Sunflower stems contain tiny tubes that carry water and other essential nutrients for the plant’s growth. If the sunflower stem has been completely severed from its roots it will not grow back. If the sunflower is bent, but its fibers are still attached, a thin stick and plant wrapping tape around the cut may be enough to support the sunflower and save it.
Derived from the Greek words Helios (sun) and Anthos (flower), sunflowers are heliotropic flowers that grow towards the direction of the sun.
Ranging between many shades, sunflowers are commonly seen in bright yellow with brown centers that mature into giant heads with seeds.
A normal, healthy-growing sunflower usually takes up to 85 to 95 days to mature.
While the smaller varieties don’t grow more than a foot, the largest sunflower varieties can grow to over 16 feet in height.
Sunflowers are resistant to pests and attractive to a variety of animals, including bees and ladybirds.
Sunflowers are bright, bold, and simply beautiful.
Their giant yellow heads are what make them stand out among the rest of the flowers in the garden.
However, have you ever stopped to study the way a sunflower grows?
The delicate nature of the sunflower’s shape keeps them at constant risk of getting knocked over or snapped by strong gusts, heavy rains, or even their own weight.
This problem is usually solved by staking (supporting the plant’s stalk with an upright stake).
Why Do Sunflowers Snap?
The stalks of sunflowers can break due to several reasons.
The most common ones include:
If your sunflowers are growing anywhere near a fence, tree, or squirrel-friendly roosts, these active rodents will jump onto the sunflower’s stalk, snip off the head with its four front teeth, and get hold of the seeds.
This will most certainly result in a broken stem of a sunflower.
2. Strong Winds
Sunflowers are tall and, therefore, prone to winds.
If you are growing your sunflowers in a windy area, there’s a good chance that a good summer storm could break the stems or completely root out the plant all together.
Therefore, it is recommended to grow sunflowers near a tall wall, fence, or some other type of windbreaker, keeping them out of reach of direct wind.
The Sunflower Is Not Staked
Generally, sunflowers aren’t staked.
Staking a plant is a practice to drive a stake or rod into the ground to provide sturdy support for plants to keep growing.
Staking sunflowers in conditions where they are grown in an open field with less sun, and more wind is a good idea.
Staking them will increase the stability and strength and permit these bright yellow heads to continue pushing skywards.
If A Sunflower Snaps Will It Grow Back?
Now you may be wondering – if a sunflower snaps, will it grow back?
Well, this can be tricky!
Many flowers do not have the ability to grow back once they are snapped or broken.
However, with sunflowers, it all depends on luck.
If you catch the fault at an early stage before the vascular system in the top section of the stem gets damaged, there are still chances you can save your flower.
Flower stems consist of tiny tubes that carry water and other nutrients essential for the plants to grow.
If your flower head or a stem is broken off, the system that feeds and waters the plant is cut off.
This means your plant will eventually die.
However, if you act quickly and splice back the part, there is a chance you can save the flower.
How To Fix A Snapped Sunflower
You can fix the damaged parts by lining up the broken edges and taping them with plant tape.
All you have to do is make a splint to hold the broken material solidly upright and then bind it tightly with tape.
For this purpose, you can use a dowel, wooden craft sticks, or a stake into the ground close to the plant, depending on your flower size.
Bamboo canes are ideal choices for this purpose and are relatively cheaper.
Plant tapes or electrical tapes are perfect to bind the broken part and support the flower in further growth.
Taping the broken part with the gardening tape will not straighten up the sunflower, but instead, the plant will reroute, keep on growing and produce a giant head of sunflower seeds, probably.
Furthermore, sunflowers love water.
At times the bloom may die, but watering can help the stems to grow and heal.
Therefore, watering sunflowers regularly in the right amount can also help save them when snapped.
Sunflowers are drought tolerant and can survive without water for days, but they may look dehydrated and half dead.
A quick watering can help them to heal and recover this condition quickly.