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Beginners Guide to Growing Cut Flowers

Beginners Guide to Growing Cut Flowers

Growing flowers in your garden can be as appealing as growing food, because not only are flowers beautiful, but they’re pollinator magnets. Let’s get into the basics of growing cut flowers. 

This blog is inspired by Episode 128 of Bloom and Grow Radio Podcast, where host Maria Failla interviewed Brooklyn Sherri, owner of Petal and Herb Farm.

Why Are Seed Packets Important? 

Seed packets can be crucial in helping you understand all the components that go into growing your cut flower garden. They provide information on when to plant, how long until germination, plant description, growing habits, how deep the seed should be planted, and helpful details on growth and harvesting. Make sure you do your homework on the seed company of your choosing to make sure they fit your needs. 

What Is My Growing Zone? 

Your growing zone helps you determine how long your frost-free growing season is. If you’re in the U.S., you can find your USDA plant hardiness zone by entering your zip code. 

Once you find your hardiness zone, you can also search for the last frost date in your zip code. Your first and last frost dates will show you how many frost-free growing days you have in a season. This can help you figure out when to plant each of your cut flower varieties. 

What Growing Conditions Do Flowers Need? 

Most flowers prefer well-draining soil. If you’re starting with clay soil that tends to hold water, you want to amend it with compost or peat moss to provide more drainage. Additionally, you can mix in bagged garden soil, like Espoma’s Vegetable & Flower Garden Soil to add structure and drainage. 

Sun needs will also vary by flower, but a general rule is 6 hours of direct sun for flowers. Whether you’re direct sowing seeds outdoors or transplanting plants, make sure each variety is in a location with enough sun. 

Water requirements for annual flowers may be higher during Summer months, but in general, deep, infrequent watering is best. About one inch of water per week is enough. 

Fertilizing requirements will depend on the specific flower you’re growing. If you notice foliage yellowing, it can often mean your plant is low in nitrogen. Or if you have lots of green foliage but no blooms, that could indicate you have a phosphorous problem. Try Espoma’s Flower-Tone Fertilizer to get large, healthy blooms. 

 

Now that you know basic care for growing cut flowers, check out our list of the 7 best flowers to grow from seed as a beginner

1) Sunflowers

Sunflowers are some of the easiest annual flowers to grow from seed. You can directly sow them outdoors in full sun with minimal effort. They come in so many sizes and colors too! 

2) Zinnias

Zinnias are another easy annual flower to grow from seed in full sun. They only take about 60-70 days to bloom from seed, and there are tons of varieties like double flowered, dwarfs, cactus, and giant zinnias. They also come in a wide range of stunning colors! 

3) Daisies

Unlike sunflowers and zinnias, daisies are a perennial flower that will come back year after year. You can start them from seed outdoors as long as you keep them moist for up to twenty days. Otherwise, they grow great from transplants and continue to spread every year. They come in whites, yellows, pinks, and reds.

4) Sweet Peas

Sweet peas are an annual flower that can deal with cooler temperatures. Plant them in very early Spring and you’ll have beautiful pastel bouquets in a couple of months. Since they are vining plants, give them something to climb like a trellis.

5) Snapdragons

While snapdragons will need to be started from seed indoors 2-3 months before your last frost, the payoff in blooms will be worth it. Pay attention to the seed packet for best germination methods. The more you cut snapdragon blooms and create branching, the more blooms you’ll get. And snapdragons come in so many different colors that you’ll be creating gorgeous bouquets for weeks! 

6) Cosmos

Cosmos are another easy-to-grow annual that produce tons of Summer blooms. They come in a variety of heights and colors, and their long, slender stems make for an easy addition to any cut flower bouquet.

7) Strawflower

And finally we have the humble, yet unmistakable strawflower. This annual is another easy-to-grow flower from seed that can handle any soil quality you have. Its textured petals feel similar to straw and make gorgeous cut or dried flower bouquets. 

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To give your cut flowers a healthy start, try using Espoma’s Flower-Tone Fertilizer during the growing season for larger, more abundant blooms. 

About Bloom & Grow Radio Podcast

 Bloom & Grow Radio Podcast helps people care for plants successfully and cultivate more joy in their lives. Host Maria Failla, a former plant killer turned happy plant lady, interviews experts on various aspects of plant care, and encourages listeners to not only care for plants, but learn to care for themselves along the way.

About Our Interviewee

Brooklyn Sherri is a flower farmer with many skills. She runs her own flower farm, Petal & Herb, where they produce flowers, vegetables, berries, herbs, and microgreens all on 5 acres of land in Colorado. Brooklyn also hosts Ya Grandma’s Garden & Houseplants on Clubhouse and teaches horticulture at The Cool Choice to improve the opportunities for children and families in her neighborhood. 

​​Follow Brooklyn:

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Petal and Herb Farm

Ya Grandma’s Garden & Houseplants on Clubhouse

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Blog: Bring the Outdoors In with a Fall Cutting Garden

Summer is quickly coming to an end. As we say goodbye to summer blooms, we get to welcome beautiful autumn flowers like mums, sunflowers, pansies, and more! If you’re looking to add some fall decor to your home, bringing your garden inside from a cutting garden is a great way to add a pop of color and change things up for fall.

 

Put together a cutting garden that is personalized to you and the colors that will make you happy. Don’t worry about whether or not the plants “go together.” Get creative! Here are some of the best autumn blooms for bouquets that are vibrant and trendy.

 

  1. Sunflowers

    While most people typically picture golden-toned, dark-centered sunflowers, there are actually a few varieties to choose from when planning your cutting garden! For example, Bashful sunflowers have a salmon pink ring on the petals, and Little Becka sunflowers have deep red in their petals. Whichever variety you choose, keep autumn colors in mind. If you’re hoping to create a bouquet, pollen-free varieties are best.
  2. Oakleaf Hydrangea

    Oakleaf hydrangeas bloom in either pink or white, and the leaves turn beautiful shades of orange and red in the fall. It’s very important to plant oakleaf hydrangeas in well-draining soil, as they could get root rot. If you’re including them in a bouquet, harvest the stems when half of the blooms have opened.
  3. Dahlias

    While dahlias flower throughout the summer, warm days and chilly nights allow them to produce more flowers in more vivid colors in the fall. Plant dahlias in full sun and in a rich soil. Fertilize with Holly-tone for deep, vibrant, blooms. Whether you prefer pink, red, orange, or yellow, dahlias can make a great addition to your cutting garden.

 

Getting started:

  1. Choosing a Spot for Your Garden

    The size of your garden space really depends on the types of plants you’re growing, so you can choose plants that will be able to thrive in the space you have available. Regardless of size, make sure the spot is sunny and well-drained! If you’re really short on space, utilize the space between rows in your vegetable garden.
  2. Planning

    Make sure your garden site meets the sun exposure and growing condition requirements listed on the plant tags. For easy cutting and collecting, leave some space in between plants.
  3. Preparing

    Set your garden up for success by working Bio-tone Starter Plus into the soil before planting. To make sure your plants aren’t competing with any weeds for resources, clear your soil in advance.
  4. Planting

    Plant seeds or seedlings about an inch into loose soil. For best results, water your flowers weekly and regularly fertilize with Espoma’s Flower-tone!

Once your plants start to bloom, start cutting! The more you cut, the more the plants will flower. Happy fall, and happy gardening!

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