Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Each new year brings new ideas for floral designs. This year there will be a number of new cut flower varieties. The following plants are highly recommended for floral arrangements. Some of these are suitable for cutting gardens.
For 2009, there are a number of new ageratums or flossflowers. Azure Skies has huge, vivid, purple-violet blooms. The flower heads are six inches across. This variety also has deep purple foliage. The stems are quite tall for an ageratum—over a foot.
Some of the ornamental peppers make good cut flowers. For 2009, there are several new ones. Cappa Round Tricolor has round, egg-like fruits. These sturdy stems can be cut at any stage of ripeness. Initially, the fruits will be white. As they ripen, they turn orange and finally red.
Sangra ornamental pepper has long, spreading stems that are just perfect for cutting. All up and down the length of the stems are colorful red and purple fruits.
Nippon Taka is a delightful new ornamental pepper that is just perfect for floral designs. The stems are over 1˝ feet in height. The vigorous plants produce lots of stems for cutting. The long, tapered fruits are borne on upright clusters. The small peppers ripen to a fiery red. However, they can also be cut when green. The clusters contain ten or so fruits. These fruits ripen about five months from the time the seeds are planted. For harvesting green, they’re ready about a month earlier.
Several new eustomas or lisianthus will be available in 2009. There are several new additions to the Twinkle series. These include the Pink Improved. Twinkles have gorgeous, perfectly formed, single blooms with thick straight stems. They begin blooming about five months from the time the seeds are planted.
Constellation sunflower is a pollenfree variety. The stems are about 1˝ feet in height. Very floriferous, this variety has golden yellow petals around brown centers. The blossoms reach six inches in diameter.
There are several new additions to the Mystical series of hypericums or St. John’s worts. The Mystical plants are noted for their abundant, exquisite gorgeous fruits. These ripen during the fall, and are great for fall floral arrangements.
Mystical Orange hypericum fruits are reddish-orange. Those of Mystical Beauty are salmon-pink. Mystical Black has pure black berries. All of these plants are hardy in zones five through nine.