Saturday, July 3, 2010

Growing Black Oil Sunflowers

Helianthus annuus


With the pounds of black oil sunflower seeds that were loaded into my birdfeeders over the winter, I suppose it was inevitable that some would fall into the planters on my deck and germinate. I set aside one of these planters this year for the black oil sunflowers. Now they’re up and blooming! They don’t seem to vary much from this basic design. And they don’t look very different from the mammoth greys that I grew last summer.



Black oil sunflower seeds are also the kind used for pressing sunflower oil. They seem to be a favorite of the birds around here, disappearing from the feeders before any other variety.


There’s evidence that black oil sunflower seeds have some allelopathic qualities – that is, they discourage growth of some of the other plants around them because of chemical interactions. Gardeners should be aware of this when using large amounts near areas where special plants are growing. I think I’ll be limiting my planting of these seeds to containers and areas that I want keep clean of weeds.

8 comments:

TALON said...

That photo with the sunflower and the blue skies is just the epitome of summer to me.

I've only grown sunflowers once and they were in separate area of the garden, but I'll keep that in mind for the next time I grow some. The birds are going to love you!

AshKuku said...

Lovely & luscious sunflowers..... Perfect inspiration for my handmade cards too.... :)

Ash....
(http://asha-oceanichope.blogspot.com/)

Lorilee said...

I don't believe there is a flower that is more cheerful than a sunflower!
Blessings,
Lorilee

patti said...

Thanks for sharing about a plant I've never grown.

Black Oil gives a different mental image than this beautiful picture...

Patti

Bangchik said...

You were mentioning about black oil sunflowers. Can we differentiate their seeds from the normal dwarf type?

tina said...

Planting by the birds is the absolutely best-now they can eat for no expense to you. A good thing. Your sunflowers look full of seeds!

Pam J. said...

I've got four nice big healthy sunflowers that grew the same way yours did...from scattered bird seed. They're just spectacular!

Stacey said...

what fun! The goldfinches love my sunflowers and coneflowers and they are so much fun to watch. They just perch on the top of the flower and eat away.