One of the best parts of growing cut flowers is choosing the seeds to grow in your garden. There is a satisfaction that comes from planting a flower in its beginning form and nurturing it until it blooms. You can easily grow a cut flower garden in a small space and on a budget as long as you chose your varieties wisely.
Here’s a list of our favorite cut flowers to start from seed:
Sweet Peas have romantic, frilly petals and a perfectly sweet scent that softly fills a room. Cutting the blooms often will extend the season.
Grow: Fill a six inch pot with quality potting soil. Plant seeds at a depth of an inch and cover with soil. It helps to soak seeds in water for 24 hours before planting to assist with germination. Set seeds in a sunny windowsill or unheated greenhouse. Sweet peas are ready to be transplanted once they are six inches tall.
Be sure to have a trellis or support in place as most sweet peas varieties grow to six feet, but dwarf varieties are available if you’d like something on the shorter side. They do not like to dry out, so water regularly and bait for slugs. Once your peas are above six feet, pinch the top to encourage side branching.
Cosmos survive in poor soil conditions, thrive through summer months, and attract pollinators to your garden. They grow on tall stems and produce bold blooms, making them a favorite for a cutting garden.
Grow: Wait until the danger of frost has passed, then plant your cosmos seeds about ¼ inch deep. They do not need any special soil preparation; in fact, they will bloom more abundantly in soil that isn’t too rich.
Cosmos may self-seed if you let the blooms turn to a seed head, let them blow away, and let nature do its thing. They can grow to be a few feet tall, so staking might be necessary, especially if you live in a windy area. You can encourage more blooms by pinching the center stalk.
Zinnias are famous for their bright colors, quick growth, and being simple to start from seed. Their solitary blooms on tall stalks make them effortless and fun to use in arrangements.
Grow: Zinnias do not like to be transplanted so it’s best to sow them directly outdoors. Plant after the danger of frost has passed and continue planting every couple of weeks to extend your harvest season. Zinnias thrive in soil that has been amended with compost. Plant your seeds about ¼ inch deep and thin to 12 inches apart once seedlings are three inches tall.
Breadseed poppies are one of the easier varieties of poppy to grow from seed. With stop-you-in-your-tracks blooms and stunning seed pods that look great fresh and dried, these poppies have a lot to offer.
Grow: They do well with a cold start, planted early in spring once the ground can be worked. Scatter and cover VERY lightly with soil. Bait for slugs and be sure to thin the seedlings once they’re a few inches tall. Breadseed poppies self-seed easily and typically come back year after year.
Nothing says summer like a patch of sunflowers. They boast some of the best heat-tolerance and pest resistance of any flower.
Sunflowers are heliotropic which means their faces follow the sun throughout the day. The flower returns to the east overnight, to prepare for sunrise in the morning.
Grow: Once the soil has warmed to 50 degrees and all danger of frost has passed, sow sunflower seeds directly into your garden soil. Sunflowers like well-draining soil and need full sun exposure (six hours a day or more).
Keep an eye out for birds picking at the seeds. If they become a problem, try placing a piece of netting over the seed area to discourage birds from eating the seeds.