How to Grow Sunflower Microgreens From Seed to Harvest


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How to Grow Sunflower Microgreens From Seed to Harvest

How to grow microgreens

Sunflower microgreens, known for their vibrant green color and robust flavor, stand out as an exceptional variety in the realm of microgreens.

Beyond their visual appeal, these microgreens emerge as a powerhouse of nutrients, containing substantial levels of essential vitamins A, B, C, and E. Additionally, they provide a rich source of calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and essential amino acids.

Their flavor profile, characterized by a delightful blend of sweetness and nuttiness, enhances a wide array of culinary creations. Notably larger than many other microgreens, they bring a satisfying crunch, making them an ideal choice for elevating the texture of salads and sandwiches.

Furthermore, these microgreens offer a nutritious alternative as a raw, health-packed snack.

A distinguishing feature of sunflower microgreens lies in their effortless cultivation process. With seeds that germinate swiftly and a propensity to thrive indoors, they become an excellent starting point for those venturing into the world of microgreen cultivation.

This resilient microgreen adapts well to diverse conditions, ensuring a rapid harvest, sometimes within just one to two weeks, given proper care.

Embarking on an exploration of the journey from seed to harvest, this article will intricately guide you through each stage. Beginning with the preparation of your growing tray, we’ll unravel the secrets of successful sunflower microgreen cultivation, offering troubleshooting tips for common issues that may arise.

It’s fascinating to note that with minimal supplies and a touch of patience, you can cultivate a fresh batch of organic sunflower microgreens within the confines of your home. The satisfaction derived from nurturing and harvesting your microgreens not only enhances your culinary experiences but also deepens your connection with the entire process of food production. The journey from seed to plate becomes a rewarding venture, emphasizing the joy of growing your own nutritious and flavorful sunflower microgreens.


Let’s get started!

Growing microgreens

How To Grow Sunflower Microgreens


For the successful cultivation of sunflower microgreens, it’s imperative to grasp their fundamental needs.

These microgreens thrive in a well-draining growing medium and thrive under ample sunlight. Optimal room temperatures range between 70-80°F (21-27°C), and regular watering is essential. However, caution must be exercised to avoid overwatering, as excessive moisture may lead to mold growth.

A noteworthy aspect of sunflower microgreens is their requirement for more space in comparison to their microgreen counterparts. The larger seeds necessitate a spread-out arrangement to prevent overcrowding, a condition that can impede germination and hinder proper growth.

Prior to sowing, it’s vital to soak sunflower seeds. This pre-sowing process serves to soften the hard shell, enhancing germination rates. An ideal soaking duration is approximately 12 hours or overnight.

Delving into my perspective on this matter, creating an environment that mirrors the natural habitat of sunflower microgreens is crucial. It’s akin to fostering a miniature sunflower field within the confines of your home. The significance of providing ample space aligns with the concept of allowing these tiny wonders to unfurl and reach their full potential without the constraints of overcrowding.

Moreover, the soaking ritual for the seeds underscores the importance of patience in the cultivation process. It’s a preparatory step that symbolizes the nurturing phase, giving the seeds the time they need to prepare for their journey into vibrant microgreens.

In conclusion, comprehending the nuanced requirements of sunflower microgreens lays the foundation for a thriving cultivation experience. This journey involves not only providing the necessary conditions but also understanding the essence of mimicking nature to witness the marvel of these microgreens flourishing in your own indoor haven.


To get started with your sunflower microgreens cultivation, you’ll need to gather the following materials:


Sunflower Seeds: You should use black oil sunflower seeds, which are the most common for sprouting sunflower microgreens. They are packed with oil, leading to lusher and more nutritious microgreens.


Growing Trays: You’ll need two growing trays — one with drainage holes for growing the microgreens and another without holes to serve as a water tray.


Growing Medium: A good organic potting soil, coco coir, or a specific microgreen growing medium works best. The growing medium should be well-draining but capable of retaining some moisture.


Spray Bottle: A spray bottle is necessary for evenly moistening the growing medium and watering the seeds after planting.


Light Source: Sunflower microgreens need plenty of light to grow. A south-facing window with lots of sunlight is great. However, if natural light isn’t sufficient, you may need to use a grow light.


Other Tools: You’ll need some additional tools like a trowel for spreading the soil, a watering can for hydrating the plants, and a pair of sharp scissors for harvesting.


Once you have gathered all your materials, you’re ready to embark on the exciting journey of growing sunflower microgreens. Read on to learn about the step-by-step process.


Step 1. Soak The Seeds —


Begin by placing the sunflower seeds in a glass or container, then fill it with water.


It’s recommended to soak the seeds for a full 24 hours.


Once this period has elapsed, the seeds should be well hydrated and ready to be planted.


Step 2. Prepare The Growing Tray —


The procedure here may vary depending on the type of growing tray you’re using. Some are designed to be “self-watering”, while others are standard 10 by 20-inch trays.


For this guide, we’ll be using two 10 by 20-inch trays. One will serve as a water reservoir below the other tray, which will contain drainage holes, allowing water to reach the roots of the microgreens. This method helps prevent mold and simplifies the growing process.


Start by filling the tray without drainage holes with coco coir, then smooth out the surface. Mist it thoroughly with a spray bottle. If you lack a spray bottle, sprinkle water over the coco coir until it’s uniformly moist.


Step 3. Add The Seeds —


Next, scatter the seeds atop the moistened coco coir, distributing them evenly across the growing tray with your hands.


Even distribution is crucial to avoid overcrowding, which can lead to various problems. Be careful not to oversow or undersow!


Afterwards, place a 10 by 20-inch tray on top of the seeds, adding weight with a small, heavy object, such as a piece of wood.


Sunflower seeds require a humid, dark environment to germinate successfully. Position your tray in an area where it won’t become excessively hot or cold.


The ideal temperature range is 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This initiates the germination process. Continue to mist the seeds approximately 15 times every 10-12 hours.


Step 4. Uncover and Give Light —


After another 24 hours, remove the tray from the seeds. You should now see the roots extending into the coco coir.

How To Grow Microgreens

At this stage, your sunflower microgreens need at least 12 hours of light daily. I highly recommend using LED grow lights, although direct sunlight and fluorescent lights are also suitable.


If your microgreens start leaning towards the light source, rotate the tray periodically. Don’t worry if you notice some uneven growth—it’s a common occurrence.


Step 5. Check Daily —


Maintaining the right water balance is crucial from this point until harvest. Now is the time to utilize the bottom tray. Rather than using the spray bottle, fill the bottom tray with water—be cautious not to overfill it.


While it’s still possible to water from the top, make sure to avoid wetting the leaves as this could promote mold growth.


Troubleshooting Common Sunflower Microgreens Growing Challenges


Despite your best efforts, you might encounter some difficulties while growing sunflower microgreens. Don’t worry—many of these challenges are common and can be easily addressed.


Poor Germination


If your sunflower seeds are not germinating well, the issue might lie in the quality of the seeds, incorrect soaking times, or improper growing conditions.


Ensure that your seeds are fresh and sourced from a reputable supplier.


Sunflower seeds typically need to be soaked for 12-24 hours before planting. Also, remember that they thrive in temperatures between 65-75°F.


Mold Growth


Mold is a common problem in microgreen cultivation, often due to overwatering, poor air circulation, or high humidity.


If mold appears, it may be necessary to reduce watering, increase air circulation with a fan, or lower humidity levels in your growing environment.


Leggy or Pale Microgreens


If your sunflower microgreens appear leggy (elongated and thin) or pale, they might not be receiving enough light.


Consider positioning them closer to the light source or increasing the duration of light exposure.


Damping Off


Damping off is a fungal disease that causes seedlings to collapse and die. It’s usually caused by overwatering or a contaminated growing medium.


To prevent this, ensure your growing medium is sterile, and do not overwater your plants.


Slow Growth


If your sunflower microgreens are growing slower than expected, the cause might be inadequate lighting, low temperature, or nutrient deficiency.


Check your growing conditions and make necessary adjustments.


Remember, growing microgreens is a learning process. It’s okay to make mistakes.


By troubleshooting these common problems, you’ll gain a better understanding of your plants’ needs and how to successfully cultivate them.


Enjoy the process and the tasty, nutrient-dense greens it yields!

Growing Microgreens


Generally, microgreens are ready for harvest within 8-21 days after sowing once they reach the true leaf stage. The optimal harvest time varies depending on the variety and growth stage. However, visual cues play a significant role in determining the perfect moment. Knowing when to harvest microgreens is crucial for capturing their full potential.

I have written a comprehensive guide that delves deep into microgreens harvesting, answering the question of when to harvest microgreens. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned gardener, we’ve covered you with expert techniques, variety-specific recommendations, and tips for achieving optimal flavor and nutrition.

Are you ready to unlock the secrets of harvesting microgreens at their peak? In this in-depth guide, we’ll explore each growth stage, decoding visual cues and providing expert insights to help you master the art of microgreen harvesting.

Get ready for an immersive journey into the world of microgreen harvesting. We’ll cover everything you need to know from seed to plate to achieve the best harvest. Let’s dive in and uncover the secrets of timing, techniques, and flavor! Click here >>>

How To Harvest Sunflower Microgreens


Sunflower microgreens typically reach their prime for harvesting between 7 to 12 days post-sprouting.


To maintain their freshness and prevent wilting, it’s advisable to move your trays to a cool, shaded location before harvesting.


Harvesting in cooler temperatures – either late evening or early morning – helps keep the greens crisp and fresh.


Using a pair of scissors or a knife, carefully snip the top three inches of the shoots, ensuring not to damage the growing medium beneath.


Congratulations, you’ve successfully harvested your sunflower microgreens!


Rinsing and Drying Sunflower Microgreens


Next, thoroughly rinse the harvested microgreens under cold running water using a colander.


Spread the greens on a clean towel or paper towels and allow them to air dry completely.


To expedite the drying process, you may use a fan on a low setting.


Storing Sunflower Microgreens


Although sunflower microgreens are most flavorful when consumed immediately after harvesting and drying, they can be stored in a refrigerator for several days if necessary.


Place the microgreens loosely in a bowl or container and refrigerate. Remember, only completely dry microgreens should be refrigerated to avoid spoilage.


What Sunflower Microgreens Can Be Used For


Sunflower microgreens can add a burst of flavor and nutrition to various dishes, including salads, soups, sandwiches, and even baked goods.


They can also be juiced and added to wheatgrass shots or smoothies for an added nutritional punch.


Having just explored the fascinating world of growing sunflower microgreens, you might be wondering, ‘What more can I learn and grow in the world of microgreens?’


Our Mastering Microgreens: Grow Nutrient-Dense Greens at Home eBook is just what you need to dive into this green world.


This comprehensive guide is filled with tips to help beginners start and garden enthusiasts to level up their microgreen growing skills.


From understanding different varieties, navigating common growing issues, to innovative ways of incorporating these nutrient-dense greens into your meals, this guide covers it all.


Transform your home into a mini greens farm and explore the joy of growing your own food.


6 Sunflower Microgreens Recipe Ideas


Sunflower Microgreen Salad: Toss sunflower microgreens with cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, avocado chunks, and a dash of lemon juice for a fresh and vibrant salad. Top it off with a sprinkle of feta cheese for an added tangy flavor.


Sunflower Microgreen Pesto: Replace traditional basil with sunflower microgreens in your pesto for a nutritious twist. Blend with pine nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese, and olive oil. This microgreen pesto is perfect as a pasta sauce, sandwich spread, or even a dip for your favorite snacks.


Sunflower Microgreen Smoothie: Start your day on a healthy note with a sunflower microgreen smoothie. Combine a handful of sunflower microgreens, banana, berries, and a scoop of your preferred protein powder. Add almond milk or water, blend until smooth, and enjoy!


Sunflower Microgreen Omelette: Add a generous handful of sunflower microgreens into your morning omelette or scrambled eggs for a nutrient-packed breakfast. Pair it with whole grain toast for a complete meal.


Sunflower Microgreen Tacos: Sprinkle a handful of sunflower microgreens onto your tacos for an added crunch. Their slightly nutty taste complements the spices and flavors of tacos beautifully.


Sunflower Microgreen Pizza: Replace arugula or spinach on your pizza with sunflower microgreens. They not only add color and freshness but also a unique flavor to your pizza.


Incorporating sunflower microgreens into your meals is a creative and delicious way to enhance your daily nutrient intake. These ideas should help you get started, but don’t limit yourself – the possibilities are endless!


5 Health Benefits of Sunflower Microgreens


Due to their nutritional content, they provide many antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and cardiovascular benefits.


Sunflower microgreens are now used to treat several conditions, including pulmonary and laryngeal infections, heart disease, colds, and coughs.


1. Supports A Healthy Thyroid


Sunflower microgreens hold selenium, which is a powerful micronutrient that acts as a defensive part of the thyroid by eliminating free radicals produced during the production of thyroid hormones. Selenium also plays a vital role in the metabolism of thyroid hormones.


2. Supports A Healthy Heart


Sunflower microgreens contain Vitamin E which has been observed in one study to be cardioprotective in specific patient subgroups under unusual levels of oxidative stress. 


3. Supports Healthy Bones


Vitamin K is necessary for bone health, and sunflower microgreens contain a lot of it. A lack of vitamin K has been linked with an increased risk of fractures and decreased bone strength 


4. Supports Healthy Skin


Eating a diet that incorporates vitamin A is a great way to boost skin health, and sunflower microgreens contain a sufficient amount of vitamin A. Vitamin A is a necessary nutrient that is crucial for maintaining the integrity and function of all exterior tissues like the skin, the bladder, and the eye. (3)


5. Helps Lose Weight


Sunflower microgreens are low in calories and high in nutrition, making them ideal for any natural and healthy fat-loss program.


Sunflower Microgreens Nutritional Chart


Sunflower Microgreens include a rich supply of minerals that are key in any healthy diet, including calcium, iron, potassium, selenium, zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus.


They also are an excellent source of vitamins, including vitamin A, B complex, vitamin E, and vitamin K. Also, because they can be eaten raw, they retain their vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant content.


​Scientific Name:


​Minerals per 100g of (FW)

​Calcium, Ca

​94 mg

​Magnesium, Mg

​​3 mg

​​​Phosphorus, P

​1 mg

​​Potassium, k

​​37 mg

​Iron, Fe

​​5.1 mg

​​Manganese, Mn

​0.2 mg

Vitamins per 100g of (FW)

​​Vitamin A

​41 ug

​​Vitamin C

​24 mg

​​Vitamin E

​​18 mg

​Vitamin K

​3.5 mg

Other Nutrients:


​1.2 g


How long does it take for sunflower microgreens to grow?


Sunflower microgreens typically take about 7 to 12 days to grow from seed to harvest. This can vary slightly depending on the specific growing conditions, such as light and temperature.


Do sunflower microgreens need sunlight?


Sunflower microgreens do need light, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be sunlight. While they can certainly grow under direct sunlight, they can also thrive under grow lights. Providing about 12 hours of light per day is ideal for their growth.


Can sunflower microgreens grow without soil?


Yes, sunflower microgreens can be grown hydroponically, without soil. However, this requires a hydroponic system and nutrient solution to provide the necessary nutrients for growth.


Final Thoughts on Growing Sunflower Microgreens


Embarking on the journey of growing your own sunflower microgreens is not only rewarding but also a fun way to incorporate nutritious greens into your diet.


They are easy to grow and require minimal equipment, making them perfect for beginners. Plus, they are versatile in the kitchen, adding a delicious and nutritious crunch to various dishes.


Remember, patience is key in gardening. Do not be disheartened if your first few attempts are not successful.


Learn from the process, make necessary adjustments, and keep trying.


With time, you’ll develop a green thumb and be rewarded with the bounty of your very own indoor microgreen garden.


If you’re interested in learning more about microgreens check out our comprehensive Microgreen eBook.


This step-by-step eBook will teach you everything you need to know about growing microgreens, including which varieties are easiest to grow and how to care for them.


Category: How To Grow Microgreen

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