Any way to tell from the seed which way a sunflower's bloom will face?

I planted some sunflowers a while back, and they are all blooming and glorious, about fifteen feel tall. Everything would have been great, except the blooms face directly into my neighbor’s yard, away from my yard. They’re like a bunch of petulant children that won’t face me. :frowning:

Curiously, the sun sets in the exact opposite direction - away from the bloom, directly into my yard. Until they grew taller than the fence, they didn’t really get any light at all until Noon or so.

Is there any way I can know for future reference which way they will bloom? Something about the seed that can tell me? Is it unusual for them to bloom away from the sun? Can I spin them around right now and replant them w/o killing them?

Sunflower buds track the sun, i.e., they move from east to west over the course of the day. Once the flower blooms it freezes in one direction, typically east.

The solution: plant your sunflower seeds on the other side of the yard.


As has been stated, they follow the sun until they bloom for a while. You could wire the head to point in the direction you want, while it developes. It would not be worth it on a lot of plants, but you could do some.

Planting one of the multiheaded sunflowers will leave some pointing in your direction too. They point outward from the center axis of the plant.

Great stuff folks - obviously I had no idea they would face east. Unfortunately planting them on the other side of the yard is not possible - the garden is only on the one side.

Anyone want to tackle whether or not I can dig them up, spin them around, and replant them? (I’m thinking probably not, although they seem pretty hearty to me).

I believe sunflowers have a really deep root system. Digging up a plant would be difficult and will probably kill it.

They do. A couple sites I visited say about 1.5 meters. But, I’d give it a try with one and see what happens. Many plants can survive having significant portions of their root systems severed.

You could plant them in pots, and bury the pots. Then all you’d have to do is rotate the pots.

That could work, if you have pots that are 5-6 feet deep.

I’ve got one in a pot that’s maybe 18 inches deep or so, currently it’s a little over 6 feet tall and doing well.

How to tell from a seed which way a sunflower’s bloom will face:

  1. Go out into your yard in the morning and hold the seed upright.

  2. The bloom will face the side opposite the seed’s shadow, generally speaking.


You could move them around until about 2 feet in height. After that you’ll stunt them, and they will be falling over at some point when windy or heavy with seed. They need those large root systems. I would still suggest the multiple head ones.