Trying to grow cut flowers for May wedding

AmericanGardnerJanuary 27, 2013


We are trying to grow cut flowers for our May 25 wedding. This will be a first try at cut flowers so I have a couple of questions.

We are in zone 6b aroun middle TN. We have a large non-heated hoop house that we just acquired this year.

Colors are blue and purple, so seeds we have found so far are:
- Larkspur, Giant Imperial Mix
- Cupid's Dart, Blue
- Aster, Crego, Mixed Colors
- Zinnia, Giant, Purity (White)
- Zinnia, Giant, Violet Queen
- Cantebury Bells
- Bachelor Button, Cyanus Double Mixed Colors

Are the "Time to Bloom" counts on the seed packs only to first bloom? If so, should we add a couple of weeks to that, and plant that many days before the weeding?
Example if they are 60 days to bloom, plant seeds indoors 80 days prior to the wedding?

How can we be sure they remain in bloom long enough? Should these all reliably bloom for a couple of months at least?

We'll be starting in 1x1" cells, under flourescent lights. Since our last frost date is April 15, I thought we could move them to the unheated hoop house around mid-March, in 4x4 pots. Then later move to 1-gallon pots if needed. Should this be ok?

We'll plan to plant at least a couple of dozen of each plant - should we go with more? And will these remain in bloom or do we need to plant a couple dozen per week, in several cadences over a couple of months?

By the way - I don't think it would matter - but we'll also be attempting to grow vegetables for the same event in the same hoop house, along with the cut flowers.

Thank you!

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Noni Morrison

arround here zinnias don't bloom until late August or September. You better check with other gardeners and see if it is even possible to get them into bloom that early.

Many Canterbury Bells are bi-annuals. That means that you grow them for a whole year then they bloom the 2nd year. Check on the seeds you have selected to see whether there is any chance they will bloom this soon.

Larkspur and Batchelors Button are the only ones that look possible to me on that list but I don't know your climate well. I would suggest you order the other flowers already grown and in bloom. Put your efforts into having a beautiful background to display them. Find out when each flower grows where you are.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 10:26PM
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steve22802(7a VA)

I agree with Lizalily, it will be difficult to get these annuals to bloom by May 25. If you really want to grow your own wedding flowers (and vegetables) you would be much better off moving your wedding date to the middle of the growing season instead of the beginning of the growing season. Perhaps you or your friends have established perennials that you could use such as peonies or iris?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 1:26PM
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aviastar 7A Virginia

Hi! My anniversary is May 25, too! I didn't try to grow my own bouquet last year, but I did get married at home and we did a lot of landscaping work. The zinnias I planted from seed weren't anywhere close to ready in time (I'm in VA, so not too different from TN). Honestly, the lovely wildflower meadow I had envisioned was a lovely patch of tall green grass and not much else.

I did have a lot of luck with some pretty purple iris that a friend split for me to transplant, transplating wild ferns from the creek bed, and wave petunias. I can sum up and say the best luck I had was with plants already well on their way to maturity from years past.

My parents had the prettiest yard in the neighborhood come summer, though, when the wildflower meadow came in!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:18PM
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