Cutting Flowers

Several excellent cutting flowers are now in bloom or soon will be. Cut flowers will last longer if cut in the morning when they are most turgid. Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut the stems from the plant. Dull scissors may crush the flower stems and make it impossible to absorb water. Many flower arrangers will recut the stems at an angle before putting them in a vase or arrangement. Remove any foliage that will be under the water line. If left on the stem, the foliage will rot and discolor the water in the container. Arrangements should be placed in a cool location, away from direct sunlight. Change the water daily for longest life. Floral preservatives, which help extend the life of the blossoms, are available from the local florist shop or garden center.

Several flowers in their prime right now include:

  • Achillea (Yarrow)
  • Anthemis (Golden Marguerite)
  • Coreopsis
  • Echinacea (Coneflower)
  • Echinops (Globe Thistle)
  • Gaillardia (Blanket Flower)
  • Hemerocallis (Daylily)
  • Hosta
  • Helianthus (Sunflower)
  • Heliopsis
  • Liatris (Blazing Star)
  • Rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susan)
  • Solidago (Goldenrod)
  • Veronica (Speedwell)

Fall cutting flowers include:

  • Helenium (Sneezeweed)
  • Stokesia (Stokes' Aster)
  • and the many cultivars of Chrysanthemum.

The plants listed above all function beautifully in the perennial garden, but it's great that they lead a double life and can be enjoyed indoors as well.

This article originally appeared in the July 22, 1992 issue, p. 129.

Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Horticulture and Home Pest News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on July 22, 1992. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.