Plantshed Blog

Flower Feature: The Sunflower

Flower Feature: The Sunflower

Author: C. W.

Color us obsessed with the glorious sunflower! Few blossoms exude as cheery a vibe — and it’s with good reason that this yellow beauty brings a smile to everyone’s face. It’s as radiant as pure sunshine and just as capable of brightening up any room.

Perhaps what’s most impressive about this bright flower is that it’s so easy to identify at a glance. Aside from the brilliant rose, there are few that enjoy such a stellar reputation for joy and happiness. You can give sunflowers for any occasion, be it a birthday, an anniversary, a get well wish, an expression of gratitude, or simply to turn someone’s day around in a flash.

And variety! While it’s the traditional style that typically comes to mind, sunflowers are anything but plain. The flower known for its lively petals that replicate the rays of the sun is available in many different sizes. From petite to enormous, sunflowers play different roles — they add their own special radiance to mixed bouquets and they also stand on their own against beds of lush greenery. Either way, their effect is showstopping.

Deeper Meanings

A sunflower arrangement is packed with meaning! It’s uplifting, of course, but there’s so much more to this wonderful flower than meets the eye. It’s symbolic of loyalty, endurance, and adoration. This is incredibly fitting, given that the sunflower is so devoted that it’s known to “follow” the sun in its appreciation for those potent ultraviolet rays.

On a scientific level, that’s due to its internal circadian clock and its ability to recognize the timing of the sun as it rises. It’s an amazing natural phenomenon that only contributes to its wonder. Even more interesting is the fact that once sunflowers reach a point of maturity, they no longer continue to track the sun’s movements. Instead, they remain facing east.

Ancient Sunflowers

The sunflower was always revered, dating as far back as 1,000 B.C., when it purportedly originated somewhere in the western Americas. Even then, it was prized for its majesty and usefulness. It’s said that Native Americans milled sunflower crops to facilitate flour production for their baked goods. The seeds were used for snacking, or to break down into smaller pieces. Eventually, they discovered that they could extract the flower’s oil and use it to bake and even apply it to the skin!

Sunflower Care

If you’re fortunate enough to receive sunflowers, it’s important to care for them properly to ensure they last. With a little TLC, they have the potential to remain fresh and vibrant for nearly two weeks! If you’re really dedicated, you may be able to extend that period even longer. To keep them looking their best, find a prime location where they receive ample sunshine. Yep, it’s true — “sun” flowers love those ultraviolet rays! Just avoid too much light, or you risk dehydration.

Cut about an inch off the bottom of the stem at an angle when you change the water every couple of days. For best results, hold the stem underwater as you do this so that it more easily absorbs the moisture that it needs. Make sure to remove any leaves that are situated below the water line to discourage bacterial growth and keep your sunflower happy. Then immerse the flowers in the vase and enjoy their endless beauty.