Things To Try: A Cut Flower Garden

 

Now that we have gotten all the early season prepping out of the way, it's finally time to start the fun part of gardening: the planning and planting! While there are hundreds of different directions we could go with our planting, it is vital to your garden space to narrow down what you would like to plant in order to properly space each seed and allow maximum growth potential for your plants. 

Focusing on a cut flower garden is a nice option when you cannot rely on a store for fresh flowers but love to have them in your home or to give to others. Since spring and summer are popular times to have household flowers, it is best to get your seeds planted sooner than later to ensure you can enjoy them in the moment of the season! 

Deciding on what to plant can be challenging. While many resources on the internet give hundreds of ideas, you have to think about what works best in your gardening zone, if planting outside. If your weather remains a little snowy through spring then consider starting the seeds indoors and then moving them outdoors and transplanting once the weather warms up. 

 

 

Here are some classic and fool-proof favorites we are planting this year with some information from the gardening blog of savvy gardening:

 

1. Sunflowers

"Sunflowers are a must in a cut flower garden. Not only are they easy to grow, their cheerful flowers come in a wide array of colors, sizes, and forms. There are two main types of sunflowers: single stem and branching. Single stem sunflowers do exactly what you think – they produce a single stem that is topped with one flower. When growing single stem varieties, like the Pro Cut series, you can plant the seeds close together (6 to 7 inches apart) to get more from your growing space, but expect smaller flowers. Those planted on a one-foot grid spacing will produce larger blooms. Single stem sunflowers last up to two weeks in water. 

Branching sunflower varieties, on the other hand, yield plants that produce flowers over an extended season. The stems are generally not as strong as those of single stemmed sunflowers and they do take several weeks longer to flower. Personally, I like to plant some of each type so that I have a long harvest season and plenty of variety. 

One last note about sunflowers – certain hybrids are pollenless and don’t drop pollen that can stain clothing and tablecloths. You may wish to grow these in your cut flower garden."

 

sunflowers

 

2. Celosia

"I am a BIG fan of the velvety, long-lasting flowers of Celosia which come in a tempting palette of colors. Some species have feathery plumes, while others have rounded, folded combs and are also known as cockscomb. All make excellent cut flowers for homegrown bouquets.

Celosia takes a bit too long to go from seed to harvest to direct seed in my zone 5 garden and therefore I grow them from seedlings. You can grow the seedlings yourself or buy them from a local nursery. If you’re after a certain variety however, I’d recommend starting your own seeds indoors about eight weeks before the spring frost date. Chief Mix is a choice blend of cockscomb-types in bold shades of dark red, fuchsia, carmine, and gold.

Celosia is a heat-lover and wants a site with plenty of sun as well as compost enriched soil. The two to four foot tall, top-heavy plants benefit from sturdy support, so after planting it’s a good idea to place horizontal netting over the bed to encourage tall, straight stems."

 

(Photo from Gardener's Path)

 

3. Zinnias

"If I could only grow one type of cut flower, it would be zinnias. I grow several species and at least a dozen varieties every summer in my veggie garden. Zinnias bloom all summer long, require little fussing, and have an incredible range of flower sizes and colors. Plus, they’re super fast from seed to bloom. That said, I still prefer to start them indoors so that I don’t have to wait as long for the show to begin. 

To plant a bed of zinnias for cutting, space the seedlings around 10 inches apart and erect horizontal netting a foot above the ground. As the plants grow, they will grow up through the netting and not flop over in high winds or heavy rain. 

Once zinnias have been flowering for a few weeks, the bloom size begins to diminish. Succession planting fresh seedlings every few weeks extends the crop of large, high-quality blooms. Cut flower farmers often pinch their zinnia plants to encourage longer stems. Zinnias should be pinched when they’re around a foot tall. Using clean pruners, remove the top few inches and cut back to a fresh set of leaves. "

 

(Photo from Good Housekeeping)

 

4. Rudbeckia

"While there are hardy perennial Rudbeckias, there are also some, like Rudbeckia hirta, that are grown as annuals. When started indoors and planted out after the last spring frost, this hardworking cut flower begins to bloom by mid-July and continues all summer long.

Like zinnias, these are super easy to grow, but unlike zinnias, they don’t need to be pinched to produce plenty of flowers. Cherokee Sunset mix yields large four to five inch diameter flowers in rustic red, orange, bronze, yellow, and gold. Many of the flowers are doubled, but there are also single and semi-doubled flowers too – a wonderful mix of flower colors and shapes. "

 

  

5. Phlox 

"Phlox drummondii is an under-appreciated annual that produces charming clusters of dainty flowers. Some are dwarf plants, growing just a foot tall, while others grow up to two feet and make excellent cut flowers. My must-grow varieties include Art Shades Mix or Cherry Caramel which add old fashioned charm to bouquets.

Unlike most of the annual flowers I’ve featured, phlox does not transplant well and is often direct seeded in mid-spring, or as soon as the soil can be prepared. If you do wish to start the seeds indoors, use care when transplanting the seedlings to the garden and avoid disturbing the roots."

 

 

With these couple options in mind, contact your local gardening shop to see if they carry the seeds you are interested in or order them off Amazon! Shop our pots and planters collection for the perfect raised gardening accessories. Now is an ideal time to begin planning and planting your seeds for your cut flower garden. Let us know in the comments section below what you have planned for your garden this year! 


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