http://blog.naturespath.com/grow-an-organic-gardening-cut-flowers

Nature's Path Blog

How to Grow an Organic Cut Flower Garden

Posted by Nan Fischer on May 05, 2017 under Home Gardens & Growing

I love flowers. I can’t get enough of them in my life. But to have constant bouquets in the house, I’d have to demolish the beauty of my flower beds. The only answer is a separate bed, or beds, specifically for cutting flowers.

 

How to Grow an Organic Cut Flower Garden | Nature's Path

Are you interested in starting an Organic Garden?
Download our free Guide.

 

It’s possible to have fresh flowers for most of the year, from the bulbs in spring to late blooming perennials in fall.

First find a sunny, spacious area. Put your cutting bed close to your organic vegetable garden, if possible, for convenience of watering and fertilizing. For ease of harvest, cutting beds don’t need to be as wide as vegetable beds. Make beds 2’ wide and as long as you can. There should be enough room between them for you to maneuver with a bucket and/or wagon.

Plan on installing drip irrigation, because overhead watering will ruin the flowers. Add compost and an organic, slow release flower fertilizer to the beds. You may want to stake tall varieties.

Grow flowers you love! Choose a variety of colors, sizes, heights, and textures. Think bold, delicate, and fragrant, and be sure to grow greens and fillers, too.

 

How to Grow an Organic Cut Flower Garden | Nature's Path

How to Grow a Cut Flower Garden | Nature's Path

If you are a beginner, start small and with annuals. Some of the best are:

Annuals

  • Zinnias
  • Ageratum
  • Snapdragons
  • Salvia
  • Agrostemma
  • Cosmos
  • Carnations
  • Sunflowers
  • Sweet Peas
  • Statice
  • Bachelor Buttons
  • Celosia
  • Nicotiana
  • Asters

 

How to Grow an Organic Cut Flower Garden | Nature's Path

 

If you want to grow perennials, try these:

Cut Flowers

  • Lilies
  • Rudbeckia
  • Echinacea
  • Delphiniums
  • Peonies
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Phlox
  • Liatris
  • Scabiosa
  • Feverfew

 

How to Grow an Organic Cut Flower Garden | Nature's Path

 

Bulbs

  • Daffodils
  • Tulips
  • Dahlias (although they can also be grown from seed)
  • Gladiolas
  • Irises
  • Crocosmia
  • Alstroemeria

 

How to Grow an Organic Cut Flower Garden | Nature's Path

 

Greenery and filler:

  • Dusty Miller
  • Coleus
  • Ferns
  • Ornamental cabbage
  • Artemesia
  • Gypsophila

 

Buying nursery starts will get expensive, so consider starting your flowers from seed. Aside from the savings, you will be able to make one-of-a-kind bouquets. Growers breed varieties made specifically for cutting. Flowers have long, sturdy stems and have a long vase life. Seed catalogs have notations for flowers best suited for cutting. If you do buy plants, their labels will also be marked with that information.

You don’t need to use design principles in your utilitarian cutting garden. Keep the same varieties together – all zinnias, all cosmos, etc. Plants should also be grouped according to water and nutrient needs.

 

How to Grow an Organic Cut Flower Garden | Nature's Path

 

Cutting beds need the same maintenance as any garden. Water, fertilize, deadhead (well, that’s what cutting is!), and watch for bugs and disease. Pull infected and infested plants, and put them in the trash. Replant that section, if it’s not too late.

With sharp scissors, cut your flowers in the early morning after the dew has dried, but before they are stressed from the sun and heat. Add some floral preservative to a bucket of warm water, and put the cut flowers in immediately. Recut them when designing your arrangement. Here is detailed information about cut flower care.

If you are just beginning and overwhelmed, try one of these cutting garden plans. Sunset Magazine has a short list of easy flowers to grow, too. Once you are smitten with growing annual cut flowers, expand with perennials, bulbs, and flowers for drying. Then you will have unique homegrown bouquets all year long!

Special cutting beds are the only way to keep your borders intact and have copious amounts of fresh flowers indoors. Flowers – food for the soul.

 

Free Organic Gardening Guide

4 Comments

Written by Nan Fischer

Nan Fischer

Nan Fischer is the founder of the Taos NM Seed Exchange, a free community service for home gardeners to trade seed. She has been working with plants for 40 years as farmer, landscaper, home gardener, and nursery owner. She holds a degree in Plant Science from the University of New Hampshire, and shares her knowledge by teaching others how to grow their own food. She is a home and garden writer who takes time out for reading, hiking, gardening, and experimenting in the kitchen.