Whether you’re looking to gift flowers, or want to plant them yourself, here are some of the most popular flower types.
Buying Seeds, Fertilizer
There are thousands of types of flowering plants. Each variety has a name, color and meaning.
The flowers in my gardens make me smile — so why not bring that joy inside?
I always have a fresh flower arrangement on my kitchen table. After my holiday centerpiece is taken apart, simple grocery store bouquets fill in until the flowers in my gardens are ready.
The flowers I use to cut and bring inside are in my existing beds and I make sure they hold their blooms for a long time.
You can use your existing beds like me, or you can plant a new, separate cutting garden.
If you plant a separate cutting garden, make sure your site is one that supports your flower choices. Also make sure your soil is tested and amended to allow healthy growth. Soil testing information is located at http://go.osu.edu/soiltesting.
When it comes to selecting plants, they sky is the limit. Hydrangeas, for example, have four types, which means you have blooms from June 1 through September.
For perennials, everything from cornflower to daisies can provide lots of blooms. Annuals have the widest range of options — from cosmos to celosia and zinnias to sunflowers — for continuous bouquets all summer.
Here are some tips to allow your cut flowers to thrive:
1. Weed on a regular schedule to ensure fewer disease and insect problems;
2. Use mulch to help control weeds;
3. Rotate plant positions from year to year to reduce insect and weed problems;
4. Feed your flowers a 5-10-5 fertilizer at planting time to help produce larger blooms. Supplement with a liquid fertilizer during growing season if stems and foliage appear yellow;
5. Water flowers at the root base instead of showering them above to ensure plants receive moisture and to prevent mildew problems;
6. Cut the stems at an angle to help flowers absorb more water. Cut stem 12 inches so they will fit into most vases;
7. Harvest everything when it’s ready to reduce deadheading and speed regrowth;
8. Change water of your arrangements every other day.
Collect a supply of flower arranging supplies, such as vases in various sizes and styles, floral frogs and foam. Being creative is easier when you have the proper supplies. You can expand from tabletop arrangements to making floral designs for weddings, special occasions or dried to make wreaths. Gather your flower selections with your vase in mind.
Cut your flowers for the house in the morning after the dew has dried and before the sun heats up. A few plants that perform well are feverfew, Shasta daisy, coneflower and yarrow.
I also use different types of plants to add interest and texture to my arrangements. Try adding pussy willow in the spring, hosta leaves, ornamental grasses, rose hips, seed pods. I’ve also use vegetable leaves and herbs. Remember to include plants that provide a filler that surrounds and accents the bigger blossoms in your arrangements. A few favorites would be baby’s-breath, blue spikes of catmint, globe thistle, lady’s mantle and the silver foliage of artemisia.
You cannot only bring beautiful arrangements to brighten up your home but enjoy the joy that a simple colorful bouquet will bring a friend or family member. It’s the little things that show your love.
Consider our Spring Gardening Workshop 2, as cutting gardens will be a breakout session — http://go.osu.edu/2023springworkshop2.
To learn more about starting a cutting garden, go to http://go.osu.edu/cuttinggarden.
Baytos is a Master Gardener Volunteer for The Ohio State University Extension in Mahoning County.