Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
A number of woody plants have stems that can be used as cut flowers. Here are some new varieties to consider.
Sasanqua Marge Miller
This camellia is recommended for zones seven through ten. If you don’t have room in the cutting garden, include it in a shrub border. This cultivar is also small enough to grow in a container.
Marge Miller sasanqua is very unusual due to its weeping branches. This has lovely pale pink blooms. These appear from September into December. The flowers look lovely against the attractive evergreen leaves.
Full sun is a little too strong for this plant for it prefers partial shade, particularly during the afternoon. The camellias will generally grow in any average garden soil. A pH of around 6.0 is considered ideal.
A member of the tea family, sasanqua blossoms last for perhaps a week as a cut flower. They’re used as a small mass flower and in corsages. These can also be floated in bowls of water.
Vanilla Strawberry Panicled Hydrangea
This is a new introduction in the First Editions hydrangea series. This is an easy care, long blooming cultivar. It is recommended for zones four through eight. The stems can be up to seven feet in length. Give this plant plenty of room for the plant can have a spread of five feet.
The exquisite, cone-shaped flower clusters appear throughout the summer and early fall months. When the blooms first emerge, they’re creamy white. Over time they deepen to pastel pink and finally to red. This plant grows well in full sun and partial shade. It thrives in a well drained, reasonably moist soil.
As a cut flower, these stems have a vase life of about a week. They’re used as a large mass flower. These also make a great everlasting.
For fresh flowers, cut hydrangea stems when about half of the blooms in the
cluster are open. As an everlasting wait until all the blooms are open.
Strawberries and Cream Big Leaf Hydrangea
This very floriferous cultivar has delightful reddish-pink flowers with pastel pink centers. It is winter hardy in zones seven through nine. The stems of Strawberry and Cream hydrangea can reach three feet in height.
As a cut flower the stems of big leaf hydrangea have a vase life of about a week. They’re used as a large mass flower. These make a great everlasting. Just let the flowers air dry.
The big leaf hydrangea can’t take quite as much as the panicled hydrangea. Provide this shrub with full sun to partial shade.
Weigela Rainbow Sensation
This free flowering shrub has large funnel shaped, pastel pink blossoms from mid-spring through the early summer. These blossoms open in small clusters. They’re beautifully displayed against the lovely variegated foliage. This shrub is rather compact and low growing, only about three feet or so in height.
In the cutting garden, the weigelas prefer full sun or partial shade. They do well in any well drained soil.
Rainbow Sensation weigela is recommended for zones four through eight. Weigela stems are used as a line flower. They have a medium texture. The stems have a vase life of about five days or so.