Did you know that sunflowers are not just a pretty flower that blooms in the summer? Sunflowers are actually a part of the daisy family and are native to North America. The scientific name for a sunflower is Helianthus annuus.
These flowers get their name from their large round heads that have yellow petals radiating out like the rays of the sun. Sunflowers are an annual plant, which means they only live for one growing season. They typically grow to be about two to six feet tall, with some varieties getting as tall as twelve feet!
The leaves of sunflowers are broad and mostly alternate up the stem, meaning they don’t occur directly across from each other. The beautiful yellow petals of sunflowers are actually made up of tiny florets. The center disk florets are usually yellow, but can sometimes be red or brownish.
Surrounding these disk florets are ray florets, which is what gives sunflowers their classic “petaled” look.
We all know that sunflowers are a beautiful and popular flower, but did you know that there are actually quite a few creatures that enjoy eating them? Here are just a few of the most common culprits:
Deer: Deer will often nibble on the leaves and petals of sunflowers, especially if they’re young and tender.
However, they usually don’t do too much damage since they tend to eat in small quantities. Rabbits: Rabbits love sunflower seeds, and will often go after the heads of sunflowers in order to get to them. This can cause serious damage to the plant, and may even kill it if enough seeds are eaten.
Squirrels: Like rabbits, squirrels also love sunflower seeds. They’ll often strip the heads of the plants in order to get to them, which can again lead to serious damage or even death. Birds: Many birds enjoy eating sunflower seeds, including finches, sparrows, nuthatches, and goldfinches.
While they usually don’t do as much damage as some of the other animals on this list, their constant pecking can still take a toll on the plant over time.
What Animals Eat Sunflowers
Sunflowers are a type of flower that blooms in the summertime. They are yellow with a big center that is often brown or black. Sunflowers are native to North America, but they can now be found all over the world.
Sunflowers are a popular food for many different animals. Birds, squirrels, and deer all enjoy eating sunflower seeds. Insects such as bees and butterflies also visit sunflowers for their nectar.
Do Sunflowers Attract Pests
Sunflowers are known to be a pest-resistant plant, meaning they are not typically attractive to pests. However, there are a few insects that may be drawn to sunflowers, including: aphids, cutworms, Japanese beetles and earwigs. While these pests can cause damage to sunflowers, they are not usually fatal to the plant.
There are a few things you can do to deter pests from your sunflower patch, including: planting pest-resistant varieties of sunflowers, using row covers or screens and keeping the area around your sunflowers clean and free of debris.
How Do I Protect My Sunflowers from Being Eaten
Most sunflower varieties are annuals, meaning they will only last one growing season. This means that if you want to have sunflowers in your garden next year, you’ll need to start from seed each spring. Fortunately, sunflowers are pretty easy to grow from seed.
You can direct sow them in the garden or start them indoors and then transplant them later. The biggest challenge when it comes to growing sunflowers is keeping the deer and other animals from eating them. Deer love sunflowers and will chomp on the leaves, stems, and flower heads if given the chance.
The good news is that there are a few things you can do to keep deer away from your sunflowers. One way to deter deer is by using commercial repellents. These products typically contain putrescent eggs, bloodmeal, or garlic which help mask the scent of the plants and make them less attractive to deer.
You can apply these repellents directly to the leaves of your plants or create a spray by mixing the repellent with water according to package directions. Be sure to reapply every 2-3 weeks or after it rains for best results.
Just be sure to apply it liberally so that the scent is strong enough to deter deer (and don’t forget to reapply after rain). Another way to keep deer away is by fencing in your garden area with chicken wire or netting at least 6 feet high (deer can jump pretty high!). If you have a smaller area that you want protect, consider covering individual plants with cages made out of chicken wire or plastic mesh netsting secured with zip ties or twist ties at the base of each plant.
Whatever method you choose, just be sure that any openings are small enough that deer cannot fit through them – otherwise they’ll defeat the purpose!
What Do I Do If My Sunflower is Already Being Eaten
If your sunflower is already being eaten, you may be wondering what you can do to stop the damage. Here are a few things that may help:
-Remove any affected leaves or flowers as soon as you notice them.
This will help prevent the spread of the problem. -Apply an insecticide to the plant. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label carefully.
-Encourage beneficial insects in your garden by planting a variety of flowers and plants. These insects will help keep pests in check.
Sunflowers are a type of flower that blooms in the summertime. They are typically found in fields and gardens, and their large size and bright yellow color make them a popular choice for bouquets and floral arrangements. Sunflowers are also a favorite food of many animals, including bees, butterflies, birds, squirrels, and deer.
While most creatures enjoy eating the flower’s petals or seeds, some have been known to nibble on the leaves or stem as well.