Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
When planning your cutting garden for the 2007 growing season, do save room for these new varieties.
Sometimes called love-lies-bleeding, amaranthus should be used more often as a cut flower. Dreadlocks is sure to attract lots of attention. The clusters of dark maroon blossoms reach two to three feet in length. Their name describes the flowers, which resemble dreadlocks. This plant needs full sun. This can be grown from seeds.
Celosia Fresh Look Gold
I’ve written about this variety last fall. But, this 2007 All-American Selections winner deserves mention again. Very long lasting, the golden plumes are a sight to behold. For best results, plant this in full sun. This variety can be grown from seeds.
One of the feather-type celosias, this is being introduced to the U.S. by Johnny’s Selected Seeds. This has been available in the Netherlands for some time where it is often used as a filler in arrangements. Over three feet tall, the strong stems are covered with tiny, feathery, greenish-yellow blooms. These begin opening about two months or so from planting.
Cyperus Baby Tut
This year, a number of grass-like plants are being introduced that make good cut stems. One of my favorites is Baby Tut cyperus. While the foliage tends to grow in a billowing mound, the wispy, exotic looking flower stalks are what will impress floral designers. The plants can grow to three feet or so in height. If you don’t have enough space in your cutting garden, you can grow this one in containers. But, it will certainly grow and bloom better if it is allowed enough space.
Isolepis Live Wire
For an exotic, trendy look, those with cutting gardens will definitely want a few plants of Isolepis Live Wire. This has a grass-like appearance. When in bloom, the plant produces flower spikes that for all the world look like strands of wire, which explains the name. Live Wire has attractive soft green foliage that will be an asset to arrangements. The plant has a mounding growth habit, and grows to be about 1˝ feet in height. This does best in partial to full shade. Be sure and keep the plants moist. Live Wire seeds are available from Seymour’s Selected Seeds.
Statice Supreme Blue
For 2007, Johnny’s Seeds has added a number of new cut flowers to its lineup. Among these is a wonderful new statice, Supreme Blue. This annual is particularly floriferous, and yields many more stems than comparable varieties. Borne on tall, sturdy stalks, these reach 2˝ feet in height. When the flowers initially open, they have white centers. However, when they’re cut and dried these become vivid blue. This begins blooming about four months from the time the seeds are planted.
Zinnia Aztec Sunset
Zinnias are the quintessential cut flower for summer bouquets. For 2007, Thompson and Morgan is introducing Zinnia Aztec Sunset. An award-winning variety, this received a Fleuroselect Gold Medal. Over a foot in height, the plants are well-branched. Very floriferous, this brings masses of fully double blooms in a range of colors, including yellow, gold, and burgundy. Some are bicolors. The fact that these plants are resistant to mildew make them even more desirable for cutting gardens. Over ten years of breeding work went into creating these unique flowers. This is easy to grow from seeds.
Zinnia Zesty Pink
For 2007, there’s a new zinnia mix called Zesty Pink. The lushly double blossoms come in six gorgeous shades. Growing to two feet in height, Zesty Pink is fast growing and quick to bloom. Tolerant of summer heat, this needs full sun. This is easy to grow from seeds.