Thinking about planning a summer vacation where you can see sunflower fields in bloom? It’s a great idea. The popularity of sunflower fields has exploded in recent years. Many farms across the United States have now turned sunflower season into a major event with displays, stalls, mazes, games and many more fun activities.
7 Best States to see Sunflower Fields in the United States
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Sunflowers have been grown in Texas for some time. However, thanks to a combination of a major increase in the number of sunflower fields in North Central Texas and Instagram, Texas sunflowers are now a major industry!
Here are the 11 Texas Sunflower Fields not to miss
Did you know that Minnesota is the third biggest producer of sunflowers in the United States after North and South Dakota? Farmers started planting sunflower fields in Minnesota when they saw how well their neighbors in North and South Dakota were doing.
Here are 7 sunflower fields not to miss in Minnesota
Ohio has five native sunflowers: the Giant sunflower, Sawtooth sunflower, Maximilian sunflower, Ashy sunflower and Jerusalem artichoke. And the state has turned sunflower fields in Ohio into a fantastic tourism industry.
Here are 21 fantastic sunflower fields in Ohio to visit
Each year, starting at the end of June, hundreds and thousands of sunflowers transform rolling hills into bright yellow fields in New Jersey. Visiting the sunflower mazes and fields found around New Jersey isn’t just about the iconic photo opportunity (although there’s plenty of those). Many of the farms allow you to pick the sunnies for your own bouquet at home.
Here are 15 great sunflower fields to visit in New Jersey
From trendy restaurants and cafes to upscale homes and antique shops, the expansive stretch of Long Island, New York, is the place to be. But city life is not all the ‘island’ has to offer. Long Island is home to one of the best small towns in New York. And with many farms, fields and mazes to visit, you truly can have the best of both worlds when visiting Long Island. We particularly love the sunflower fields!
Here are 13 sunflower fields to visit in Long Island
Are you flying into Chicago for a vacation in Illinois? Alongside the architecture, art, and beautiful blue water beaches, this windy city offers sunflower fields in the farms nearby. And the Prairie State’s farms offer unique art classes, farmers’ markets, and mazes to keep you entertained as well.
Here are 13 sunflower fields you must visit in Illinois
15 Golden Sunflower Fields in California You'll Love
California has some pretty spectacular fields of sunshine and exploring them makes for the perfect adventure in nature. They’re found throughout this beautiful US state, but only during certain times of the year.
This list is your inclusive guide to discovering sunflower fields in California. It has everything you need to know, from the best time to photograph the flowers, to what to wear, and what months they bloom in.
Fun Facts about Sunflowers
- Not all sunflowers are yellow – they also come in purple and red.
- Sunflowers can range in height. There are two categories of sunflowers: tall and dwarf. Tall sunflowers tend to be yellow and durable and will reach between 12 and 16 feet high. Dwarf sunflowers tend to be grown in clusters in small gardens and pots. They are referred to as dwarfs because they tend not to grow taller than 3 feet. However, both sizes love the full sunlight.
- Young sunflowers track the sun. Their face will follow the sun from sunrise to sunset every day and keep repeating this until they mature.
- Mature sunflowers face East. Once a sunflower reaches maturity their internal clocks start slowing down. Also, sunflowers are more productively warmed when facing East and once warmer they can attract up to five times more pollinators.
- Sunflowers are native to the United States. Although it is now harvested around the world, the sunflower plant is native to North America. North Dakota is the leading US state for sunflower production.
- Thousands of tiny flowers create a sunflower’s head. Each petal on the circumference of a sunflower is a unique flower. The long petals are called “ray florets”.
- There is a Teddy Bear Sunflower. These sunflowers are particularly bushy and spherical. They tend to produce double blooms which gives them a full fluffy head that looks like a teddy bear.
- Sunflower Seeds are highly nutritious. They are loaded with minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron as well as vitamins. Plus they are a valuable source of protein, fiber and polyunsaturated fat.
What Can I do with Sunflower Seeds?
Sunflower seeds are most commonly used in two ways. One is to eat them and two is to grow more sunflowers. Here’s how!
How to Cook with Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are often forgotten in the pantry but they are super nutritious and can also add great flavour to food. Here are six ways to cook with sunflower seeds:
- Add to dough when making bread
- Sprinkle on your salads for some extra crunch
- Add to baked goods like muffins before putting them in the oven
- Add to vegetables for more flavor – toast the sunflower seeds before or add them to the cooking method
- Mix them in with your breakfast cereal
- When making pesto
How to Grow Sunflowers at Home
It is relatively easy to grow sunflowers at home. Sunflowers like full sun but they also need a bit of shelter so they don’t fall over. Against a wall or a fence is perfect. Literally sow the seeds where you want the sunflowers to grow. Place the seeds about 12mm deep and 45cm apart. Mid April to May is the best time of year to sow sunflower seeds. Give them a good thorough water at least once a week.
If you want to cut your sunflowers do so early in the morning and make sure you use a tall vase so that their heads are support.
Now that you know the best sunflower fields to visit in the United States, you can start to plan your road trip. Soak up the scenery, and remember to take only sunflowers (with permission) and leave only footprints behind. And make sure to leave a comment on this post once you’ve done the rounds of sunflower fields and let us know which ones were your favourites.
I covered all of the costs associated with writing this article. However, this sunflower fields post includes affiliate links. That means if you click through and end up making a purchase I will receive a small commission. I wanted to make sure you were aware of this.