Seeds forum: Collecting Russian Giant Sunflower Seeds

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Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
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Natalie
Jul 22, 2014 12:39 PM CST
I'm growing Russian Giant sunflowers for the first time, and would love to collect the seeds for planting next year. I've fallen madly in love with this plant, and can picture a field of them!

This should probably be an easy thing to figure out, but for me, I'm clueless! Any suggestions on when to harvest the seeds would be most appreciated. I don't know how to tell when they are ready.

Also, do they easily hybridize? I've got some Alien Sunflowers growing in the same area. Not sure what an Alien Sunflower is, but it is pretty. My Dad sent the seeds to me, kind of as a joke, but I love them. I can't find anything online as to which sunflowers they actually are, or if they are officially called Alien.

Thanks for any help with this!



Natalie
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
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Xeramtheum
Jul 23, 2014 3:32 PM CST
I've never grown the Russian Giant but have grown others like them. You'll definitely want to bag the flower heads once the seeds start forming otherwise the squirrels will steal them. Panty hose is a good for doing that. The picture is what a sunflower looks like a few weeks before harvesting. The outer seeds ripen sooner than the inner seeds. I usually cut the flower off when about half the seeds are ripe then hang it upside down for a few weeks before harvesting to let it dry out a bit. As to crossing, I don't know but it's possible if they are the same species.

When you go to harvest the seeds you'll want to wear glove because your fingers will get raw from scraping them off.

Thumb of 2014-07-23/Xeramtheum/a32a7d

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Unknown

Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
Image
Natalie
Jul 23, 2014 8:32 PM CST
Thanks for the great info, Anne! We're really lucky, and don't have squirrels here, but I'm sure the birds will take all of them if I don't cover it with something. Wouldn't have thought to use pantyhose, so I appreciate that tip! I'll put them on the shopping list!

Thanks also, for the tip about wearing gloves! Thumbs up
Natalie
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Be a voice - not an echo!
Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hybridizer Birds Seed Starter Pollen collector
Butterflies Greenhouse Bookworm Bulbs Hibiscus Plant Identifier
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Xeramtheum
Jul 23, 2014 8:44 PM CST
You don't have squirrels where you live? Really? I'd love to send you some! I'll even pay the postage!
"We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us."

Unknown

Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
Image
Natalie
Jul 23, 2014 9:58 PM CST
No squirrels, but I do have wolves and rattlesnakes. Want to make a trade? Big Grin Hilarious!
Natalie
Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Be a voice - not an echo!
Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hybridizer Birds Seed Starter Pollen collector
Butterflies Greenhouse Bookworm Bulbs Hibiscus Plant Identifier
Image
Xeramtheum
Jul 24, 2014 5:14 AM CST
Lol!
"We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us and wealth classified us."

Unknown

Name: Natalie
North Central Idaho (Zone 7a)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Hummingbirder Frogs and Toads Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers
Cottage Gardener Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Echinacea Xeriscape
Image
Natalie
Jul 24, 2014 9:25 AM CST
I was serious.

Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Natalie

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