Sunflowers for Birds

It is hard to find anyone who doesn’t enjoy the bright, sunny face of sunflowers.

It is so much fun to see how quickly they grow and how tall they get.  Mine are at least 8 feet high.  I plant them in my vegetable garden, where they offer shade to my vegetables.

Last year, I grew them for my family and we harvested the seeds.  But this year, we planted extra so that the birds could enjoy them too.

As the sunflowers bloom and begin to age, they turn upside down.  The birds typically will not approach the sunflowers until the seeds and the flower start to dry.

Once they start to face upside down, but before they begin to dry, I put paper bags over some of the flower heads and fasten it at the bottom with twine. This will protect the sunflower seeds from being eaten by birds.

When the flower has dried, the birds will start eating the seeds right away.  I have my sunflowers planted close to my window so that I can watch their antics as they tip over to get the seeds.

Once my covered sunflower heads have dried, I store them in a cool, dry place until winter, when I hang them out for the birds.  This way the birds get to enjoy a feast of home-grown sunflower seeds in both summer and winter.

Sunflowers grow just about everywhere and they are super easy to raise.  Check out this link for how to grow them in your garden.  So, get started -  your feathered visitors will thank you for it :-)


  1. Paula says

    I love watching the finches hang on the blossoms and pick all the seeds out. I have so much shade now, I rarely can get a sunflower to grow. I sure miss them!

  2. Danielle says

    Noelle, it’s great that you save some of the sunflowers for the winter, when birds (and you) can enjoy them again even if the weather isn’t the greatest!

  3. Lynn Millen says

    Would you please tell me what kind of seed to buy, to plant, in order to have sunflower heads to feed the birds. Thank you, Lynn

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