Sunflowers-Dead Head?

I have a sunflower, which has just started to wither and die. Should I dead head it, cut it right down or throw it away? Not too sure whether they only flower the once or whether they come back year after year.

Also, could you recommend a good website for very basic gardening, as I always seem to be a bit lost this time of year, as to what to do with all the different plants, etc, in my garden!

Many thanks.

17:06 Thu 29th Sep 2005
 
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Once the main flower has died and turned to seed, the plant has basically fulfilled its reason for being on this planet....to produce seed.

Cut the dead flower head off, dry it out and either feed the seed to the birds or keep them in a cool dry place and sow them next spring.

The plant can be dug up and composted/thrown away as it will die as soon as the frosts come. Sunflowers are annuals and should be dug up after flowering and re-sown next spring.

Hope this helps
Question Author
Many thanks Andyjevs. I didn't know you could dry them out and re-sow the seeds. Got a lot to learn about gardening!! Cheers.

More from being a lazy gardener than anything else, I have, in the past, left my sunflowers in situ. The dead flower heads, full of seed, have provided food for small birds and entertainment for me over the Autumn months.
I have also had self-seeded sunflowers emerging the following year as a reult of a few seeds escaping thet the birds have missed.

Don't be in too much of a hurry to hack them down - allow the seeds to set properly before cutting and drying - or if you are a laissez faire gardener, just let the the birds have them where they are !!

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