Unusual growth

Asked October 14, 2018, 10:43 AM EDT

First time growing sunflowers from seeds and they did well. Grew 4 varieties. As they are all coming to the end of growing season here in Florida, they are all mostly drooping. I have one mammoth flower that the flower head is bent backwards. What would cause this to happen?

Seminole County Florida sunflowers

3 Responses

Thank you for your question. Although there have been reports of anomalies such as this as a result of genetic issues, the most common reason for these distortions are drifting herbicides. That is, an herbicide is applied to a 'weed,' and is blown to another nontarget plant during its development. That affects the structure of the plant's components, and the plant 'changes' during growth, including annuals and ornamentals. You may not even have been the person who applied the herbicide that drifted. Here is an article on how this happens, and how it can be avoided: https://hortnews.extension.iastate.edu/2012/6-13/phytotoxicity.html

I thank you for your response and I have to say, after reading your explanation to the unusual sunflower growth, I think the herbicide reason is exactly the issue. My neighbor has been powdering her corn stalks heavenly for some time. I’ll have to find out the specifics.
Thank you greatly!

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