Cut Flowers on a Shoestring

It’s rewarding to grow your own fruit and vegetables, but more and more of us also want to grow flowers that can be cut and , too. Growers are taking notice of this trend and there are more cut flower varieties available today than ever before. Now you can create your own landscaping masterpiece, a Monet’s garden, with a little planning and some jumbo packs. Here are some new and old favorites to try this year.

Ageratum Red Sea. Showy, burgundy-red flower clusters bloom summer to fall on long stems. Grow in full sun to part shade. This beautiful cut flower reaches 30" tall by 15-18" wide. Ageratum Blue Horizon is another great variety.

Celosia Spiky Purple. Deep purple flowers are crowded onto terminal spikes, opening slowly from the base. Blooms all summer long in full sun. 12-16" tall. Spiky Pink is a beauty, too.

Calendula Pink Surprise. Ruffled 1" flowers are orange at first and then take on a tinge of pink as they age. This plant grows 18" tall in full or part sun.  Great in containers or the flower bed as well as a cut flower. Often reseeds itself.

Larkspur Giant Imperial mix. If you want long spikes of soft lavender, blue and pink in your flower arrangements, grow larkspur. Flower stems are long and dense on 36-48" tall plants. Grow in full sun. Also good for drying.

Crespedia Billy Buttons or Drumstick Plant. This offbeat Australian daisy sends up 2 ft tall stalks topped by globes of bright yellow flowers. Bloom may occur at anytime of the year. Flowers are good fresh or dried in arrangements. Self sows freely.

Bachelor Buttons or Cornflower. The Centauria family of plants also includes Dusty Miller among other common plants. Blue Boy has double blooms in a stunning shade of deep blue. Great plants for the cutting garden or flower border, this wild flower is well suited for cutting, drying and pressing. Self sows. Did you know this plant’s common name, cornflower, refers to the fact that it was once typically found growing amid corn in Europe? Other plants named for their association with grain fields are corn cockle ( agrostemma ), corn poppy and corn marigold.

Aster Matsumoto. The Matsumoto series is known for disease resistance and superior cut flower quality. Semi-double blooms are borne on long, strong stems that are very long lasting in the vase.  Blooming begins in mid-summer and doesn’t quit until late fall. And the best part is, the more flowers you cut, the quicker new buds arise. The large, yellow center is surrounded by layers of bright purple, pink or white petals and is eye-catching even from across the garden. They thrive in any sunny garden spot or container. 24" tall.

Gomphrena Las Vegas mix. Draw hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden with this heat tolerant cut flower. The pink, purple, and white clover-like flowers may also be dried quickly and easily, retaining color and shape for winter arrangements. Plant this 16-20" tall plant in a container for a long-lasting living bouquet.

Statice Supreme Blue. A hardy, low maintenance annual, this deep blue cut flower is drought, heat and pest resistant. They even thrive in poor soil conditions and bloom continuously from late spring until first frost. Cut statice just after they have begun to open for the most vibrant, lasting color. Ideal for dried arrangementslike celosia and gomphrena.

These are just some of the affordable and easy to grow cut flowers available. Think of all the bouquets you’ll be able to  make this year from your own garden grown flowers.