5 Easy to Grow Flowers for a Cutting Garden
Flower bouquets are extraordinarily expensive to buy, but are a gratifying indulgence beyond compare for lifting the spirits, whether of a room in your house, a loved one, or yourself. The effort involved in cultivating perfect roses, Easter lilies, dahlias and other popular cut flower varieties is greater than most hobbyist gardeners have time for. Yet there are plenty of other flowers that take well to the vase, but require minimal effort to produce. The following easy to grow species all have large showy blooms, long stems, and long vase lives.
Black-eyed Susan's look like a sunflower in miniature, growing about 2 feet tall (60 cm) with a sunny halo of petals around a dark-colored, button-like center. The stems are long and virtually leafless, making them ideal for floral arrangements, where they last up to 10 days. Grow them as a perennial in USDA hardiness zones 3–9.
Also known as Peruvian lily, this exotically-colored flower is a florist's favorite—they last up to two weeks in a vase—but is easy to grow at home. Plant the tuberous roots in spring, and expect two-foot (60 cm) flower stalks by early to mid-summer. Alstroemeria is hardy only down to USDA zone 8 (or zone 7 with a deep mulch over the roots), but grows well in a container and can be overwintered indoors.
Typically grown as an annual, snapdragons come in almost every color except purple and blue, and many varieties have multiple hues on each stem. Plant them densely in a pot or sunny flower border, and then out their profuse flower stalks for a weekly bouquet. Cutting them back in this way will only stimulate more flowers to appear. Snapdragons last a week or more in a vase.
This fire-colored relative of irises is a little-known secret of perennial gardeners and fine florists. Its elegant flower sprays have an almost vine-like growth habit, creating a striking contrast to the more conventional upright flowers used in floral arrangements. Crocosmia is hardy in USDA zones 5-9, and lasts up to 10 days in a vase.
Another easy to grow lily alternative, calla's have four-inch cup-shaped blossoms that opened in a unique spiraling form. The large spade-shaped leaves are often used in floral arrangements as well, giving a tropical effect. The tuberous roots of calla lilies are hardy down to USDA zone 9 (or zone 8 with a deep mulch), but the plants grow well in a container and can be overwintered indoors.