Life Cycle of a Red Sunflower

Overview

The red sunflower is an artificially bred flower that is known for its ability to produce multiple flower heads. It can grow to a maximum height of up to 10 feet and is purchased by collectors as a decoration. The red sunflower is an annual flower that grows, blooms, seeds and dies in a single season.

Seeds

Red sunflowers are planted at the first signs of winter's end. Gardeners place the seeds in small containers indoors and let them begin to take root. As the weather warms and the seedlings begin to mature they are transplanted outside in the garden. Red sunflowers are available nationwide from many garden retail stores and nurseries.

Germination

It takes anywhere from five-to-12 days for a red sunflower to properly germinate. Gardeners place seeds in warm, well-moistened soil to quicken the process. The moisture aids the seed by softening the husk, making the first root and leaf emerge and push their way to the surface.

Maturity

Red sunflowers need an average temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit to properly flourish. The flower roots itself with a single taproot that anchors the plant to the soil as smaller roots grow out to extend the plant's surface area. As the flower matures and absorbs the necessary resources from the soil, it blooms a single flower that extends every day. As time passes, smaller flower heads often appear below the larger top-head.

Reproduction

As the flower is pollinated by insects and wind, fruits and seeds are eventually developed inside the flower. The petals grow to protect the actual florets in the center of the flower head, which grow into the fruit and seeds. When the petals and seeds have matured, the flower head drops off the plant and scatters new seeds into the soil.

Death

The red sunflower starts to turn yellow as it ages and shed all its leaves. This helps the plant focus energy on fully ripening the seeds. Once the seeds are ready and the flower head drops to the ground, the plants stops all growth. The flower eventually withers and dies, providing nutrition to the soil as it decomposes, feeding the seeds.

Keywords: red sunflower, plant life cycle, pollination and reproduction

About this Author

Jonathan Budzinski started his writing career in 2007. His work appears on websites such as eHow and WordGigs. Budzinski specializes in nonprofit topics, as he spent two years with Basic Rights Oregon and WomanSpace. He has received recognition as a Shining Star Talent Scholar in English while studying English at the University of Oregon.