Sunflower fields in Iowa? Yes, there are actually a large number of sunflower fields in the state of Iowa. Each field may bloom at a different time, as it depends on when it was planted as well as the weather conditions.
There are really two basic options:
Option 1) Commercial fields (a farm that sells access to the sunflower field)
Option 2) DNR (department of natural resources) fields that are free and open to the public.
Commercial farms with sunflower fields
The commercial farm fields tend to bloom later than the state DNR fields, so please visit their websites to verify the status of each specific field. Also, contact them to verify hours and admission prices.
Pheasant Run Farm, Belle Plaine
They hosted their first Sunflower Experience back in 2019 and be sure to what their website for details on when the sunflower patch will be ready for the 2023 summer.
Bloomsbury Farm, Atkins
Watch their website below for the 2023 dates for their sunflower festival featuring access to the fields for photo taking as well as cutting your own sunflowers.
Address: 3260 69th Street, Atkins, Iowa 52206
Scarecrow Farm, Lawton
On Saturdays and Sundays in September, they host “Sunflower Days” which provides access to the sunflower fields for photo ops or picking your own sunflowers. The farm also has u pick zinnias, giant slides, corn maze and other kids activities.
Center Grove Orchard, Cambridge
Sunflower Meadow typically is open from late August through mid-October. Center Grove is also known for a plethora of activities, including a pumpkin patch, apple orchard, corn maze, kids activities, and seasonal produce.
Harvestville Farm, Donnellson
Over the past three years, the sunflower field has continued to grow in size. For 2023, they are anticipating 5+ acres of sunflowers. Be sure to check their website for
Appleberry Orchard, Donnellson
They anticipate 3 acres with a variety of sunflowers in 2023. They are also scheduling sunflower bouquet classes and Breakfast in the Sunflowers – so check their website for more information. The orchard also has a pumpkin patch, apple orchard, and numerous other kid/family activities. You can even schedule private bonfire parties!
Ditmars Orchard & Vineyard, Council Bluffs
Sunflowers are expected to be in bloom around the first of July thru mid-October. This is because they plant new sunflowers approximately every 10 days to ensure that something is blooming through that entire timeframe.
Pride of the Wapsi, Long Grove
Approximate dates for 2023 are in July, but please check their website for progress. Their experience includes both sunflowers and zinnias.
Address: 14600 305th St Long Grove, IA 52756
Colony Acres, North Liberty
Features six acres of sunflowers that typically bloom in mid-August.
Address: 2780 Front Street Northeast, North Liberty, Iowa 52317
Howell’s Farm, Cumming
2023 dates/times are not yet available, please check their website for updates. A tractor ride out to the sunflower field is included with admission. Guest are also invited to cut their own stems for purchase.
Community Orchard, Fort Dodge
The anticipated dates are in August, but check the website for confirmation.
Deal’s Orchard, Jefferson
Estimated bloom dates are in Sept, but please check their website to confirm exact dates.
Address: 1102 244th St., Jefferson, IA 50129
Iowa DNR sunflower fields
The state of Iowa Department of Natural Resources also plants a large number of sunflower plots around the state. Although thousands of people flock to these fields for photos each year, the plots are actually designed to provide a food source for doves and goldfinches who eat the seeds during bloom, as well as turkeys and quails who feed off the seeds when they fall to the ground.
Q1. Does the Iowa DNR release a list of where the sunflower plots are?
A1. Not exactly. DNR plants sunflowers (and other plots) each spring. The sunflowers typically bloom for a short time period in mid-July. Then the DRN publishes the list of plot locations usually in August, which is after the sunflowers are done blooming. To understand why they publish the list after the bloom, you need to understand the purpose of the plots. Although they don’t mind that you enjoy the sunflowers for your Instagram photos – the real purpose is that the sunflowers are a food source for doves. In fact, it’s a food source to attract them for hunting season. So the release of the plot locations is all about hunting season, not your Instagram feed. When the DNR does release the list, these plots could be corn, soybeans or sunflowers. So it’s not an exact list of where the sunflowers are, as it may also be corn or soybeans. Therefore, your best guide is the previous year’s DNR document, which is linked below:
Q2. Hold on, this document states it is about food plots for doves, not sunflowers.
A2. Yes, that is correct… this is where they planted food plots in 2022 – and the plots could have been corn, soybeans OR sunflowers. The DNR does not publish a list of exact locations for sunflower plots. Although this isn’t an exact list of sunflower locations, it is a list of potential locations.
Q3. When do the DNR sunflowers bloom? And how long do they last?
A3. They typically bloom in early to mid-July, depending on when they were planted and the weather conditions. As for how long they bloom, it is relatively short – sometimes as little as 2 weeks, again depending on the weather.
Q4. Who can we contact to verify the status of a specific DNR sunflower plot?
A4. Sorry, there is no one to call to verify the status of a specific DNR sunflower plot – you’re better off watching social media and using the DNR link above and taking a drive to check it out in person.
Q5. I live in the Des Moines metro area and last year we went to see the sunflowers at Badger Creek Park – are they still located there again this summer (2023)?
A5 Historically, sunflowers have always been available at Badger Creek Park in Madison County. It’s just that the exact location varies each year. The pattern is usually that they alternate planting sunflowers on the east vs west side of the lake. In 2021, sunflowers were on the west side of the lake, 2020 they were on the east side of the lake, so for 2023 we are anticipating that the sunflowers will be somewhere on the west side of the lake.