Floral Design forum: Favorite Annuals for Cutting?

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Name: Heidi
Indianapolis, IN
Zone 5b
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dividedsky
Feb 7, 2010 3:59 PM CST
Great forum! As I start to put together my seed orders for this year, I could use some suggestions on which annuals are good for cutting and bringing in the house.

I grow zinnias, marigolds, sunflowers, and nasturtiums, but I'd like to try something different. Any ideas?
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6a)
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Steven
Feb 7, 2010 4:18 PM CST
Hi there Heidi and thats for joining in!

I've heard China Asters are supposed to be great for cutting, also annual Baby's Breath, Celosia are great fresh or dried and Strawflowers are great dried.

Theres also annual Carnations, and some great Dahlia types from seed too!

Oh! And don't forget Sweet Peas ('Cupani' was a great variety for me. very easy) and Annual Poppies too. Just be sure to sear the cut end of the poppy stems with a flame before putting in water.

Steven
Name: Heidi
Indianapolis, IN
Zone 5b
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dividedsky
Feb 7, 2010 4:29 PM CST
Thanks for the suggestions! I'd love to try poppies, and I'm eyeing some sweet peas in the seed catalogs.

I'm glad you mentioned that about searing the poppy stems. I've never heard that but will be sure to do it.
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids
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Steven
Feb 7, 2010 4:35 PM CST
Great! I also remember hearing that if you cut all the flowers off a china aster it wont make any more. So its best to cut just a few from each plant so that it keeps blooming.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
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gemini_sage
Feb 8, 2010 12:12 PM CST
I love it when the annuals are all abloom and vases can be full throughout the house consistently. Some of my favorites are Zinnias, Cosmos, Sunflowers, Larkspur, Celosia, and Rudbeckia.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Heidi
Indianapolis, IN
Zone 5b
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dividedsky
Feb 8, 2010 1:17 PM CST
I love cosmos too!

I want to grow larkspur, but I read that they're toxic to the touch. Any idea how toxic? I'm pretty sure I can keep my 3-year old nephew from eating them, but not touching them. I decided against foxglove for that reason. Sounds like it's even more toxic than larkspur.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Feb 9, 2010 8:54 AM CST
I've never had any reaction from touching Larkspur. I've used them lots as cut flowers (while working as a floral designer) and have lots of skin contact while in the garden. I have read that Japanese beetles will eat them and die from the toxicity though.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Heidi
Indianapolis, IN
Zone 5b
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dividedsky
Feb 9, 2010 9:28 AM CST
I'll have to try that out, then. We have such a problem with Japanese beetles!
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
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gemini_sage
Feb 9, 2010 9:34 AM CST
I've read the same thing about 4 o'clocks, the JBs eat them and die from the toxicity.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids
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Steven
Feb 15, 2010 1:31 PM CST
I had aphids on my 4:00's last year. As for JB's I torch them with a lighter. Simple ,effective and no need to touch them.
Name: Gwen
Langley WA
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Gwen
Feb 15, 2010 3:50 PM CST
I haven't had any problems with foxglove. We have a LOT of them in our yard. They grow like weeds here in the PNW. I touch them all the time with no probs. And I do have allergies and am sensitive to getting rashes from some things, but no problemo with foxglove!
Name: Jacquie (JB) Berger
Wrightstown, New Jersey (Zone 6b)

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JB
Mar 3, 2010 8:29 AM CST
Wow, for a second I was gettng nervous until I realized after reading a few previous posts that JB was the beetle. NOT ME!
I have never had any reactioan to larkspur, just eucalyptus.
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Container Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids
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Steven
Mar 3, 2010 10:47 AM CST
I winter sowed some 'Earl Grey' Larkspur a while back and am really hoping it comes up as Larkspur hasn't seemed to like me in the past.
Name: Heidi
Indianapolis, IN
Zone 5b
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dividedsky
Mar 3, 2010 6:03 PM CST
lol @ JB!

I drown them in soapy water.

So the 4-O'Clocks are invasive in most places? Or mostly in the south? If I put one or two plants in a big pot, maybe that will catch most of the seeds and keep them from getting too out of control?
Name: Gwen
Langley WA
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Gwen
Mar 3, 2010 6:07 PM CST
I just potted some seed trays of zinnias and sunflowers. My goal is to have so many growing that I won't mind cutting some for indoors! I hate to cut flowers and then have my garden beds depleted. And I really love having ornamentals planted in with edibles. Plus my edibles are fenced from the bunnies so get all the protection. Therefore, a lot of my cutting flowers end up in the veggie garden.

I esp like the branching sunflowers. While I really like mixed bouquets, I also love vases filled with just one flower and branching sunflowers look so great in a vase!

I've never had huge luck with sunflower seeds. Normally I plant them directly in the soil. If I don't cover them somehow, the birds eat them before they germinate. Last year I covered them all in remay and still only a few germinated. The ones that did great up and looked great, but I'm talking maybe 5 out of like 60 seeds. Bad germination rate! And the seeds were new, in case you're wondering.
Name: Heidi
Indianapolis, IN
Zone 5b
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dividedsky
Mar 3, 2010 6:31 PM CST
I get a little anxious about direct sowing because I have more control over doing it indoors. I had pretty good luck with the sunflowers last year, though, and some other stuff. Unfortunately, none of my pink, white, and rose cosmos from year-old seed came up. The Bright Lights did, but I decided that I don't like the color.

Those branching sunflowers are gorgeous - especially the ones that are that deep, dark red color! I'm with you on planting the veggies, herbs, and flowers together, too. Wouldn't want it any other way.



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Name: Gwen
Langley WA
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Gwen
Mar 3, 2010 7:01 PM CST
That's a very pretty sunflower! What variety is it?

I've never had any luck with cosmos, either from seed or plant. And I've tried it in two different states, zones. I do love it, tho, esp the white, so keep trying. Hope springs eternal...
Name: Candee Gaye
Western Maryland
Been there, done that!
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haighr
Mar 3, 2010 8:42 PM CST
I dont start my zinnias inside anymore, they would just get too straggly for me. Additionally, last year I planted the seed outside on 3 occasions, either the rain drowned them or birds or something got them and so the third time was the charm and I had lots and lots for cuttings. I just love making arrangements and can't wait to get started this season.
“If you feel you’re being picked on, you should talk to the flowers in my garden!” ~ cgl
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Name: Heidi
Indianapolis, IN
Zone 5b
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dividedsky
Mar 3, 2010 9:12 PM CST
Unfortunately, I don't know what the variety is. It came in a mixed package that didn't give the names. There's one called Chianti, but it has gold flecks whereas this one is all red. Wish I knew the name.

Last year was so difficult for lots of people because of all the rain. Hoping for better weather this year.

So in addition to the usual flowers, I ordered Love-In-A-Mist and Giant Stock from Fedco. Their prices are so low!
Name: Gwen
Langley WA
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Gwen
Mar 4, 2010 12:40 AM CST
Candee, what did you do differently the third time to get them to flourish? I did save a lot of seeds to plant directly in the soil. Just wanted to try starting some ahead.

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