Effortlessly removing seeds from sunflowers at home

Harvesting sunflowers can be a fun and rewarding experience, but when it comes to removing the seeds, it can be quite the task. Whether you’re looking to roast and enjoy the seeds yourself or feed them to your bird friends, you’ll need to properly remove them from the flower head. Below, we’ll provide you with all the steps to take to remove the seeds from sunflowers.

Gather the tools you’ll need

Before you begin removing the seeds from your sunflowers, you’ll want to round up the necessary tools. This includes a pair of gloves to protect your hands from the prickly flower head, a pair of clippers or scissors to cut the stem, a large bowl or container to hold the flower head, and a small bowl or container to hold the seeds as you remove them.

Harvest the sunflower head

The first step in removing seeds from sunflowers is to harvest the sunflower head when it is mature. This typically occurs around 30-45 days after blooming or when the back of the flower head turns brown. Cut the flower head from the stem using the clippers or scissors and make sure to leave a few inches of stem attached.

Dry the sunflower head

Once you’ve harvested the sunflower head, you’ll want to dry it out before attempting to remove the seeds. This can be done by hanging the head upside down in a cool, dry place like a garage or shed. Alternatively, you can place the head on a flat surface and let it dry out for a few days.

Remove the seeds from the sunflower head

Once the sunflower head has dried out completely, it’s time to remove the seeds. You’ll want to put on your gloves for this step to protect your hands from any prickly parts of the flower head. Begin by gently tapping the flower head over the small bowl or container to remove any loose seeds. Then, use your fingers or a small tool such as a toothpick to pry out the remaining seeds from the flower head.

Clean the sunflower seeds

After removing the seeds from the sunflower head, you’ll want to take a moment to clean them. This can be done by rinsing them off under cold water to remove any remaining debris or pieces of the flower head. Spread the seeds out on a clean towel or paper towel to dry.

Roast the sunflower seeds

If you’re looking to enjoy your sunflower seeds, you may want to roast them. To do this, preheat your oven to 300°F. Spread the cleaned seeds out in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they have turned golden brown.

Store the sunflower seeds

If you’re not planning on enjoying the sunflower seeds right away, you’ll want to store them properly. Place the seeds in an airtight container such as a mason jar or plastic bag and store in a cool, dry place such as a pantry or cupboard. Properly stored, the seeds can last up to six months.

Feed the birds with sunflower seeds

If you’re not looking to roast the sunflower seeds for yourself, they make a nutritious and tasty treat for birds. Simply place the cleaned seeds in a bird feeder or scatter them on the ground for birds to enjoy. Be sure to break up large clumps of seeds to make them more accessible to the birds.


By following these simple steps, you can easily remove the seeds from sunflowers for your own enjoyment or to share with your bird friends. Remember to always wear gloves when handling the prickly flower head and to properly store the seeds to ensure their freshness for months to come.

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