Now my sunflower sprouts are molding! Ugh! Please help me...


8 Years
Mar 28, 2011
Is there anyone here that can help me? I've successfully spouted sunflower seeds, maybe 6-7 times, but my luck is running out. I've planted them in sand, which worked great the first 4 times, then mold. Maybe I need fresh sand? I've completely dried it out. I sprouted in a jar with a cheesecloth top, which worked once. I tried my sprouter tray, which they molded at day 2! I'm using the black oil wild bird sunflower, which are making my yolks so orange when it's succesfull.

I can sprout alfalfa very well! However, we eat the alfalfa mostly ourselves.

I can sprout all other lentils, beans, broccoli, ect.. with no problems.

The sunflower sprouts are the chickens favorite and cheapest when I'm not throwing them out.

What's the best way to sprout hulled sunflower without molding? Anyone know? I'm obsessed with succeeding without molding the sunflower. Maybe I need fresh soil each time?

Thanks in advance.
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Seeing mold after only 2 days tells me that perhaps the location where you are storing the seeds is too moist. (??) The mold spores would then already be on the seeds, so when you go to sprout them, the mold just grows instead.


I hope you figure it out though, for the chickens' sake, of course!
To much moisture and still air. You can try using a small fan to keep air moving around them. You can also spray with hydrogen peroxide, not harmful to you but really slows mold down. I would also suggest that you go to some of the sprouting sites. They have great info on sprouting.
You could look on here. They have pictures, videos and a lot of information.

You could try something to sanitize the seeds in the first rinse. I just bought some grapefruit seed extract to try. I don't normally use anything on my seeds, but I do sanitize my sprouters between batches of sprouts. Rinsing sprouts several times a day while they're growing is good and draining thoroughly afterwards is good, plus they need air.

For sunflowers, I've only grown them in soil, as a salad green that I snipped off. I didn't reuse the soil for sunflowers, I rotated it outside to the garden area or compost bin.

I'd try a combination of using something on the seeds, using a sterile sprouter or growth medium and make sure they aren't growing in damp air.
I sprout seeds in coffee cans with wholes in the bottom. They sprout fine without any medium to grow in. By rinsing at least once a day the mold doesn't have a chance to grow.
Thank you. I rinsed them in an oxine ah solution, hopefully that will help. I put them on a tray in the sprouter trays without stacking them. Maybe this will give enough air flow. I filled my jars with alfalfa and a bean mixture. I think I'll buy some flexible mesh wire instead of the cheesecloth.

I was hoping to get by without buying soil, but I think I'll have hubby pick some up. Our soil outside is mostly sand, it's amazing what you can actually grow in sand too. 1/2 our garden is compost soil, the other 1/2 sand. We keep extending our garden every year My hubby dug up our backyard soil before the ground froze, I thought the sand would work better due to it draining better and not holding as much moisture.

Thank you for the website. I don't eat the sunflower myself, since I buy the black oil wild bird feed sunflower seeds. We only eat the alfalfa, which is fabulous! I like the sweeter sprouts. The lentil mixture was kinda bitter, so that went to the chickens.
Alfalfa sprouts are my favorite. I pile them on thick for a sandwich and don't even add meat or cheese, just mayo. I used to make a sandwich with other things and add the sprouts. The sprout layer got thicker and thicker, until it was hard to eat. So, I just skipped the other stuff.

I let my poor husband have meat on his, though.
A shadecloth bag hung in the open air makes a fine sprouter, whatever you're sprouting.

Incidentally, I've found I get mold problems when vinegar flies are about... Not sure why that might be, but if the bag is drawstring it seems to exclude them and make for better sprouts.

This I believe is the main problem that the seeds are already infested with spores. Sanitizing your seed, simply in hot soapy water and rinse in hot water, then towel dry, pat dry. Then sprout in your clean jar or tray. Perhaps rinsing less often also would keep mold potential down as would improved air flow if sanitizing doesn't help.
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