I’d like to grow annuals for cutting and arranging. What types make the best cut flowers and where should I plant them?

shutterstock_447988933For many gardeners, gardening is not just a past time or something they do to earn more revenue. It’s a passion, and for good reason. Gardening has been proven to reduce stress levels in many people. Not only that, but gardening has also helped make a lot of homes, front lawns and backyards more beautiful.

For a wide number of gardeners, they find that growing annuals in their gardens is an ideal choice. An annual plant is a plant that completes its lifecycle within one year. This means that the plant goes through germination, growing and seed germination in one year and then dies after that year is over. So annuals that are planted in the winter germinate during autumn, and mature during summer and autumn.

When it comes to the best annuals for making cut flowers, you have a myriad of options to choose from.

Calendula. Even just one vase of Calendula can brighten up your entire home. This flower is one of the easiest to grow, and they produce flowers that look like daises on strong stems. Calendula best thrive in areas that are cool and shaded, but don’t forget to take them out for sun regularly too.

Ageratum.  Ageratum are majestic flowers that produce clusters of tiny, fluffy blooms in one of three colors: blue, lavender or white. These usually bloom from early summer through fall. Various types of this flower can grow from six up to thirty inches tall. The rule of thumb when it comes to Ageratum is that the taller it is, the better it makes for good cut flowers. Plant this one under the sun or in areas that are hot and dry.

Bachelor’s Button. A gorgeous flower in its own, the Bachelor’s Button is easy to grow. It produces frilly, semidouble and double blooms that can come in one in four colors: white, pink, purple or blue. This traditional flower blooms the best in sunny areas, most especially during the summer to midsummer.

Pinks. Likewise with Ageratum, the type of Pinks that you would want that are best for cutting are of the taller variety. Pinks make for wonderful additions to your home too as they add a splash of stark pink, wide or red with matching fragrance to boot. They are best grown in sunny conditions and temperatures that are not too hot, nor too cold.

Larkspur. One of the flowers best for cutting that has the longest stems, larkspur comes in blue, white, lilac or peach. They emit a subdued, pleasant scent and make for good cut flowers. Because of its long stems, Larkspurs may best thrive along fences or walls in your homes as they can grow up to four feet tall.

Gladiolus. Also a member of the family of tall flowers, Gladiolus are bulbs with long stems and leaves. Gladiolus flowers are elegant flowers that bloom in the same direction. You can plant these in spring. Because of their tall height, they are best placed in areas where a lot of sunlight can come in and where there is plenty of room for the flower to grow (walls, fences, etc). They also best thrive in climates that are cool but not too freezing. When the weather gets cold, they must be dug up and stored in a cool location where it will not freeze.

Annual Sunflower. Sunflowers always bring a smile to anyone’s face, albeit they are pretty rare to see up front because of its annual nature. This plant is grown for its beautiful, cheery flower and for its edible seeds. Sunflowers thrive in areas with a lot of exposure to the sun, so the best place to grow this plant would be outdoors.

Celosia. This breed is quite popular among gardeners and breeders alike, so there are many varieties you can choose from. Most notably, when growing Celosia, you can stick to “Chief.” You can buy this variety in separate colors or in mixed. Celosia also has Pampas Plume varieties, where you can get fluffy plumes for your garden, and the Madras Scarlet, which is bright red in color. These flowers don’t grow that tall so keeping them in a small vase, even indoors, is fine so long as they have access to sunlight.

Snapdragon. With snapdragon, the best varieties for cut flowers are the Rocket and Liberty. The others are not quick to grow or have stems that are too big to be cut flowers. When it comes to growing Snapdragon, it’s best to do so in cool areas. But they can also thrive in hot climates, especially in the spring.

Cosmos. Cosmos are beautiful flowers that are hard to find sold in wholesale in many commercial markets. Because of that, it’s fun to grow and nice to have to brighten up your home. Cosmos grow in areas that have plenty of sunlight but also has a moderated temperature, like cool areas when it’s summer time or hot regions when it’s fall.

Sweet Pea. The dainty and fragrant flowers of the sweet pea are what keeps gardeners passionate about growing this flower. Most sweet pea varieties are grown as vines, reaching up to four to six feet tall. This means that you have to make sure that when you grow them, you have plenty of space for that. These beauties come in many different colors, like white, orange, yellow, blue, red, purple or lavender. With Sweet Pea, it’s the long-stemmed ones that you would want as cut flowers.

Stock. Best grown in cool areas, Stock is well-loved for its unique scent and has been used as a cut flower for a very long time now. They grow pretty tall, but you can avail of dwarf types that grow up to eight to fifteen inches tall only. The tall ones prefer colder climates for five months. The dwarf types, on the other hand, can tolerate heat a little bit better.

With all of these lovely options to choose from, you will surely find the annual that’s perfect for your home or garden. Keep in mind that though these make beautiful decorations, they are also meant to be nourished and taken care of. Taking care of these flowers well can yield many wonderful surprises for you in the long run.

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