Sunflowers are one of the most beautiful yet useful flowers in the world. People use to grow a large number of sunflower plants for further use, such as making oil or for making beautiful bright bouquets, etc. Sunflower contains almost 70 different species, and they all are genus Helianthus. Watching those huge sunflower plants is a great joy. Once the sunflower is fully grown, the summer sun helps in harvesting the seeds in the fall. Sunflower seeds are consumed and loved by people as a healthy munching habit as well. 

There are two major uses of sunflowers, such as an oilseed crop and secondly as a confection crop. Both of these can be differentiated by the appearance of their seeds. The seeds we consume are the ones with white stripes, and the other used for processing oil is the black seeds. People use to have sunflower seeds for their birds’ food. It keeps them warm in the winter season. Also, along with the consumption of dry fruits, people love to consume sunflower seeds with their family members.


Harvesting sunflower is easy, but why are my sunflower seeds white? Growing sunflower plants requires patience to get a fully ripe sunflower that brings fully done black sunflower seeds. There could be many factors that may lead to immature white sunflower seeds, which may raise a question in everyone’s mind that why are my sunflower seed white? The fact while growing sunflower plants which matter a lot are when to harvest sunflower seeds and how to harvest sunflower seeds are two major questions that lead to fine quality sunflower seeds.

If a person is unable to harvest sunflower seeds properly, it may lead to white sunflower seeds. Probably one is making some mistake which may lead to white sunflower seeds. Following are some of the very common mistakes which will answer the question that why are my sunflower seeds white? 


Knowing the time when to cut the flower head is important because the head consists of the seeds. Suppose the petals are still around the flower, bright and new, wait until they wilt completely. The green calyx is never a good time to remove the flower head, which will give immature seeds, and farmers will think, why are my sunflower seeds are white?


Cutting the sunflower disk head when it’s completely green and blooming is the biggest mistake which is the major reason for sunflower seeds turning white the seeds are usually immature with no taste and are of no use.


Why are my sunflower seeds white? We get white seeds instead of black or black with white stripes seeds when the sunflower head is cut before it turns out brown or seeds starts pumping out, the head gives white seeds which are of no use.


Not protecting sunflower heads with paper bags or net can be destroyed by birds which will disturb the sunflower head maturing processes, and seeds may be left immature.


Cutting the heads when green and drying them under the sun inside your garage or rooftop may turn them brown, but the seed will still lock the moisture inside and can lead to white mushy meaty sunflower seeds.


Shelling sunflower seeds before roasting them in another method of preparing sunflower seeds but preparing them before the seeds are dried out completely is a big mistake that may lead to white squishy sunflower seeds.


Cooking or roasting sunflower seeds at high temperatures is a mistake it doesn’t matter whether the seeds are shelled or unshelled. The ideal temperature to cook seeds is at 300 degrees F for 30 to 40 minutes.

These are some of the very common mistakes, which are the answer to a very common question mostly asked that why are my sunflower seeds white? If these mistakes are repeated again and again, it may lead to the wastage of sunflower seeds or white sunflower seeds. If a person knows WHEN TO HARVEST SUNFLOWER SEEDS, HOW TO HARVEST SUNFLOWER SEEDS, HOW TO STORE SUNFLOWERS SEEDS these things to healthy and black sunflower seeds instead to immature or white sunflower seeds.


Sunflowers usually bloom in summer and some of the autumn months, depending on the area you live in. At the end of the season, keep an eye on your sunflowers and wait for the right time. Knowing when to harvest sunflower is very important. If the sunflower heads are picked before the time, it may lead to plenty of seed coats or white seeds. If sunflower seeds are left for too long, it may lead to too dry seeds to roast. The main signal to pick your sunflower head is given by there when birds start picking seeds means the seeds are done fully. As soon as the petals start wilting and the green base head turns yellow or brown in color means your seeds are done. You can use paper bags to cover them and can be kept safe from birds. 

When your sunflower plants are ready, they show the following signs:

  • Foliage died completely 
  • Flower head turns brown
  • Seeds are plump and loose


Harvesting sunflower seeds require some basic tips through which we can store sunflower seeds properly, which are of exact black color, not white or immature.

Following are the tips through which we can harvest sunflower seeds easily:


Cut the stalks using sharp pruners and cut each flower head carefully, approximately one foot below the bloom. While cutting the stalks, always remember to wear gloves as the stalk are very prickly. Start placing the stalks in a large container which also helps you to carry the seeds which fall during this process. Some of the seeds may be ready to harvest right now. Some may not cover them with paper bags to avoid any damaging of harvesting through birds.


Once you gather all the stalks, keep them upside down in any dry and warm area in which they are safe from birds. Try to hang them indoors. In this way, your sunflower seeds will be saved from eating by birds.

Keep your stalks upside down for at least 3 to 4 days.


Once your seeds are completely dried out, now grab a large gallon bucket and put your sunflower heads in it, rub the seed head over the bucket and collect the seeds that will fall inside the bucket. Inside the bucket, along with the seeds, there will be some wilted petal or dried plants, but they can be removed easily later on.


After gathering the seeds, the next process is o clean and store the seeds properly. Place the seeds in a large sieve and rinse them thoroughly. Then start removing all the dried petals or plants, if any, and start placing your seeds on a large dry surface, most preferably a cardboard box and place the seeds on it; you may use a paper towel as well or newspaper anything which will help you to remove the moisture from the seeds. Spread the single layer of seeds with some space in-between. 

Leave the seeds overnight allow them to dry before storing them. After drying the seeds completely, they can be stored in an airtight glass or plastics container and place in a cool and dark place.


Once you harvested the seeds, they can be stored up to the next season by using some tips and tricks they can domestically as well. The tip to successfully stored seeds is the drier the sunflower seeds, the longer they will be stored. For storing seeds for a long period to keep them dry, you can use silica gel with milk powder and wrap it in tissue paper place it at the bottom of the jar for preserving for the long term. 

Following instructions can be used for storing the seeds.

  • Keep seeds in an airtight container
  • Label the seeds with the proper date
  • Store the seeds for one season only
  • Place the seeds in a cool and dark place
  • Refrigerate the seed for storing
  • You can freeze the seeds as well 

Through these tips, you can store the sunflower seeds for a longer period, for example, up to one-year maximum.


In a nutshell, the above article answered the question, why are my sunflower seeds white? Growing sunflower is quite an easy process but harvesting its seeds is a bit tricky. If a person follows all the processes given above in detail, can save their sunflower seeds and will never collect white or immature seeds by making mistakes. 

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