Who doesn’t love a fresh flower arrangement? Sure you can purchase cut flowers from your local HEB but there’s nothing as fresh and long-lasting, not to mention cool, as flowers picked from your own yard. Here is a list of some great flowers to plant in our Central Texas area, so you’ll be ready for that impromptu dinner party or just to make yourself happy!
Here are the best:
Celosia: They come in “feather” or “cockscomb” looking flowers. They will usually come back from seed in later years. Look for the varieties Bombay or Karume for the large heads, and the feather types such as Enterprise or Flamingo. The gorgeous dwarf type is really too short for cutting, so get the more old fashioned types for arrangements.
Cosmos: these plants make outstanding cut flowers, and all cosmos attract butterflies. Available in all colors but blue. Space plants at least six inches apart to get stronger stems.
Gomphrena: A must for any cutting garden, Gomphrena is beautiful and long lasting either fresh or dried for arrangements. Thrives in heat and poor soil. The flower looks like a button, but lasts for weeks as a cut flower. Some varieties grow short and some tall so get the taller growing ones for arrangements.
Larkspur: Plant plants or seeds in late fall for a spring crop. They start to come up in late December. Larkspur is one of the best cut flowers for our area and lasts two weeks in a vase. There are double or single flowering types.
Lavender: Beautifully scented, good color and dries well. ‘Provence,’ ‘Grosso,’ ‘Blue Cushion,’ and ‘Vera’ are all are sturdy varieties here in Central Texas and provide good flowers and plenty of essential oil.
Snapdragons: The Rocket Series variety grows the tallest and can be planted in the fall or early spring.
Sunflowers: Easy to grow, beautiful in an arrangement. If you are only growing as a cutting flower then get a pollen-less and day neutral variety that won’t drop yellow dust everywhere and will make blooms all season long. Look for the Pro cut series or Sunrich series.
Statice: A perennial sold by seed or starters. I you choose to plant the seed, try germinating indoors in January then trans-planting outside after frost. You can use it in fresh arrangements, or dry it by hanging bunches in a dark room to preserve its color.
Sweet Peas: Remember, the plants and flowers are poisonous, but they are the sweetest smelling annual flower you can grow. Plant seeds of a long stem variety, such as the Streamers variety, in late January or February. Grow like peas, but don’t plant with your pea crop. You may get them mixed up and eat the wrong one. Available in a multitude of colors.
Zinnias: Stunning blooms in so many colors, it dries well too.
The best time to cut your flowers is in the morning. Have a bucket of water handy so that you can drop your prize blooms immediately into water so they will last the longest. Then cut the stem again just before placing in your vase of water mixed with floral preservative. You can get floral preservative at a craft store, florist, or online.