Do you love flowers? I love flowers. Nothing brightens up a home like a fresh bouquet of flowers. All summer I grow flowers that are specifically for cutting and placing on my table and so can you! Here are 10 Easy to grow cut flowers for your garden.
Years ago when I was in college I took a course on field grown cut flowers and my eyes were opened to so many more plants that we can grow here in Alberta that do amazing in bouquets. You might think it’s too hard to grow flowers and I’m here to tell you that you can!
10 Easy to grow cut flowers that you can direct seed in your Garden
While many plants can and should be started in the house or greenhouse to get a jump on the season, this list you can start right in your garden without a greenhouse. This is really good if you are a beginner gardener and are a bit nervous about growing flowers.
One thing you need to know before you start is when your last frost date is. To find out what that date is you can ask other gardeners in your area, go online and do a google search or you can call your local garden centre and ask them when the last frost date is.
For our area our last frost date is around May 23. So I start planting my hardier seeds outside in the middle to end of April and for more tender annuals I will seed them the end of May or early June.
For all seeds, follow directions on the back of the package.
Hardy Season Annual Seeds
Hardy Season Annuals are seeds that can take some cooler temperatures and thrive. These easy to grow cut flower seeds can be started as early as 6-8 weeks before your last frost date. If you do forget to plant them early, don’t worry, just plant them as soon as you can.
This can get tricky for me since our snow sometimes hangs on longer than I’d like. This might be the same case for you as well, wait till the snow is melted and your soil is workable. You don’t want to be tromping through the garden make deep ruts and footprints.
Chocolate Lace Flower – Daucus carota
This is a really neat flower. The flower head resembles the seed head of dill, with out the strong smell. It has beautiful colour variations from mauve, to pale pink and white.
These seeds prefer to be started indoors but will also grow well outside without covering the seeds. It also has a 7-14 day window for germination.
Calendula or Pot Marigold – Calendula officinialis
This bright and cheery flower grows like crazy and keeps producing flowers as you cut them. I find them to be a bit sticky on the hands, so you will need to wash up when you’re finished in the garden.
It can be started inside or out, but do cover the seeds with a little bit of soil and they will germinate in 10-14 days.
Bachelor Buttons – Centaurea cyanus
Bachelor Buttons or Cornflower are the one flower I remember most from growing up, popping up everywhere on my Mom’s garden.
They do best seeded outside with a little soil covering them. They are prolific re-seeders but are easy to pull out if you get to them early enough.
Larkspur – Delphinium consolida
Larkspur is Delphiniums close cousin. It has similar shape but is much shorter at 4 ft tall and there are lots of colours to choose from. When your garden is full and you have more blooms than you can use, try drying them for winter arrangements.
Direct seeding is the best way to germinate these. They like the cooler temperatures best.
Sweet Peas – Lathyrus odoratus
Sweet peas are probably the one flower that everyone remembers from growing up. They are fragrant and everyone from child to adult loves growing them.
Sweet pea’s can be started inside, or outside. They do need to be covered with soil and will sprout in about 7 to 10 days.
Bells of Ireland – Moluccella laevis
Bells of Ireland are one of the most unique flowers I have ever grown. They are completely green and are multi branching. They also have a very unique smell.
These are best sown outside, without soil over top. They are a very slow germinate are at 14 to 21 days. I have given up on them many times in the garden, only to be surprised the next week when they pop up.
Warm Season Annual Seeds – Plant seeds outside around the last frost date or later
Warm Season Annual cut flower seeds are very tender plants. They can’t take any frost at all, or they die. So to make sure that your tiny baby flowers don’t get hit with an early frost plant them outside after all risk of frost has planted. In my plant zone I’ll plant these at the end of May or early June.
Sunflower – Helianthus annus
Sunflowers are one of the best flowers to start growing. They are bright and cheery and brighten up every garden. Try purchasing pollen-less varieties so that they don’t shed all over your table when you bring them into the house.
When you cut these flowers, cut them as the petals are just opening off the center. This will make sure they last a really long time in a vase.
Zinnia – Zinnia sp.
Zinnias are another bright and cheery flower that is really easy to grow. My favourite variety is Benary Giant. They have the biggest and brightest flower head.
They are ready to cut in the garden when you can’t jiggle the flower head. You want the stem to be a bit stiff so it doesn’t break right under the head.
Love Lies Bleeding – Amaranthus caudatus
There are a couple types of Amaranthus in the garden. There is the drooping flower head or upright flower head. Both are great in bouquets. Plant them really close together so that they don’t grow too big.
Watch these in your garden and when they start to go to seed make sure you get them out of the garden as they will reseed all over the garden.
Cosmos – Cosmos sp.
Cosmos is another of my favourite flowers. They have an airy leaf that reminds me of a fern when it starts growing. Make sure when you are picking seeds you get the taller varieties instead of the pot size one.
Plant these is a more sheltered location as they can tip over in high winds.
Other seeds to try…
Trying to choose just 10 easy to grow cut flower seeds to make the cut for this post was really hard. It’s not enough!! You can never have too many flowers in your garden. When you are standing in front of the seed racks or flipping through the seed catalogues check how tall something is. If it is about 18 inches tall by all means give it a go for a cut flower.
Since I don’t want to limit you to just 10 flowers here is some more of my favourite annuals that should really be in every garden.
- Queen Anne’s Lace – Ammi majus
- Snapdragon – Antirrhinum majus (best started inside)
- Strawflower – Helichrysum sp.
- Nigella – Nigella sp.
- White Lace Flower – Orlaya sp.
- Black Eyed Susan – Rudbeckia sp. (best started inside)
- Pincushion Flower – Scabiosa sp.
- Marigold – Tagetes sp.
- Sweet William – Dianthus barbatus
- Wheat or Barley