Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
There are a number of cut flower varieties that performed very well during cut flower trials in 2008. These plants would be good choices for cutting gardens.
Chantilly Deep Orange snapdragon was introduced in 2008. each plant will have about six or so stems for cutting. The flower shape is very unusual for a snapdragon. They face outwards so the throats are clearly visible. The flower colors range from a cinnamon-orange to a deep red. The strong, upright stems are several feet in length. The blossoms begin to open about 3˝ to four months from the time the seeds are planted. Compared to other snapdragons, the stems have a long vase life.
The Animation Cognac snapdragons have lovely bicolored blooms. These performed well in plant trials. They have rich yellow blooms with light orange and a tinge of lilac. The Animation series was introduced in 2008. These will have nearly a dozen stems per plant for harvesting. The vigorous plants bloom a little earlier than most snapdragons. These start opening about three months from the time the seeds are planted.
Sunbright sunflowers also did well in cut flower trials. These are recommended for cut flower gardens. This is part of the Sun series. These pollenless blooms have rich yellow petals and a chocolate disk. These are up to six inches across. Sunbright reaches about five to six feet in height. This begins blooming about 2˝ months after the seeds are planted.
Sunny sunflower was bred specifically for cut flowers. These look strikingly different because the petals are considerably shorter. This tends to emphasize the large center disk. Sunny sunflowers can be over six inches in diameter. The plants grow to five feet or so in height with one flower per stem.
Pink Crane flowering kale is especially suitable as a cut flower. It performed well in cut flower trials. Though these aren’t really flowers, they’re treated just like any other cut flower stem. This has rosettes of colorful pink foliage that resemble huge roses. The outer petals are green while the inner ones are various shades of pink.
Pink Crane plants reach about two feet in height. This is grown during the cooler months. They’re used for spring and fall/winter cut flowers. The average temperature needs to be below 60 degrees Fahrenheit in order for the foliage to develop its rich color. In floral designs, combine the Pink Crane kale with ranunculus and other cool season cut flowers. This kale has a long vase life.
Top Fruit Red ornamental pepper was introduced in 2008. This did very well in cut flower trials. The plants are nearly 1˝ feet in height. The flaming red peppers appear in clusters at the top of each stem. These are cone shaped and erect. The stems can be cut at any stage of fruit ripeness. Initially white, the fruits first turn deep orange and finally red.