Sunflower Production

Lauren Blum

Plant Parts

  • Seed - The seeds are individual fruits called achenes.
  • Roots - Sunflowers have a taproot system.
  • Stem - The stem supports the plant and has many vessels that transport nutrients to other parts of the plant. As the plan matures, the stem becomes woody.
  • Leaves - Sunflower leaves are green and heart-shaped but become gray in color over time.
  • Flower - The flower as a whole is called a composite flower. Within the composite flowers are ray and disk flowers that contain the pollen, stamen and the pistil.
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Planting Tips

  • Best grown in medium to moderately fine soil
  • Needs areas with good internal drainage
  • Planting should occur mid-March through the beginning of April
  • Needs to be planted in soil that is at least 50 degrees F
  • Planted in rows between 20 and 30 inches wide
  • Can be planted with a grain drill or a corn planter
  • Sunflowers can be grown anywhere in the United States but prefer climates that are dry and warmer in temperature

Top Sunflower States

1. North and South Dakota

2. Minnesota

3. Kansas

4. Colorado

5. Nebraska


  • Harvested with a combine using a special sunflower header
  • Other headers can be used but they must have special adaptations
Fantini Corn and Sunflower Headers New Video

Sunflower Pests

  • Insects, such as the Sunflower moth, are typically controlled with insecticides
  • Diseases, such as Downy Mildew Rust, Phoma Black Stem, Verticillium Wilt, can usually only be controlled by preventive measures by growing varieties that are disease resistant.

Sunflower Uses

  • Sunflower seeds - The seeds of the sunflower are used for edible purposes
  • Sunflower oil - The oil from the sunflower can be used for cooking and is thought to be a healthier alternative to other oils
  • Soaps - Sunflower oil can be found in soaps
  • Cosmetics - Sunflowers also are used in cosmetics. There are many cleansers and moisturizers that contain sunflower oil
Sunflower log II: Six Facts About Sunflowers ( Sunshower- Dan Gibson, Solitudes)

Works Cited

"National Sunflower Association : Frequently Asked Questions." National Sunflower Association : Frequently Asked Questions. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015.

"National Sunflower Association : Harvesting and Storage." National Sunflower Association : Harvesting and Storage. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015.

"Sunflower Plant Parts." GardenGuides. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015.

"National Sunflower Association : Sunflower Oil." National Sunflower Association : Sunflower Oil. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015.

"Sunflower." Alternative Field Crops Manual. N.p., n.d. Web.

"Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at San Angelo." Texas AM AgriLife Research and Extension Center at San Angelo. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015.

"What Types of Environments Do Sunflowers Grow In?" Home Guides. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015.