I have sunflowers planted in a large garden. This garden is located in a rural setting. However, for the last couple of years when they form their flower heads, mysteriously many appear to be ‘clipped’ but still hanging on to the stem. It is very frustrating. Is it an insect, or bird that could cause this?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
This is puzzling. While birds could definitely be an issue, it sounds more like the Sunflower head-clipping weevil (yes, there is such a thing). The pest will make a ring of bites around the head until it finally falls to the ground. Since yours appears to hang like it's been clipped, I'll wager that's the problem. Here is some helpful information: http://www.entomology.k-state.edu/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=654
Here is an article that you may find helpful about additional pests: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/sunflower/sunflower-problems.htm