Sunflower Velvet Queen - McKenzie Seeds
Sunflower Velvet Queen
- Helianthus annuus
- Full Sun
- Blooms August to September
- Deep Red Blooms
- An ideal sunflower for a windbreak
- 7 to 14 days to germinate
Velvet Queen Sunflowers are a branched variety that blooms early. These sunflowers produce dark velvet crimson blooms that are accented with traces of gold and yellow around a black center. These easy to grow varieties are a wonderful feature in the garden.
500 milligrams / approximately 14-17 seeds
- Sow seeds directly outdoors once all danger of frost has passed.
- Plants do best in rich, well drained soil in full sun.
- For the best germination, keep the soil evenly moist, from seeding until the young plants emerge.
- Sow seeds 13 mm (1/2″) deep and 8 cm (3″) apart.
- Seeds germinate in 7-14 days.
Although sunflowers are heat and drought tolerant, they will be far better when grown with ample moisture. This is especially true during the flowering stage.
Allow the sunflower plant to mature in the garden. Once mature (the yellow petals will have dried and fallen off and the back of the flower will be brown and dry) cut the head off the stem leaving approximately 1 foot of the stem attached. If the flower head/seeds have not totally dried in the garden, hang upside down in a warm, dry and well ventilated area until the seeds loosen and are completely dried. Seeds can start to drop from the flower head as they dry; wrap some cheesecloth around heads while drying to catch any that fall out during the drying process. Rub the seeds out of the head by hand. If the seeds are being saved for birds, just store in sealed containers in a dry location. If you want to roast for a snack, follow the following directions:
- Cover unshelled seeds with salted water, using 1/4 to 1/2 cup of salt per two quarts of water. Soak seeds in the salt solution overnight. Drain off the water the next morning and pat the seeds dry to remove excess moisture. (You can also roast the seeds unsalted, by simply skipping the soaking process).
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Spread the sunflower seeds evenly on a cookie sheet or shallow pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. The seeds will often develop a small crack down the center as they roast. Test after each stirring to see if the seeds are completely roasted by tasting.
- After roasting, remove seeds from the oven, stir in 1 teaspoon of melted butter for every cup of seeds and allow them to cool completely. Add seasonings if desirable and then store the seeds in an airtight container.