How to Grow Flowers For Cutting (Short-e Guide)

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  1. Maureen Little
  2. Enjoy backyard bouquets from spring to fall
  3. Garden guide: How to grow your own cut flowers -

Once fertilised, these outer florets fall off and the cone turns into a seedhead. These stand well into the autumn, and make a nice contrast with wispy grasses, until the goldfinches bash them to bits to get the seeds out. So echinaceas seem to have everything going for them. Ask any group of gardeners to name a perennial that seems less than perennial, and echinaceas are nearly always there in the first five or so suspects. Why this is so is a bit of a mystery, especially since the plants look as though they ought to be fully perennial.

True perennials have these shoots from an early age.

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Echinaceas have them; it is possible to see, or feel, that at the base of the plant there is growth that wants to spread out and form a clump, albeit a tight one, as these plants do not spread freely. Next time you are at the garden centre, I suggest you try this — get your fingertips in at the base of some perennials in pots and see what you can feel. Echinacea pallida and angustifolia, 10 to So why do echinaceas often just disappear? There is no question about their hardiness.

Winters in their homeland, the American Midwest, reach well below C -4F , the ground freezes down to a metre and the snow lies so deep that people lose their cars. So cold hardiness is clearly no problem. Many gardeners blame slugs and snails for mystery disappearances but, in fact, echinaceas are no more vulnerable than other perennials. The gene for the yellow flowered varieties of echinacea comes from E. S o what are the best echinaceas to grow for longevity?

A t around in cm in height, echinaceas are quite big plants. Dutch breeder Marco van Noort subjects his plants to three winters before releasing them onto the market — a recommendation indeed! Anthony Brooks, who holds the Plant Heritage national collection, also tells me they self-seed freely — perhaps having a wide gene pool encourages a higher rate of fertile seed being produced. Good news indeed, but rare; I suspect our autumns are too cold and soggy for the seed to ripen properly. Profuse self-seeding, by the way, is often a sign that a species is short-lived. The future will undoubtedly bring many more varieties.

Most will be transient, and gardeners seeking truly perennial plants are probably best sticking to E. That cheerful daisy flower will no doubt continue to seduce us, however. Prepare your outdoor soil by digging it over so the soil is very fine no hard clumps of mud. The term used for very fine soil is tilth, and this is perfect preparation for sowing seeds direct into the soil. These can be scattered in informal drifts or sow them into drills made by drawing a rake through the soil — this will not be very deep.

Cover lightly with soil and water well. Examples: Nigella, Cornflower and Larkspur. Seeds of Tender Annuals TA can now be sown in a greenhouse or on a warm windowsill out of direct sunlight.

Maureen Little

Examples: Aster, Antirrhinum and Cleome. The Hardy Annuals that were previously sown can now be thinned by removing the weaker plants and putting on the compost heap — this allows the stronger plants to develop into fine strong flowers.

Tender Perennials TP that have been growing in an indoor environment can now be hardened off allowed to get used to the change of climate gradually , by moving them outside on warm sunny days. The seedlings can be potted individually and grown on ready for planting out next spring. Pick Sweet Peas regularly just as the flowers open — this will prevent seed pods forming and encourages more flowers.

Cut the stalks at the base where they join the main stem. JULY — Keep plants well watered in dry spells. The best time to water is in the evening allowing the plant to soak up what it needs overnight.

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All Suttons Seeds packets provide height and full growing information. Love the information. But being a novice would have liked a chart showing at a glance what flowers when instead of just an alphabetical list of flowers. Many thanks for your kind words Barry and congratulations on being the first to comment.

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Enjoy backyard bouquets from spring to fall

Hardy Annual HA? An annual grows from seed and then blooms, sets seed and dies in just one growing season. Calendula and Sunflowers are examples of flowers widely grown as annuals. Annuals need to be re-sown each spring. Many can be sown direct outside. Most annuals bloom continuously from spring through to autumn and are great for new gardeners who are learning what they would like to grow, as they are inexpensive to buy and you can always start again if the colours or textures are wrong for you. These plants can be categorized with annuals because they will bloom the first year from seed.

In most areas of the UK, you would need to sow them indoors with a little gentle heat and plant outside in spring or summer. Hardy Biennial HB?

Garden guide: How to grow your own cut flowers -

A biennial grows foliage during its first year, lives over the winter, and then finally blooms in the second season. Once it has bloomed and set seed, it dies. Foxgloves and Hollyhocks are usually biennial. Hardy Perennial HP? A perennial flower lives for a number of seasons.