KC Gardens

If I pick a sunflower, should I worry about bugs?


On my walks I go by a number of huge, wild sunflowers. I’d like to pick one for a vase in my house but I’m worried about any bugs that may be living in it. Should I be? Thanks -- Pasha


Aren't the sunflowers beautiful this time of year! It is always tempting to pick wildflowers. However, whether on public or private ( a whole separate issue) property, I would not suggest picking them. Wildflowers are best left in the wild. Aside from the reseeding factor, there are numerous insects and birds that feed on them. And as urban areas encroach on wild habitat, there is increasingly less wild flora for birds, animals and insects. I vote for letting nature be, thus allowing all who pass by this area to enjoy the sunflowers.

There are any number of sunflower seeds available, in many colors and sizes. This might be a good addition to your garden next year. Also, any time we pick a flower outside and take it inside, we can bring in insects.

I hope this answers your question.

Carole - Johnson County Extension Master Gardener