Yes sunflowers grow in the Philippines! Here is the proof … If however we are able to get some good seed from them that is another thing. These sunflowers were grown from ‘kitchen’ seed – seed we bought in Singapore to eat. It had been shelled and processed but we chose the whole undamaged seeds because in the past we used to sprout these seeds when we lived in Singapore so we knew they would grow.
What we do not know though is if we can crop any decent seed from our plants. We only have 7 plants left – most got damaged by our chickens (they have been given ‘eviction notices’ !).
While most things will grow anywhere in the world, including in the Philippines, the final results are indeterminate. One of the big problems in Asia is ants! Ants will eat everything including flowers. For example, the bees have to put on their warm early morning hats and fly in as the sun comes up to try and catch the new flowers from our pumpkins before the ants wake up in their droves and dive into the new fresh yellow nectar pots.
We tried local Philippine sunflower seed and with only one plant surviving it produced a most magnificent flower, but the plant was only 150mm tall! A little disappointing to experience seeing my past experience with sunflowers in New Zealand 25 years ago left me with vivid fond memories, with the flower heads drooping over my head standing at a cool 1800mm tall.
If this little ‘experiment’ with sunflowers works we will put in a field crop each year seeing sunflower is such a nutritious food for us. We usually soak the seeds and add them to our breakfast smoothies – so yummy and creamy. We also dry roast them adding soya sauce at the end turning them into super healthy snacks for kids or used as sprinkles on our salads.
Keep tuned and we will add an update!