Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
It’s true that many cut flowers are annuals. However, there are lots of perennials that can be used in floral design. Here are some new perennial varieties for 2010.
White glitter sea holly is a new addition to the expanding Glitter series. White Glitter has stems that are over three feet in height. Very floriferous, this bears lots of thistle-shaped white blooms with spiky bracts. The flower spikes are very dense and full.
The sea hollies are used both as a cut and dried flower. They have a vase life of about two weeks or so. They’re used as a medium sized form flower due to their unique shape. As an everlasting, just let them air dry. Wait until the entire flower head has developed color before you cut these stems.
In the cutting garden, the sea hollies need full sun. They’re adapted to poor dry soils. Don’t fertilize as this can interfere with flowering. These plants are tolerant of salt spray.
Shasta Daisy Paladin
This is a delightful new perennial daisy. The stems are over 1˝ feet in height. The vigorous plants are quick growing and spread easily. Hardy in zones five through eight, this has very double blooms with layers of pure white petals surrounding bright yellow centers. These blossoms appear throughout the summer and fall.
Shasta daisies are used as a medium sized mass flower. They have a vase life of about a week or so.
In the cutting garden, Shasta daisies need full sun. These should be harvested when the flowers are fairly open.
Sneezeweed or Helenium
Despite the name, these plants don’t bring on sneezing. Tijuana Brass autumn sneezeweed is a wonderful new perennial for the cutting garden. The stems make excellent cut flowers. This cultivar does best in zones four through nine. The stems can be five feet in height.
These blossoms have such enlarged yellow-gold centers that they resemble a coneflower. The golden yellow petals are perfectly shaped. These blossoms open from late summer through the fall months.
The stems of sneezeweeds are used much like daisies as a medium mass flower. They have a vase life of about five to seven days. Harvest the stems as soon as the petals are unfurled.
Full sun or partial shade is acceptable for these plants. These adapt to most any soil type. However, they prefer a reasonably moist soil. Tijuana Brass plants will be available at garden centers and other sources that sell plants.