pretty wooden peg rack.
- Jute Twine: used for hanging sunflowers upside down to dry. I always have jute twine in our home for hanging fresh herbs to dry or tying up tomato plants in the garden.
- Farmhouse Vases: display sunflowers beautifully on your kitchen island or farmhouse table.
Easy Tips to Dry Sunflowers for Preserving
There are two different ways that I like to dry my sunflowers, and both of them are very simple.
Option 1: Dry Sunflowers Upside Down
Bring the sunflowers in and remove any of the leaves from the stem. Tie jute string around the sunflower. Then, hang them upside down to dry in a dark place.
Option 2: Dry Sunflowers in a Vase
It is possible to dry sunflowers in a vase. To do this, place the sunflowers in a pretty vase or even a vintage watering can with water.
Enjoy the blooms while they last, then leave them in the vase even after the water is gone. The sunflowers will shrivel up a bit and dry out.
The drying process for sunflowers can take two to three weeks. Once the sunflower has dried, remove the string and use the preserved sunflower bouquet for decorating.
How to Use Dried Sunflowers
One of my favorite ways to use the dried sunflower heads is on a homemade fall wreath or tucked into vintage watering cans.
They are beautiful to use for fall decorating in the home or on the porch. The Farm Chicks have used dried sunflowers to decorate their patio for fall; the look is so beautiful.
With the addition of my country cottage garden shed to the backyard, I hope to use a lot of my dried sunflowers to decorate the front porch from year to year. Once dried, sunflowers can be used for years to come in home decoration.