Cut flower choices?

jumpinjuniper(6A Nova Scotia)August 1, 2004


I wanted to know what cut flowers people sell at farm markets for zone 5 or 6? We currently sell daffodils in spring and will get into Lilies and tulips next year. Does anyone have any other suggestions?


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We had peonies. Now it is lilies, snapdragons, dahlias, zinnias, glads, statice, yarrow, coneflower, sweet peas, love in a mist, some early sunflowers.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2004 at 12:43AM
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ddunbar(z5 IN)

Are you selling in bunches of the same flower or are you doing bouquets?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2004 at 9:07AM
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jumpinjuniper(6A Nova Scotia)

We're selling bunches of the same flower and try to stick with perennials.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2004 at 11:16AM
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Both mixed bouquets and single flower bouquets sell well.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2004 at 12:28AM
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Bob_Piper(NE Oklahoma)

It seems to me that just sticking to perennials is really limiting your business. Some of the most beautiful flowers are annuals and even with perennials many of the most successful cuts growers grow perennials as annuals. Many perennials as from bulbs/corms never are as wonderful the next year as they were the first year.
This was my first year growing cuts and I have A LOT to learn. I made several big mistakes this year that I hope not to repeat next season.
My florist friend tells me that any green color flower is always in demand because there just aren't that many available on the market. Bells of Ireland is one she mentioned that makes a good fresh cut and also does well as a dried everlasting. Also Benary Seed has a new green giant zinnia out this year that looks promising.


    Bookmark   August 4, 2004 at 12:09PM
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We sell glads, sunflowers and wild flowers (grown for cutting so they are not really wild).
One of our other vendors sells little bunches of several different things from around here yard and gardens and weed patches, we all should have a weed patch other then the gardens.
Last week a gentleman bought a bunch fo flowers for his wife who has alzhiemers, she has become very mean, but when he handed her the flowerers she smile and began to cry, very moving and to us just a bunch of flowers.
Try anything you never know what will brighten even the darkest corner.
Love to all

    Bookmark   August 4, 2004 at 7:48PM
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Jeanne_in_Idaho(z5 N.Idaho)

I echo Bob, in that you will have much more if you grow annuals also, but I don't recommend growing perennials as annuals. Many big growers grow perennials as annuals for several reasons: the plants don't get enough light and winter chill to perform year to year because they are grown in a greenhouse; the growers wants to maximize expensive greenhouse space, therefore want to get another crop from the same spot; or if they grow outside, they are in too warm a climate and the perennials don't get enough winter chill.

The perennials I grow for cutting successfully, outdoors, in zone 5, that get bigger and have more flowers every year:

Delphinium, particularly Belladonna and Magic Fountains. They are short-lived, 4-5 years, so I grow a few from seed each year to replace the old ones that don't come up in the spring.
Campanula persicifolia and glomerata
Feverfew (maybe not a true perennial but reseeds reliably)
Shasta daisies
Pyrethrum, Painted Daisy (aka Tanacetum)
Bearded Iris
Caryopteris 'First Choice' and 'Dark Knight'
Peonies - LOTS of peonies
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Echinacea, but it's not that great as a cut
Centaurea macrocephala
Malva and Gaillardia thrive here, even out-competing the weeds, but they wilt for 24 hours after cutting before perking back up, so they don't fit into my cutting schedule.
Peegee hydrangea
Curly-twig willow
Rudbeckia: the hirta-based varieties (Prairie Sun, Indian Summer, Cherokee Sunset, Chim Chiminee, Double Gold, Rustic Colors, plain old hirta) are sold as annuals but are really biennials to short-lived perennials here, and in fact they don't produce much the first year. They do very well treated like biennials, and if they keep coming back after that (some do, some don't) the rest is gravy. I have a few 4-year-olds Rudbeckia plants.
Lilacs, but I don't like them as a cut very much. I can't get more than 5 days of vase life out of them no matter what I do. They certainly thrive here.
Perennial asters are fall bloomers but they don't like the September freezes and cold winds in my field and end up looking too ragged to use. My boss' sheltered zone 6 garden, 60 miles away from here, produces gorgeous perennial asters.

Digitalis and biennial dianthus are very worthwhile for me. I don't know if you're willing to try biennials.

Fall flowers from perennials are hard to come by here. Asters, caryopteris, willow, maybe delphinium, are about it. Annuals (sunflowers, annual asters, maybe zinnias, maybe mums, maybe snapdragons) really would help you there.

Oriental lilies might bloom into the fall for you, the first year, if planted late. If you leave them in the ground where they are happiest, they'll get bigger every year but will most likely bloom in late summer in succeeding years.

Are you willing to do dahlias? They bloom into the fall and can handle a touch of frost, but you have to lift the tubers before serious frost comes. The good part is that they grow more tubers quickly, so if you purchase and plant one tuber, you will have 5 or more tubers you can plant separately next year (or sell, or give away).

Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2004 at 1:02PM
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