When To Harvest Sunflowers

Sunflowers are one of the easiest plants to grow and they make a beautiful addition to your garden. The seeds are usually what people are after. So how do you know when it’s time to harvest them?

You can harvest the sunflowers when the head become dry and the petals start to fall off. You can cut the entire head off and hand them in your garage for a couple of days, and shake out the seeds. Another option is to simply pick the seeds from the head.

When Is The Best Month To Harvest Sunflowers?

The best month of the year to harvest sunflowers is between July and September. Sunflowers tend to mature quickly during this time period and will give you the best results for your efforts.

If you want smaller heads but don’t mind waiting until later in the season, then October is another good choice for harvesting sunflowers.

Can You Harvest Sunflowers Too Early?

You can harvest sunflowers early, but the seeds won’t be edible and won’t taste as good as they should. 

In addition, the seeds will be small which you won’t enjoy eating or using in your cooking.

How to Harvest Sunflowers

When it comes to harvesting sunflower seeds, the process is simple and doesn’t require a lot of time or effort.

If you want to plant the seeds later, simply leave them on the plant. Once the seeds fall out on their own, collect the seeds and store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place until planting time next year.

On the other hand, if you’re going to eat the seeds or use them for cooking, pull up the entire plant at the base or cut off individual flowers as they begin to turn brown and dry out.

Storing Sunflowers After Harvesting

storing sunflower seeds


Here are some different ways to store sunflowers after harvesting:

Freeze them – You can freeze sunflower heads by placing them in an airtight container in the freezer. This will keep them fresh for months!

Dry them – Sunflower heads can be dried and stored for later use in crafts like wreaths, garlands, and more! You can also use them as decorations around the house during holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Grind up the seeds – If you don’t want to waste any part of your sunflowers, grind up the seeds and use them as flour in baking recipes or even as a substitute for coffee grounds when making compost tea or fertilizer for your garden!

Bag method – The bag method is by far one of the easiest ways to store your seeds until you need them. All you need is a large resealable plastic baggie and some newspaper, tissue paper, or toilet paper rolls. Place all the seeds into one baggie, fold up some newspaper into balls, and place them into each corner of the baggie (this will help keep moisture away from your seeds).

Then seal it up with tape so that there is no chance of air getting inside the baggie and causing mold growth. Place all your sealed baggies into another resealable plastic baggie or the large box (make sure this box has holes in it so that fresh air can enter).


In conclusion, you should harvest your sunflowers when they’re fully mature and about 18 inches tall. It’s best to wait until just before the first frost as this will ensure that they don’t lose their bright colors or become bitter tasting. After harvesting, store them in a cool dark place like your garage or basement until they are ready to eat!