Best Cut Flowers for retail

pitterpat_2009February 24, 2010

I have not posted to this group, but have learned lots from

reading past posts and thank all who contribute.

I grow most of the favored vegetables by all and have not

tried cut flowers. What are the top 3 to 4 flowers that

you would not be without, easy to grow good sellers, hold

well after cutting ect....

I would appreciate any detailed suggestions as I need to get these seeds ordered soon for this season. Perhaps

zinnias, what particulr varitey hybrid,,,ect.... Perhaps

sunflower's again general,,,, what variety works and holds

well thru the season.

I am thinking of getting a book on cut flowers if someone

wants to recomend a book as well.

Thanks for any help...

Pit-Pat

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tonytiller

Hi Pit-Pat, Just about any tall zinnia will do, Bennary's Giant, oklahhoma series, state fair mix are good work horses for me. Plant lots of them, they are my main producers. I allso do the rocket series snapdragons, tall dahlias, and tall glads. I don't seem to have a big demand for sun flowers, I do some pollen free types-pro-cut and sun-rich. My first main book was The Flower Farmer(Lyn Byczynski). This time of year I have "Speciality Cut Flowers"(Allan M. Armitage) and "Ball Perennial"(Jim Nau) on the table daily. I do a number of other flowers with varying success. bye tonytiller-Klemm's Vegetable Kart

    Bookmark   February 24, 2010 at 12:41PM
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andreaz6wv(6b)

I only did sunflowers last year and tonytiller is right about them. They did not sell for me well at all. I was planning to just go to market with flowers, glad I did vegetables as well or I would not have made any money, not that did this year being my first anyways :-)

Andrea

    Bookmark   February 24, 2010 at 4:31PM
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thinman(Z5 MI)

I don't know how crazy you are going to get about this, but here are a few things that have done well for me.

- Zinnias - Benary and Oklahomas. Benarys are tall with big flowers and Oklahomas are tall with smaller flowers.

- Cosmos - Versailles mix

- Foxgloves - Camelot. Start then now and they will bloom for you in August, also next year and the next ...

- Sunflowers - Procut orange and Sunrich orange. These are pollen free as Tony said, and make great cuts. I have done very well with sunflowers at my market - I guess you never know.

- Bachelor buttons - Boy Blue. Put a few of these in bouquets for a great touch of blue.

- Sweet Williams - Hollandia is supposed to bloom the first year. I'm trying it for the first time this year.

- Dianthus Amazon - Start them soon and they will bloom this year too. Great bright pink and rose colors.

- Snapdragons - Rockets have worked well for me.

- Bells of Ireland - Make great fillers and attract attention from passersby. Start them as soon as you can outside this spring.

I'll second Tony's choice of books. The first one to get you going and the second one as a reference that you will look in countless times.

Good luck.

ThinMan

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 1:44PM
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thosedarnsqurls(Up-State NY 5)

I sell at several Farmers' Markets locally, both perennials and cut flowers.
My best sellers by far hve been the bouquets...already bunched up and stuffed in french flower pails at a set price.
When you are busy,.you don't have to fuss with anything but a baggie to slip up over the stems.
In trying to make as much profit with as little spending as possible...
My bouquets are comprised of perennial garden flowers.
You don't have to spend the $$ on annual seed, potting soil, 6-packs and seed trays. Perennials just keep multiplying every year and you only have to buy & plant em once.
You also have SUCH a huge assortment of color/texture and fragrance. I sell out every time and only investment at this point is in rubberbands to bind them and preservative to make them last.
OH YEAH! Preservative! (I almost forgot)
If you want return customers,.it all depends on your flowers LASTING in the vase. NO preservative gets you about 2 days in a vase. WITH preservative my customers brag about the bouquets lasting a week or better. THIS keeps them coming back!
Everyone but EVERYone sells sunflowers. That's why they are hard to move.
Make yourself big fat colorful, ready made bouquets and watch em fly!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 4:52PM
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trudy_gw

thosedarnsqurls...could you tell us what preservative you have been using and where you can purchase it?

Also do you have a supplier for the french pails?

We sell hostas and a few perennials at the market, but always looking for something else to sell. We do have room to grow more annuals for cut flowers.

Thanks everyone for all the info.!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 1:33PM
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thosedarnsqurls(Up-State NY 5)

Hi Trudy.

The preservative is a commercial "tub" that you scoop out of.
Brand Name I have been using is "Oasis" (same as the floral foam)Simply called "Clear Solution" floral preservative.

I purchased both the preservative and the flower pails at a big floral wholesaler here locally in Menands, NY called "Seagroats". It has recently changed hands, but I am told it is still open.
(Sure hope so because I need new flower pails myself!)

    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 2:38PM
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tommyk

Zinnias: Benarys' Giants, Burpeeana, State Fair, Cactus . . . any tall, large flowering Zinnia will do, but the above are top of the line

China Asters: Standy, Sea Star (aka Tiger Paws), Pomplona, Opus, Duchess, Crego . . . several others, but make sure they are tall growing with large flowers.

Snapdragons: Rocket, Chantilly, Snappy, Tetra, Tall Deluxe, Madame Butterfly (a favorite), Brazilian Carnival . . . again any tall, large flowering variety.

Celosia: Pampus Plume & Punky Red are my top choices.

Scabiosa: Oxford Blue, Imperial, Ebony & Ivory are my selection.

Rudbeckia: Cherokee Sunset, Cherry Brandy, Sputnik (aka Kevlon Star) Chim-chim-inee . . . several others, but these are my picks.

Those are my base for all my bouquets. I throw in some Dahlias, Marigolds, a few perennials and you can't go wrong.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 3:33PM
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myfamilysfarm

My son picked up some flower buckets/pails from a flower shop that replaced with new. Do you see any reason not to use them? He brought home about 20 of them.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2010 at 4:37PM
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tommyk

If you're concerned with what was used in the buckets you can always bleach them to kill diseases.

Good buckets for flowers either to use when cutting to to display in can be expensive. Sounds like you got a deal.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 1:30PM
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myfamilysfarm

He brings home some really good things that people just throw away. Most of the things get a second life here until they can't be used anymore. Plus it's cheaper for me.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 2:55PM
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thinman(Z5 MI)

So, Pit-Pat, does any of this do you any good? Acknowledgement is always appreciated.

ThinMan

    Bookmark   March 9, 2010 at 12:04AM
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joyce69(van island)

This was great for me! This is my first year of going to market with my cut flowers.

Thanks for the information, especially about the preservative.

Cheers, Joyce

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 5:56PM
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thinman(Z5 MI)

Joyce, if you haven't already done it, you should definitely spend some time looking through the older posts in the Cutting Garden forum. There is a ton of good info there on growing cut flowers for market. Though it's not as active as it used to be, the posts from a couple of years ago and further back are loaded with good reading. Not that there's anything wrong at all with recent posts; there just aren't as many of them.

ThinMan

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 7:46PM
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joyce69(van island)

Thanks ThinMan, I've been lurking here for years. I love it, so much information. Very inspirational:)

Cheers, Joyce

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 4:35PM
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sandy0225(z5 Indiana)

check with domino's pizza. A neighbor down the road from me works there. They get the mushrooms in these nifty one gallon tubs, they are either blue or white and they have lids with holes in them so that the mushrooms can breathe. Anyway he brings me all I want each year and we just use them for everything. they work great for tall cut flowers, swiss chard, hot peppers, and all kinds of stuff.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2010 at 8:39PM
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myfamilysfarm

Hey Sandy, I'll be checking out our Domino's. Always looking for things to reuse for the market.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 10:37AM
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pitterpat_2009

Finally.....
This is for all that posted some great suggestions with
detailed information about each, exactly what I was looking
for, I had to go back and look up my password and soooo
busy with all that spring brings for me this thank you was
long over due.
I have since purchased the book suggested Flower farmer
very good info in that as well. I will be starting from seed some of the Zinna's mentioned and sunflowers and I
have calendula that I will try to combine with my purple
coneflowers(perennials)I think this is all I will have time to start from seed as I have no green house and will have to work these in somehow as it is...sorry for the delay in the follow up.
Now Pitter Patter lets get atter!
Pitterpat

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 10:40PM
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