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Cut Flowers - Growing and Using

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 11 months ago



PSU Solution Source

Cut flower gardens can be used to harvest a fresh bouquet of flowers for your home, for making gifts, or for selling.


Some gardeners raise cut flowers in an orderly fashion for the specific purpose of cutting. These plants are often grown in rows or beds similar to vegetables and sometimes grown in the vegetable garden itself. Since these flowers are grown to be cut, don't expect a picture-perfect garden. A cutting garden often grows flowers that are more attractive in a bouquet than as a garden accent.


Consider the following tips in preparing a site for your cutting garden:


- Plant in an area that receives at least 4-6 hours of full sun per day.


- Provide shelter from winds. Good windbreaks include evergreen trees, fences, or buildings. This protection from the wind will prevent the long flower stems from breaking and will reduce water stress to the plants and flowers.


- Plant your flowers so that the taller plants do not shade the shorter plants.


- Choose a variety of plants to ensure that flowers are available for cutting throughout the season.


- Select longer-stemmed varieties and ones that last a long time in water.


Both annuals and perennials are commonly planted in cut flower gardens. Some recommended annuals include aster, cornflower, cosmos, dianthus, gomphrena, marigold, scabiosa, and zinnia. Recommended perennials include allium, Asiatic lily, baby's breath, dahlia, gayfeather, gladiolus, globe thistle, Shasta daisy, statice, and yarrow.


An overlooked but common addition to florist arrangements are flowers and branches from trees and shrubs. Good choices include bittersweet, crabapple, forsythia, lilac, redbud, red twig dogwood, spirea, and willow.


Cut flowers in early morning before the sun lowers their water content. For best quality, stand them in a cool place in a deep bucket filled with warm water for a couple of hours before arranging.


Use a commercial floral preservative, available from garden centers and other retailers. Preservatives provide nutrients, kill bacteria, and balance the acidity of the water. Adding sugar, pennies, aspirin, or other home remedies to the water will be less effective and may be harmful. If you don’t use a preservative, change the water every day, and make a fresh cut on the stem to open up new, unclogged water-conducting vessels.


For longest life, keep cut flowers in a cool location away from direct sunlight and drafts.


For more information on this subject, Please visit the College of Agricultural Sciences Publications Web site.

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Source link: http://www.solutions.psu.edu/951_353.htm

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