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How to Germinate Sunflower Seeds

Sunflowers are tall, beautiful flowers that perk up any garden or lawn, and their seeds make a heart-healthy snack. Sunflower seeds need a temperature of approximately 70 degrees Fahrenheit to begin germination and sprouting. Maintaining the soil temperature at 70 degrees can be difficult, especially if you live in an extremely warm or cold climate. However, sunflower seeds can be germinated without soil in your own home. Once the seeds have sprouted, the plants can be transferred to an outdoor setting.

Germinating Seeds

Fill a spray bottle with water and lay a paper towel over a flat surface. Spray the towel with water. Dampen the towel but do not saturate it in water.

  • Sunflowers are tall, beautiful flowers that perk up any garden or lawn, and their seeds make a heart-healthy snack.

Lay your sunflower seeds over the wet towel and make sure they are not touching each other. Cover the seeds with another paper towel. Spray the top towel with water, again dampening it without saturating it. Saturating your seeds will cause them to mold before sprouting.

Place the seeds and towels in a cool area of your home. Place them in an unheated garage if living in a cooler climate, or near an air-conditioning vent if living in a warm climate. Keep the towels consistently moist, keeping the seeds at a temperature below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Lay your sunflower seeds over the wet towel and make sure they are not touching each other.

Keep the seeds cool and moist for 10 to 12 days. Sprouts should have broken out of the seeds in the second week. Discard any seeds that do not sprout after the second week. Once the seeds have sprouted, plant them in the desired area, about 1/4 inch deep.

Germinate Sunflower Seeds In A Coffee Filter

Fill a spray bottle with water and use it to moisten a paper cone-type coffee filter. If needed, squeeze out excess moisture. For basket-type filters, spread the sunflower seeds over the upper half of the paper and fold it in half. Write the date and sunflower seed information on the plastic bag with a waterproof marker. Put the filter in the plastic bag and seal it two-thirds of the way, so air can still circulate. Place the bag in a warm area, about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, to encourage germination. If it appears dry, spray it with water to moisten it. Transplant the sunflower seeds once they sprout roots. Position the seed with its rooted end in the soil and its tip barely outside the soil. Once large enough to handle, transplant the sunflower seedlings outside, after the last frost date.

  • Keep the seeds cool and moist for 10 to 12 days.
  • For basket-type filters, spread the sunflower seeds over the upper half of the paper and fold it in half.

Tip

The seeds that sprout first will most likely be your best flowers. Be sure to plant these in a warm area with full sun.

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