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Seasonal Maintenance

Perennial Cutting Garden

May 2, 2017 by Anna Saemisch, Account Manager

Planting a cutting garden provides a new way to experience your garden and outdoor living space. The textures, colors and fragrance of the outdoors come inside and are sure to brighten any space. Fresh cut flowers make a perfect gift to share with others too! Cutting gardens can be customized to your growing conditions, tending time, and flower preferences. For this post, I’m going to discuss three of my favorite perennials for cutting. I will note some favorite annuals for cutting in a future post.

 

Liatris

Commonly known as blazing star, the liatris is a great perennial for cutting gardens. A member of the aster family, the liatris can be grown almost anywhere, including planting beds, borders and even containers. Very low maintenance, the flower prefers full sun and is a known butterfly attractor. With blooms during the summer months, the flower features spikes with fluffy flower heads, typically of a deep shade of purple, but can be found in white and rose colored varieties as well.

When cutting liatris to bring indoors, take note of the following:

  • Cut the flowers when two-thirds of the buds are open.
  • Place cut stems in water with floral preservative immediately.

 

Lilac

Known for their fragrant blooms, lilacs are great for spring arrangements. This sun-loving shrub requires good draining fertile soil and proper pruning. Blooms range from creamy white to various shades of purple, blooming in late spring. A favorite is the traditional old fashioned lilac.

When cutting lilacs to bring indoors, take note of the following:

  • It is best to cut lilac blooms early in the morning when they are most hydrated.
  • Use sharp pruners.
  • Remove foliage from branches, leaving only the blooms. If foliage is left on the branch, the water will go there first, leaving the blooms to wilt and fade. If foliage is desired in your arrangement, cut a few branches of foliage from the shrub and add those in.
  • Put fresh cut blooms in warm water with floral preservative immediately. Looking for a DIY floral preservative recipe? Here’s one to try.

 

  

Hydrangea

Hydrangeas are an easy cultivator to grow. They tolerate most soil conditions and can grow in most lights, although they prefer morning sun and afternoon shade. With several varieties to choose from, you can benefit from blooms starting in mid-summer through fall. To ensure long-lasting hydrangea plants, don’t miss our post on proper pruning.

When cutting hydrangeas to bring indoors, take note of the following:

  • Cut stems at an angle.
  • Put cut stems in water right away.
  • Mist petals gently once a day. Hydrangeas can take in moisture through their petals, so providing proper water to the petals will help keep them fresh longer. If blooms start to wilt, shock them back by dunking the whole flower head in warm water for a few minutes.

 

Fresh flowers add color, dimension and texture to any space. If you have questions about planting a cutting garden, feel free to drop me a note. I love to talk flowers and plants! We also offer a blooming rotation program if you want a no-fuss way to bring blooms indoors.

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