To make dried sunflower heads, cut off mature heads from sunflower plants, clean them, place them in paper bags and hang them up in a dry place. Remove the heads from the bags when the backs are brown.
Drying sunflower heads allows gardeners to harvest sunflower seeds earlier than usual, which helps keep birds and insects away from the maturing seeds. It also makes the seeds easier to remove from the heads. To dry sunflower heads, use the following steps.
- Cut off the sunflower heads
- Cover the heads
- Remove the heads from the bags
Cut mature sunflower heads off the plants with a sharp knife or pair of scissors. Leave around 4 inches of the stem on the head, as this makes it easier to hang the flowers.
Cover the heads with paper bags, and tie the bags to the stems using twine. Paper bags can catch any seeds that drop from the heads during the drying process and allow air to circulate around the heads. This is important, as moisture and poor air circulation can cause the heads to go moldy.
Check on the heads daily to track the drying process, and collect seeds that have dropped from the heads on a regular basis. Remove the heads from the bags when the backs are dark brown and completely dry.