Drying Sunflower Heads

drying sunflower heads

Having sunflowers from the market, I’m going to share drying sunflower heads today. I enjoy adding natural pieces to our décor. Because the fall season is around the corner, I decided to dry sunflower heads for fall season.

Drying Sunflowers on the Stem – Cut the Stem 6″ Long

Step 1: Drying These Blooms on the Stem

Using good cutting shears, cut the stem of the sunflowers 6″ long to dry. Bundle the flowers in threes and tie with jute. It’s particularly important to not let the heads touch. Next, hang the sunflowers upside down in a dark dry space. I have done this in coat closets but for the most part, I dried flowers in our basement. Our basement is dark and dry, so it works well. To dry flowers, you can use an attic however, since attics tend to be hot check on the buds a bit sooner.

How To Dry Sunflower Heads taking the petals off

Drying sunflowers on the stem can take up to two weeks sometimes three.

Now, dried sunflowers petals can curl.  I know because I used to dry whole sunflowers years ago. 

However, I did learn a trick, once the flower heads are dried, spray them with hairspray. This keeps the petals nice and helps keep their color.

after removing some petals

How to Dry the Just Sunflower Heads

Step 2: To Dry the Heads Only

After sunflowers begin to droop in a vase, I remove and cut the stem and leave 3″ remaining. Incidentally, how to dry sunflower heads, remove the petals from the head. For the most part, I do this because the dry flower heads have a sepia look.

After removing the petals from the flower heads, place them in a dark dry place for two weeks. 

By the way if you enjoy adding nature to your home, you may enjoy this post.  I also share using natural pieces again in this different post. These are especially perfect for the fall and holiday season as well as winter months.

How To Dry Sunflower Heads after removing all the petals

How to Dry the Sunflower Petals

Step 3: Weathering the Flower Petals

Besides, drying sunflower heads, try drying the petals themselves. This process is best when the petals still have their vibrant color. Carefully remove a petal at a time trying not to damage them.

Lay the petals between sheets of blotting paper while drying.

Next, place cardboard on top and add to a heavy book to keep them flat. Let the petals dry for several weeks. Agvain, add a bit of hairspray once dry to reatin their color.

How To Dry Sunflower Heads all the petals removed

How to Display Dry Sunflowers With a Stem Attached

Step 3: Displaying These Flowers with the Stem

Dry sunflowers on the stem look especially pretty in baskets for fall. 

Add these whole dry flowers to pitchers with other dried flowers from the garden such as roses and marigolds.  Additionally, these dry flowers look pretty bundled with a satin ribbon laying on a hutch or buffet.

How about sunflowers coupled with dried lavender from the garden or found while shopping? Imagine the warmth of the color combination and the smell from the lavender.

How to Dry and Preserve Sunflowers


Displaying Dried Sunflower Heads In The Home

Step 4: Decorate with These Inside the Home

Displaying dried sunflower heads. Adding these to a bowl with gourds is pretty for fall. How about laying them on a platter and sprinkling small pinecones with other dry flower heads from the garden?

Adding dry sunflowers is also pretty for a fall centerpiece. Adding dry flowers to a centerpiece filled with pumpkins, pinecones and nuts is a great idea.

dry sunflowers with Indian corn and pumpkin


I have my sunflower heads displayed in our kitchen hutch. They are clustered on an antique Italian Florentine frame. The dry sunflower heads add a rustic fall look.

How To Dry Sunflower Heads displayed in my hutch

If you don’t want to dry your own sunflowers, purchase them from this company. Ordering items from them in the past,  I have never been disappointed and items are packaged especially well.

I hope you enjoyed this post on drying sunflowers heads. Dried flowers are the epitome of fall. Do you dry flowers from your garden for fall displays?

Pin This To Remember How To Do This Project!

Arrow for the Pin for Pinterest
Pin for Pinterest

Drying Sunflower Heads

This post shows you how to dry sunflower heads and sunflowers on the stem
Prep Time5 mins
Active Time5 mins
2 weeks0 mins
Total Time14 d
Yield: 4 sunflowers
Cost: 5


  • twine or jute, hairspray


Items Needed:
  • sunflowers from any food store
  • jute or twine any craft store
  • dark dry room, basement, closet or attic
  • hairspray
Once sunflowers begin to fall over remove the sunflowerd from the water
Step 1
For Drying Sunflower Heads
  • remove the petals
  • clip the stem to 3″
Place the sunflower heads in a dark dry place for two weeks.  I use my basement.  You can use a closet or a cabinet.
Step  2
For Drying Whole Sunflowers
  • Remove all the leaves
  • Cut stems 6 inches
  • Tie three stems at a time with jute or twine
  • DON’T let the sunflower heads touch
  • Hang in a dark dry place, basement, or closet
Whole sunflowers should dry in two weeks.  It may take a bit longer.  After drying the sunflowers spray the flower petals with a light coat of hairspary.  This should help retain their color and shape

28 thoughts on “Drying Sunflower Heads

  1. This is great information Cindy on how to dry sunflowers. I had heard that using hairspray when drying almost any flowers will keep the color and keep them open and pretty while they dry out. Yours turned out so great. Have a great week. xoxo Kris

  2. I had no idea, you could dry sunflowers out like this Cindy, that is so cool! I love the different ways you can display them too. They’re perfect for this time of year and make the transition into the Fall season such a pretty one. Hugs, CoCo

  3. I’m regretting throwing a vase of Sunflowers into my compost pile rather than drying them like you did. You will enjoy using these for decorating for years to come.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.