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How to Grow Safflower | Guide to Growing Safflower

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How to Grow Safflower | Guide to Growing Safflower  



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Safflower was once used as less expensive replacement for Saffron, from which the name of this herbaceous annual is derived. More commonly, the seeds are pressed into oil that is used much like sunflower oil. The tender shoots also have use in salads and raw dishes, while the seeds may be consumed raw or roasted and added to cooked dishes.


Annual (zones 3-9)

10-24 days at 65° F

2 years

Deep, fertile, well-drained

Part shade to full sun

Flower, seed

6-10" apart

120-150 days

Growing Guide
Safflower will grow to a maximum height of approximately 3', showing distinct flower head of red and orange from mid-summer onwards.


Safflower grows best with full sun, and soil that is well-drained and of better than average fertility. Safflower requires especially deep soil, developing a taproot that can extend 10' down into the earth.

Safflower can be direct sown immediately after the last frost of the season. Sow at a depth of 1" in a location with rich, well-drained soil. Keep well moistened while awaiting germination, and moderate water to the growing start. Safflower is resistant to drought, but will not tolerate cold.


Harvesting Guide
Flowers can be collected when in bloom from mid-summer onwards. Safflower seed is ready to harvest in early fall onwards, once the foliage has started to wither and turn brown. Seed head can be cut off once plant is brittle. Carefully thresh or break open seed head to collect seed. Winnow to separate cream-colored seeds from chaff.

Collect the seeds for saving in the same manner as for harvesting. Store in a sealed container in a dry, cool location out of direct sunlight for optimum life.

You can find this variety in the following Seed Packs:
Non GMO/Non Hybrid Professional Medicinal Herb Pack
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