Grow some new varieties of annuals for your cut flower garden.
Simply find the right sunny spot then prep a good quality, well-drained growing mix. Choose between starting from seed or buying transplants from your favorite retailer…or try both! You can also direct sow right into the garden or container and consider succession planting to have a longer season of blooms. If you choose AAS Winners, rest assured that they will be super easy to grow, have proven garden performance and you’ll see: The Proof is in the Plant!
Sunflowers! One of the easiest and most popular home-grown cut flowers.
Concert Bell puts on quite a performance with a unique flower presentation with multiple clusters of 10 to 12 flowers on each stem. Beautiful golden yellow blooms appear earlier than the comparisons. Each plant grows to a very uniform height and if used as a cut flower, makes an instant, ready-made bouquet from just one cut. Excellent seed germination makes this beauty very easy to grow and is perfect for continuous sowing to keep blooms going through the end of summer. Concert Bell was trialed in a year of adverse weather conditions and multiple judges commented on its durability and sturdiness even through strong storms and winds.
Garden height: 60-70″
Ring of Fire is a five-inch sunflower having golden petal edges and a ring of red surrounding the chocolate brown center. Decidedly different from other sunflowers, Ring of Fire stands out in a crowd of plain gold or yellow flowers. Later to bloom, Ring of Fire may require 120 days to show bicolor blooms, but this late season display is often what the garden needs for a fresh new look. Needing a full-sun garden, Ring of Fire plants may reach 4 to 5 feet tall, spreading 2 to 3 feet. The long flower stems are perfect for cut flowers. If not cut, flowers may produce seeds for wildlife, another benefit to growing Ring of Fire.
Garden height: 45-48″
Soraya is the first sunflower in AAS history to earn an AAS Award. One of the distinct qualities is orange petals, most sunflowers have golden petals. Soraya sunflowers are eye-catching because of the orange petals with a chocolate brown center. Soraya plants are branching and vigorous producing 4- to 6-inch blooms on long stems, perfect for cut flowers. Soraya will flower in about 80-90 days from sowing seed. Plants are self-supporting and may attain a height of five to six feet in the full-sun garden. Soraya flowers can produce seeds for birds if left on the plants to mature.
Garden height: 48-72″
Zinnias! An iconic North American cut flower favorite.
A “WOW” color in an easy-to-grow zinnia is what Queeny Lime Orange brings to the garden. Sporting lovely, large, dahlia-like blooms on a sturdy, compact plant, this variety provides cut flower gardeners and growers with a wonderful hue for today’s floral trends. The unique color evolves from dark coral/peach/orange to a light peach with a dark center as the flowers age. In the trial gardens, visitors loved the show-stopping color and large blooms, making it this year’s fan favorite. This new AAS Winner is also perfect for cut flower gardens as each uniform plant produces prolific deeply fluted blooms that last about 3 weeks without preservatives or feed.
Garden height: 18-24″
Zinnia Queeny Lemon Peach is an easy-to-grow annual with vigorous, healthy plants covered with stunning 2-4” blooms. The lemon-yellow bloom color with dark peach center is consistent across multiple plants, plus it’s a perfect height to use as a cut flower if you want to bring the beauty indoors. As the blooms age, they have a reverse fading habit that presents beautiful color shades that start as a bright lemon yellow, moving to a buff or light coral color. Another bonus is that the plants continue to bloom all summer without deadheading and stand up well in the summer heat. This is sure to be a new member of your favorite garden royalty!
Garden height: 18-24″
Zowie! Yellow Flame is the first semi-tall zinnia with a unique bicolor pattern. Each bloom flames with a scarlet-rose center and yellow petal edges. In addition, this bicolor pattern is consistent from one plant to another. Gardeners will be glad to learn Zowie! Yellow Flame is easy to grow from seed or as transplants. Zowie! Yellow Flame will prove its long flowering season with dazzling blooms from early summer to final killing frost. During this season-long color, Zowie! Yellow Flame blooms can be cut for bouquets. The University of Maryland conducted cut flower trials and found Zowie! Yellow Flame had a vase life of up to two weeks.
Garden height: 24-27″
Some Newbies! Three newer AAS Winners that can add color and texture.
It’s not every day we see a new variety of a classic cottage garden plant but Vanity is one to wow! Not only does this type of verbena create a pollinator paradise in your garden, but also the compact habit makes it sturdier and easier to maintain. Deep blue/purple flowers are 1-1.5” across and continue to attract butterflies day in and day out. Vanity prides itself on performing well in hot dry conditions while remaining a showy garden plant. Once you try Vanity, you will feel the same as the AAS judge who stated: “This entry was my favorite in all of this season’s entries!”
Garden height: 30″
Sometimes, it’s an AAS judge who writes the best description: “Favorite performer of the trial! This marigold not only has a strong color but while the comparison is brown and rotting, this entry is going strong through the end of September! It is much more disease resistant than the comparison. Also, the vigorous habit is exactly what you would want from a cut flower for season-long flowers.” This marigold provides a bright regal shade of orange in an extremely vigorous, cut flower type marigold. In the garden, it had cleaner foliage and overall larger flower size. In the vase, it is outstanding, lasting at least 10 days.
Garden height: 24-48″
This spiked beauty claimed victory in North America’s trial sites to become the first ever AAS Winner from Japanese breeding company Murakami Seed. The judges gave this entry high marks in the greenhouse for the good branching, almost bushy growth habit, and early to bloom flower spikes. In the garden, Asian Garden Celosia continued to bloom on sturdy stems, keeping the bright pink color all summer long, holding up even through some of the first frosts of the season. The AAS Judges commented on the fact that this celosia was a pollinator-magnet, making this AAS Winner a sure bet for pollinator-friendly gardens.
Garden height: 31-40″
For more AAS Winners to add to your Cut Flower Garden click HERE
“This post is provided as an education/inspirational service of All-America Selections. Please credit and link to All-America Selections when using all or parts of this article.”