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The Joys of Sunflowers

Updated on September 18, 2017

Botanical Name:Helianthus

Sunflowers are one of the few crops which originated in North America. They have been harvested by Native Americans for more than 4000 years. Many uses have been found for this delightful flower. A dye was made by native peoples out of the Sunflower petals. They would use this dye to make their clothes yellow or create a body paint. There various ways to prepare Sunflowers for use. Sunflower oil is very popular as a cooking oil. Sunflower seeds are a delicious treat. I like adding Sunflower seeds to salads. In the 1500s the Spanish brought Sunflower Seeds back to Europe with them.

Sunflowers prefer growing in full sunlight. They are attractive to bees, birds, and many other animals. You can use them to distract animals from other vegetables you are growing. Squirrels enjoy eating the seeds. It is a great way to attract wildlife to your yard.

Ah Sunflower, weary of time,

Who countest the steps of the sun;

Seeking after that sweet golden clime

Where the traveller's journey is done;

Where the Youth pined away with desire,

And the pale virgin shrouded in snow,

Arise from their graves, and aspire

Where my Sunflower wishes to go!

— William Blake

Everyday Uses For Sunflowers

There are many uses for Sunflowers. On of the most amazing uses of this marvelous plant is the construction of a Hungarian folk violin. This is one of the most bizarre uses. Most of the uses of Sunflowers are extremely practical. They can be used as a windbreak for your garden. They will tower over the rest of the plants, unless you are growing a miniature variety. They typically grow to be 10 feet tall.

Uses In Witchcraft

The Sunflower is a solar herb. This is partly due to the fact that it is a heliotropic flower. The Sunflower follows the movement of the sun throughout the day. This plant is used for building a healthy ego in witchcraft. The sun is associated with the ego in astrology. It is the most well known astrological influence. It represents the person we project to the world. A solar herb like the sunflower is a good choice for those of you who wish to conduct a magick rite for building up self esteem.

It is known to bring happiness. One simple ritual is to take a bath with Sunflower petals in the water. Fertility rituals are another popular use of this herb. Women who wish to conceive would eat Sunflower seeds. Another common use for Sunflowers is to employ them in money rituals.

Growing Sunflowers

Sunflowers are very easy to grow. There are many varieties to choose from. There are different colors, shapes, and sizes. You should start off by selecting a variety which suits you. They grow best in a very sunny location. Some sources online say that they are able to grow them in partial shade, but most sources say they need full sunlight. They are preferring well drained soil. Over-watering them is the action that can harm them the most. It is best to make that the soil has the proper PH level. They prefer a PH level between 6.0 and 7.5. You should plant them someplace where they will be protected from the wind.

Some of you well want to have Sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds are very attractive to all kinds of animals. It is important to protect them if you would like to harvest the seeds. There are different way to protect the seeds. Wrapping the flower heads in a mesh would be one solution.

© 2014 Lydia Workman

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    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Love sunflowers, and even use sunflower spread instead of margarine. No cholesterol in it. :-)