How Sweet! Sorghum Flower Arrangements

Sorghum isn't just a grain or sugar crop. Its versatile seed heads, which range from white to red and brown, are handsome in mixed bouquets or on their own.

Fall Sorghum Floral

Sorghum is usually grown as a grain or forage crop, or to make into sweeteners like sorghum syrup. But backyard gardeners can grow it, too. Plant the seeds from May through July, when the soil is above 65 degrees F. Here, red sorghum is mixed with the autumnal colors of yellow roses and  sunflowers, Bells of Ireland, and green and purple ornamental cabbages.

Bridal Bouquet with Sorghum

For a charming bridal bouquet, combine red sorghum with hydrangeas, Queen Anne's Lace, Gerbera daises, roses and assorted greenery. It's a good idea to plant several different types of sorghum, so you'll have more variety to work with when making arrangements. Plant the seeds about 6 inches apart and an inch deep, in full sunlight or the sunniest spot you have.

Summer Sorghum Arrangement

When your sorghum comes up, water the plants generously, and fertilize them as you'd fertilize corn. This summer arrangement uses red-orange sorghum heads, yellow and bi-colored roses, greenery and stems of baby's breath.

Modern Sorghum Floral

Sorghum takes on a modern look here, with orange lilies, yellow spider mums and some greenery. The stalks were harvested from red, black and tan sorghum varieties. After they're harvested, roll the heads in newspaper for two or three days, so they have time to dry. The newspaper will also help them keep their shape.

Chic Sorghum Centerpiece

To preserve sorghum heads, spray them with clear polyurethane and allow them to dry thoroughly. You can also spray paint them in colors. These white sorghum heads were painted green and added to a container of hydrangeas, deep pink Gerbera daisies and green button mums.

Rustic Sorghum Arrangement

Tan and red sorghum heads have a rustic look that's perfect for outdoor table arrangements. Fill a Mason jar with any flowers that you have on hand, such as stock, daisies, hydrangeas or mums, and add a twine bow. Sorghum plants tolerate drought and ordinary soils, but they're more productive when watered generously and grown in good soil.

Romantic Flowers with Sorghum

Stalks of black sorghum add height and interest to this arrangement of roses, carnations, Peruvian lilies, and baby's breath. When you're harvesting your sorghum, cut the stems longer than usual, so you can work them into your arrangements.

Sorghum with Spring Flowers

Spray paint sorghum heads yellow and green to make this arrangement, which is composed of sunflowers, roses, daises, green leaves, Peruvian liles and assorted spring blooms. If your sunflowers don't open until later in the year, substitute any other brightly colored "statement" flowers.

Winter Floral with Sorghum

White sorghum works beautifully with red and green during the holidays. The heads are mixed with red roses, white stock and greenery in this clear vase.

Fall Flowers With Sorghum

Red and orange sorghum heads are ideal for fall. They're combined here with Gerbera daises, roses, Peruvian lilies and Queen Anne's Lace. If you're growing sorghum, birds may become a problem. To prevent damage to your crop, cover the heads, after they've completely bloomed, with mesh or paper wine bags. Remove the bags if the birds go away, or take them off at least a week or two before harvesting the stalks.

Sorghum Seed Heads

Stalks of red, orange, tan and white sorghum can stand alone in eye-catching arrangements. In the U.S., the largest growing areas for sorghum are Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Dakota, New Mexico and Arkansas. Sorghum acreage is beginning to expand into the Delta and Mid-Atlantic. You may be able to find harvested seed heads at local farmers' markets or in floral shops.

Hallway Decor with Sorghum

If you grow sorghum as a grain crop, harvest it when a small, black line appears on the berries; this is called the "black layer". Most grain sorghum is ready in 90 to 120 days from planting. This container holds white and tan sorghum heads with daises, liles, chrysanthemums, Bells of Ireland and assorted greenery.

Elegant Sorghum Floral

If you were growing sorghum as a grain crop, you'd hand thrash the plants and use a screen to sift out the individual berries. But the heads make elegant floral bouquets; white sorghum is arranged here with hydrangeas, small carnations, yellow roses and Bells of Ireland.

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