Named for its bright, sunny appearance, the sunflower adds color to any garden. As summer ends, the sunflower begins to die, and the seeds fall to the ground. This would potentially create a new crop of sunflowers for the following year if it weren't for birds, squirrels and other hungry critters. If you would like to assist your sunflower in the drying process to either hurry it along or protect the seeds from critters, it's simple to do.
Cut the stem of the sunflower 1 foot below the head when you notice the back of the head begin to yellow.
Visually inspect the sunflower for bugs and pests you don't want to bring into the house with you.
Tie a paper bag over the head of each sunflower to protect it. If you plan on drying them in an outdoor shed, this will keep birds and squirrels from running away with the seeds that fall from the head as they dry. If you're drying them inside your home, the paper bag will help avoid having sunflower seeds all over the floor.
Tie two to three sunflowers together at the stems and hang them upside down in bunches in a warm, dry place that is well-ventilated.
Check on the sunflowers in two to three days to ensure that they are dry.