7 Fun Things to Do with Sunflower Stalks

7 Fun Things to Do with Sunflower Stalks 2

The sunflower is a beautiful flower that can be enjoyed in many different ways. Did you know that the stalks of the sunflower can also be used for fun activities? In this blog post, we will discuss seven fun things to do with sunflower stalks. Let’s get started!

What to do with sunflower stalks? Sunflower stalks are versatile. They can be used as trellises, as bird feed, or as compost material.

What to do with sunflower stalks?

The most noticeable thing about sunflower plants is their flowers. The big sunflower heads are just so pleasing to look at. They are also the source of sunflower seeds. Many people harvest these seeds and roast them to eat. After removing sunflower heads to harvest the seeds, many people simply uproot the stalks and throw them away. Only a few people know what to do with them.

If you have been throwing away your stalks or it is your first time to grow sunflower plants, it is time to discover the many uses of sunflower stalks. By discovering the many things you can do with sunflower stalks, you will be able to reduce waste from your garden by putting your sunflower stalks to good use.

Without further ado, here are the different things you can do with your sunflower stalks.

1.  You can use them as trellises

Sunflower stalks can serve as perfect ladders for any climbing vegetable plant that yields lightweight produce. That said, sunflower stalks can be used as vegetable support in different ways.

One way involves cutting off the head and roots of spent sunflowers, leaving you with the stalk only. After cutting, store the remaining stalks somewhere safe to completely dry them out. Once totally dried, tie the stalks together in ladders, teepees, or simply keep them standing straight to provide enough support to your climbing vegetable plants.

To create rustic ladder-style garden trellises, begin by cutting spent sunflower stalks off a ground level. Store the cut stalks in dark, cool, and well-aerated room for several days to dry them out. For every trellis, choose two huge, sturdy stalks as the vertical supports and lay them flat on the ground. Next, cut smaller parts to utilize as ladder steps and tightly tie them in place either using sturdy fishing line or bailing wire. For a nice finish, spray or brush the ladder using a waterproof sealant.

The other way that sunflower stalks can be used as support for climbing veggies is feasible when the sunflower is still healthy and thriving. Sunflowers are known to make strong and eye-catching living trellis for most climbing plants. To do this, grow the sunflowers in a round shape, and then plant your beans or peas around them.

Keep in mind that the climbing vegetables might require a bit of coaxing in order for them to properly hang on to the sunflowers. This, however, should not worry you as it is common with just all climbing frames. But as soon as the climbing veggies get a proper hold of the sunflower stalk, they will not let go.

2. You can use them as a source of food for birds

This is a great option for those who have no plans of harvesting those tasty sunflower seeds for themselves. It is a somewhat simply use of the sunflower seeds and stalk, but you will need a place that is cool and dry to store the sunflowers as they wither.

Once the sunflower head starts losing its petals and is naturally drying out, you will need to cut it at the base of the stalk. You’ll then proceed to hang the entire sunflower plant upside down either in a garage or shed to totally dry it out in preparation for the cold and food-scarce winter season.

When winter sets in and you notice that your garden birds are looking for something to eat, push the stalk back to the ground. You might need to take the stalks or tie them to something sturdy such as your fence. After this is down, sit back and watch your hungry birds devour their meal.

The stalk of the sunflower elevates this source of food from the ground below, which I turn prevents your beautiful garden birds from being easy targets for nearby predators.

3. You can use them for garden shade or privacy fence

When properly dried, those sturdy, long and thick stalks can make a beautiful garden screen that will provide you with added privacy or shade coverage in your garden. You can make use of a strong, thin wire to tie the sunflower stalks together to allow for their use as bamboo screens.

The only downside this particular use of sunflower stalks is that you’ll have to plant lots of sunflowers to get a decent-sized shade cover or garden screen.

4. You can use them as natural flute craft

Summers re not fun and complete without children creating different items out of different flowers. A common creation is daisy chains; we have all probably tried making this at one time or another. Are you, however, aware that you can make really simple musical flutes from dried sunflower stalks?

To make a flute, all you have to do is to create a few holes into the stalk and enjoy creating beautiful, natural tones with your little one. Again, make sure that the stalk is completely dried before poking any holes.

5. You can use them as kindling material

We all love a fire during the cold winter months. That mentioned, there is nothing cozier than an open roaring fire to keep you and your family warm. Dried sunflower stalks make one of the best kindling to keep your fire burning.

All you have to do is to cut the sunflower stalks once they have been removed from the garden and store them in a cool and dry place like a garage or shed to fully dry them out. Next, wait for the cold months to set in and use the dried stalks as kindling material for your fire.

6. You can use them as compost matter

Sunflower stalks are a great addition to a home compost pile and have different applications for the compost. First, you can stamp on the fibrous sunflower stalks before applying them as a base for the compost pile. Second, you can use the stalks to introduce additional oxygen into the compost pile through directly poking them into an already existing pile.

If none of the above sound like nothing you would need or want to do to your compost pile, you also simply grind up the stalks into your compost eco-system.

7. You can use them to create a summer playhouse

You can grow sunflowers into a breath-taking children’s playhouse. For maximum visual effect, use all sizes of the plant. As the sunflower stalks start to shoot up, grow a vigorous annual vine like morning glory to weave around the firm stalks and fill up the open spaces in the walls.

When the time comes to harvest the sunflower seed heads, climb up a ladder to do so and leave the vertical stalks untouched. By doing so, you’ll have created a fun, open, and sunny spot for your kid to play in during the summer.


You can use sunflower stalks in different ways. You can eat them, you can use them as trellises, you can use them as compost material, and so on. So after harvesting sunflower seeds, you should also harvest the stalks because they have many important uses. Harvesting and using your sunflower plant stalks will help you reduce organic waste from your homestead.