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Awhile back we bought and planted a packet of sunflower seeds from Big C. Though only 8 plants germinated they are beautiful. About 6 to 8 feet tall, the flowers are huge, around 8" diameter and 6 to 8 per stalk. My question is probably weird but;

We planted these flowers on the east side of the house and now all, I mean every single one, of them face east, which is into nothingness. You cannot see these beautiful creations from our front porch (where I have been known to have a few bruskis and enjoy the fruits of my garden labor) the road going by our house, any of our neighbors places, nowhere. I guess they are either facing away from the afternoon sun or toward the rising sun. I have some more seeds of different types/colors coming from the states and would like to know where to plant them so we can get some pleasure looking at them. Anyone know anything about how sunflowers orient themselves?

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Hi Track

I've been wanting to grow some sunflowers myself for some time so will look for seeds next time we go to BigC.

It's interesting about them facing East something to keep in mind when deciding where to place them. On a recent visit to the coast recently I noticed on a Tsunami warning tower the solar panels were also facing East.

But why East I wonder? I would have thought the afternoon sun would be stronger so West would be better but obviously the sunflowers and solar panel installers must know something we don't. Maybe the atmosphere is clearer in the mornings, heat haze dust and all that stuff as the day progresses.

Maybe it's a question to put in the "general" section, there's quite a few knowledgeable people on the forum I'm sure some one would have the answer.

Daffy :o

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and watch them turn themselves back around again the next day, or at least until they mature:

Sunflowers in the bud stage exhibit heliotropism. At sunrise, the faces of most sunflowers are turned towards the east. Over the course of the day, they follow the sun from east to west, while at night they return to an eastward orientation. This motion is performed by motor cells in the pulvinus, a flexible segment of the stem just below the bud. As the bud stage ends, the stem stiffens and the blooming stage is reached.

Sunflowers in the blooming stage are not heliotropic anymore. The stem has frozen, typically in an eastward orientation. The stem and leaves lose their green color. The wild sunflower typically does not turn toward the sun; its flowering heads may face many directions when mature. However, the leaves typically exhibit some heliotropism.


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didn't realize sunflowers could be so interesting. I remember large fields around where I lived as a kid but of course didn't pay attention in those days. I never saw the ones in our yard following the sun and now they. at least the top flowers, are mature and the stems are locked. As I said, they are huge plants, would be very difficult to grow in a pot, but thanks to all for the info. I am going to sow a lot of seeds from these flowers on the west side during rainy season and see what develops.

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