Grow Sunflowers to Attract More Backyard Birds
Save money feeding birds by growing and harvesting sunflower seeds from your garden.
Pick the Right Variety
You can find many sunflower options on the market today, but not all of them are suitable food sources for birds. When planning to grow sunflowers, make sure they produce a good supply of seeds. Some of our top picks include Mammoth Grey Stripe, Paul Bunyan and Aztec Gold. Learn how to grow your own birdseed.
Sunflower Growing Tips
Sunflowers are truly one of the easiest plants to grow, but they do have a few requirements. They need at least six hours of sunlight per day and well-drained soil. They benefit from organic matter, and also keep the area under sunflowers mulched for better results.
When to Plant Sunflower Seeds
Sunflowers have the best seed buffet in late summer to early fall. For longer harvest time, stagger your planting, early spring to midsummer. This way, you can attract birds for months. Check out late-blooming fall flowers that attract butterflies.
Sunflower Seed Harvest Tip
Gather your sunflower heads, and put them in a dry place to dehydrate. You can then hang them out by your feeders, extending the sunflower season all the way into fall. Discover the best bird feeders and birdseed for cardinals.
Birds that Eat Sunflower Seeds
- Northern Cardinal
- House finch
- Tufted titmouse
- American Goldfinch
- Red-bellied woodpecker
Next, check out the top 10 sunny sunflower varieties to grow.