Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
For those with cutting gardens, a number of new cut flower varieties will be introduced in 2009. The following kinds can be grown from seed.
Johnny’s Seeds is introducing a number of new cut flower varieties for 2009. One of the most unusual is the Black Knight flowering carrot. Unlike the vegetable crop grown for its roots, this one is grown for its intriguing mauve blossoms. Very early flowering, this begins to bloom about 3˝ to four months from the time the seeds are planted. The plants reach about four feet in height. The small flowers appear in large rounded clusters.
Johnny’s has also added a new variety of globe amaranth. Mor has purplish-magenta flower heads. The branching plants produce lots of stems for cutting. These plants are about two feet tall.
Marble Arch Mix Joseph sage has a delightful mix of flower colors. This annual has colorful, long lasting bracts that retain their color. The mix includes plants with white, purplish-blue, and rose colored blossoms. The stems are a little over two feet tall. The flower spikes start opening about three months from the time the seeds are sown.
Johnny’s is also offering a delightful new sunflower for 2009. Buttercream is a gorgeous pastel, pollenless variety. The plants grow to about five feet in height. The creamy petals have very pale yellow shading and brown centers. The blossoms can be four feet or more across. This blooms in about two months from planting time.
Also from Johnny’s is a knockout bicolor zinnia for cutting. Queen Red Lime blossoms are beautifully double. The bicolor effect is due to the lime green shading towards the centers of the flowers. While there may be a few single flowering plants from these seed-grown plants, the majority will be either semi-double or fully double. The stems are four feet tall or more. This begins blooming about 2˝ months from the time the seeds are planted.
For 2009, there are several new additions to the Mache ranunculus or buttercup series. Grown from seeds, these plants are often used as cut flowers. The new colors are Mache rose, Mache red, Mache purple, and Mache cream. These buttercups will be available as bedding plants at garden centers. Seeds are available as well. The flowers are unbelievably beautiful. Very double, the delicate petals are arranged in neat circles. The plants are about 1˝ feet in height.
For 2009, there are a number of new eustoma or lisianthus varieties that will make great cut flowers. One new color has been added to the Twinkle series. Twinkle Violet has lovely single blooms on straight, thick stems.
The Arena series of eustomas are especially suitable for cutting. This new series features five separate colors. These include yellow, green, white, rose, and pink. The large blooms are fully double. They open on tall, sturdy stems.
The Opus series of snapdragons were bred especially for cut flowers. Very fragrant, these blooms open on tall spikes. For 2009, there are two new colors to this series. Opus Fresh White has large, well shaped blooms on tapered spikes. Opus Bright Red is also a new color as well.
Axiom yellow snapdragon is a new variety bred specifically as a cut flower. These have very long lasting stems. The medium yellow blooms have a perfect shape. They’re arranged on a tapered spike. This has good strong stems.
Regarding the new sunflowers for cutting, there is a new variety in the Sunrich series, the Sunrich Orange. These pollenless blooms were bred for cut flowers. Blooming about two months or so after planting, Sunrich Orange blossoms are up to six inches across. The centers are black, while the petals are golden yellow.
Guardian delphinium or larkspur is a hardy perennial that is great for cut flower gardens. This blooms the first year from seed. It features pure white flowers on tall strong stems.