Sunflowers

"Helsinki" is getting ready to bloom, despite not being out in the full sun.

“Helsinki” is getting ready to bloom, despite not being out in the full sun.

You might remember my post from June about Helsinki the sunflower. I found a sunflower seedling sprouted out of my bathroom sink drain and decided to plant it. Well, now the sunflower has a bud and will be blooming in the not-too-distant future. I’ve planted it in a container alongside some chives and fern-leaved lavender because frankly I just didn’t get around to digging in the yard and the soil in the container was soft enough to scoop out a hole.

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FP_DSCN1366It didn’t take very long after I’d rescued Helsinki from the sink drain for it to grow its first set of true leaves. But within a couple of weeks it was getting spindly from being inside on the windowsill and I knew I would have to plant it outside soon.

My office window really only gets the direct afternoon sun and I knew that wouldn’t be enough light for a sunflower plant to thrive. But I wanted it to get bigger before I planted it outside because our neighborhood is filled with rabbits and other small mammals who might eat it. I put off transplanting it so the leaves and stem could get a little bit tougher.

Helsinki is about two weeks old in the photo above and has two sets of true leaves (not easily visible, but one small pair is at the top), plus the large leathery seed leaves at the bottom.

In the photo on the right (taken on August 1), the sunflower is probably about 18 inches tall and the flower bud is roughly the diameter of a quarter. I don’t imagine that I’m going to get any sunflower seed crop from this little plant, but it was kind of a horticultural experiment anyway. I’m actually surprised that it is going to bloom.

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