Bring Color Indoors With An
Annual Cutting Garden
An annual cutting garden will provide you with flowers for indoor enjoyment.
The more flowers you cut from your annual plants, the more flowers they produce.
While we think a plant is flowering to give us pleasure, it flowers to keep it's species alive.
A plant flowers so that it can produce seeds. The seeds create annual seedlings and life goes on. If the flowers are destroyed (or cut off by humans) the plant somehow knows this and rushes to produce another one.
Flowers For An Annual Cutting Garden
Some annuals make better display flowers than others.
Here is a list of annual plants that are known to hold up well once they are cut.
This list is by no means a complete listing, there are hundreds of new varieties being introduced each year.
Don't be afraid to take cuttings from varieties of annuals that aren't listed here.
Ammi majus (bishops' flower)
Calendula officianalis (pot marigold)
Callistephus chinensis (China aster)
Celosia plumosa (celosia)
Centaurea (knapweed, cornflower, bachelor's buttons)
Consolida ambigua (larkspur)
Gypsophila elegans (baby's breath)
Lathyrus odoratus (sweet pea)
Verbena bonariensis (vervain)
Zinnia elegans (zinnia)
If you don't have a lot of room you can grown an
annual cutting garden in containers on your patio or rooftop.
Tips For Cutting Flowers
The best times for cutting flowers is early in the morning after the dew has disappeared or early evening.
Clustered flowers like Candytuft should be picked when only a few of the flowers are in bloom. The other flowers in the cluster will open later.
Zinna, dahlia, marigold and Calendula flowers cease opening once cut and should be harvested when they are in full bloom.
Use sharp scissors or knife to cut the flowers from the plant. You don't want to damage the plant.
Place the freshly cut flowers into warm water as soon as you cut them. Cold water will reduce the rate the stem absorbs water. You want the flower well hydrated if you are going to display them in an arrangement.
To Display Your Annual Flowers
Strip off leaves that will fall below water level
of the container you are using. Leaves sitting in water will degrade and cause bacteria to grow, shortening the display time of the flower.
Fill container with warm water. Cold water shocks the plant and slows down the uptake of water.
Give the stems a fresh cut before placing them into the container. You can use a straight across cut or an angled cut.
Dahlias and Poppies leak a substance from their stems and should be sealed prior to use. Hold the cut end over a candle flame or match for a few seconds to seal it.