URBANA, Ill. - As gardeners, many of us like to walk around our gardens and enjoy the beautiful flowers. So why not bring those beautiful bloomers indoors? There are many showy perennial flowering plants that would make excellent cut flowers to bring indoors in a vase, said a University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator.
“The most important thing to consider when choosing a perennial plant for a cut flower garden is the vase life of the flower,” states Candice Miller. “Some perennial flowers simply do not last long once cut from the plant. Daylilies, for example, have a very accurate name. The flower only lasts for a day, making it a poor choice for a cut-flower garden.”
When cutting flowers from a cut-flower garden, Miller cautions gardeners to get flower stems into water with a floral preservative as soon as possible. Floral preservative packets can be found at your local florist.
“Remove any foliage from the stems that will be underwater and place your vase in a cool location, away from direct sunlight or drafts,” Miller said. “Change your water every few days, adding new floral preservative each time. This will ensure a long vase life for your beautiful arrangement.”
Listed below is a selection of good perennial choices for a long-lived cut-flower garden in Illinois. These perennials will be easy to grow and the vase life of the flowers will be at least a week in most cases.
Alchemilla- Lady’s Mantle: Harvest when flowers are fully open
Aquilegia- Columbine: Harvest when flowers are just opening
Dianthus- Sweet William: Harvest when flowers are just opening
Helleborus- Lenten Rose: Harvest when flowers are just opening
Paeonia- Peony: Harvest when buds are just in color
Achillea- Yarrow: Harvest when pollen is just visible
Allium- Ornamental Onions: Harvest when one third of the florets are open
Astilbe- Astilbe: Harvest when flowers are half open
Echinacea- Cone Flower: Harvest when petals are expanding
Echinops- Globe Flower: Harvest when half globe is blue
Eryngium- Sea Holly: Harvest when flowers are fully open
Gypsophila- Baby’s Breath: Harvest when flowers are mostly open
Heliopsis- Ox-eye Daisy: Harvest when flowers are fully open
Liatris- Blazing Star: Harvest when top florets are open
Monarda- Bee Balm: Harvest when flowers are just opening
Rudbeckia- Cone Flower: Harvest when flowers are just opening
Sedum- Stonecrop: Harvest when most florets are opening
Aster- Asters: Harvest when flowers are mostly open
Dendranthema- Chrysanthemums: Harvest when flowers are mostly open
Solidago- Goldenrod: Harvest when a few florets are open
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