The Q&A Archives: Deformed Sunflowers

Question: My ornamental sunflowers developed irregular, scrunched, out of round blooms, making them unsaleable for the cutflower market. I have not seen this before--what went wrong?

Answer: The two most likely causes of deformed fruit or flowers are inconsistent soil moisture during development or insect damage to the unopened flower buds. Most sunflowers grow well in soils kept on the dry side, but they thrive when given regular water. Try supplying enough water to deeply soak the bed once each week during the spring and summer months and see if that doesn't help your next crop of sunflowers.

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