“Happiness held is the seed; happiness shared is the flower.”John Harrigan
Cut flowers are a traditional classic that we’ve never strayed very far from. From bouquets to corsages, they are the perfect meeting of old and new. Fresh new flowers straight from the garden bring life into your home, while simultaneously inviting a nostalgic aesthetic that brings us back to fond memories.
Many people are left searching flower shops for the perfect arrangement, stuck paying high prices for bouquets that might not be what they were hoping for. Gardeners, on the other hand, can take our favorite blooms straight from the garden as we please. The best cut flowers from your garden aren’t just as simple as the cut, though. There’s an art to cutting flowers that will give you better bouquets for longer – here are some tips to get you started:
Choosing the Best
Unfortunately, not every flower in your garden is created for cutting, and some will perform better than others in a vase. For the best display inside, you’ll want to choose a bloom that will dry nicely, rather than wilting once cut. You’ll also want to take from plants that are continuous bloomers so that removing the old flowers will only encourage them to make more beautiful blooms all season.
Some of the best flowers for cutting include the old-fashioned classics, and for good reason. They bring a timeless and stunning aesthetic to both your yard and home.
Dahlias These sensational flowers are far from shy, showing off colorful spheres of blooms all season. They are continuous bloomers in the garden and long-lasting performers in a vase. The grow your own Dahlia, plant in well-draining soil in a spot with full sun. For bigger, better, and more beautiful blooms, fertilize with a high middle number to encourage your plant to bloom its heart out. Make sure that you choose fully opened flowers to cut, as these blooms won’t continue to open after you cut them.
Daylily It might seem a little silly at first to cut a flower that only blooms for a day. While each flower only lasts a little while, once yours start blooming you’ll see why you’d want their spectacular show in a vase. If their short but show-stopping performance indoors wasn’t enough, cutting your Daylilies only encourages them to bloom more, making them an excellent choice for cutting. The more sun your Daylilies gets, the more they will show off with big and abundant blooms. To make the most of their short show, cut early in the morning just as they bloom.
Peonies Peonies are classics, with massive, fluffy blooms and layer upon layer of soft, lacy petals. These are the perfect choice for a fresh, but nostalgic aesthetic at home. In your garden, your Peonies will bloom longer if you regularly deadhead them, so cutting actually helps to extend your blooming season. Plant in rich soil with full to partial sun. Water regularly and cut before the bud opens when it feels soft and full to the touch, like a marshmallow. If you need to store your Peonies for longer, you can extend their life in the vase by storing them in the fridge.
Cutting Flowers Basics
To keep your flowers as fresh as when you cut them, there are a few guidelines to follow. Cutting flowers the right way will have them thriving for longer on display. Try to cut your flowers in the morning. These cooler temperatures will catch your flowers before they start growing for the day. Leave some leaves intact on the plant itself so that it can use the day’s growing time to get started developing new flowers. Trim your cut flower with a little bit of extra length than what you need for your vase.
Once you’ve cut your flower and brought it inside, you’ll need to get them ready for your vase (or other containers of choice). Make sure that you clean the vase first to prevent bacteria. Too much bacteria in the water can result in a build-up on the end of your stems that clogs up their system and prevents them from getting water. Fill with lukewarm water and flower food to start your display right.
You’ll need to trim your stems just right for display. Use sharp shears for cutting, rather than any blade of scissors that are dull. You want to cut right through the stem, instead of crushing it and preventing it from taking in water. Cut your stems nearly to the size you want, leaving only a bit extra. Also, trim off any leaves or extra pieces that will sit below the water line to prevent rot and bacteria that might compromise your arrangement.
Finally, cut the ends of the stems at a 45° angle. This gives the stem more surface area for absorbing water and nutrients that will keep them invigorated and fresh for longer. Add water to the vase as needed to keep your flowers beautiful, hydrated, and healthy.
Cutting flowers doesn’t have to be just for florists. In fact, growing and cutting your own flowers can be very rewarding as you mix the nostalgia of ornamental flowers at home with the new memories pulled straight from your garden. For more help with cutting flowers and creating your own bouquets at home, stop by the garden center today!