Did any of you do cuts at market this year? Cuts have done very poorly at our market for 2-3 yrs so I haven't done any but this last year other vendors seem to be seeing sale s pick up again...not greatly but on a small scale.
If you did..what were your best sellers Brain type celosia(huge single stems) ,zinnas(bundles of apx a dz.) and sunflowers(single stems to bundles of 3-5 but single most popular) seem to be winners this passed season.
We had an unusually cool Summer, so my sales were down. The plants just weren't producing as much and were very late to start blooming.(mid-August --ouch!!) . I sold everything I brought. Dahlias, zinnnias, love lies bleeding, statice. Dahlias are $3.00 each, zinnias @ 50 cents or dozen for 5.00. I promote my dahlias as being the best, nothing but the best, and take my time chatting with customers about their care, how to make them last. There is another vendor who sells them for less, but mine are BETTER and make no bones about that. Never, never bad mouth a competitor, just promote mine.
Because there are other flower vendors who make nicer looking bouquets and do it so fast, I just market/price them by the stem.
My anecdote about selling dahlias: a customer came to me and asked how she can make them last a week, as hers were nasty in just two days "OMG, that's awful, let me replace them, they should last a week!" "no, no," she says, I didn't buy them from you". (okey-dokey the hook is in...). So, I sold her a few, put in an extra stem or two, taught her how to care for them and now have a loyal new customer.
yeah,that's one thing that bugs me about the few others that bring cuts. They don't cut them at the right time(mostly way too late...sunflowers and glads already fully open,others with seeds forming) cutting at the wrong time of day,I can tell they're not pre-conditioning by the looks of them after just 30-60 minutes of being set out for sale.
No,I never bad mouth another vendor. I let my product do my talking.
I'm going to offer single stems of larger flowers,bundles of a 1/2 dz to a dz. of medium sized flowers and a good amount to a bundle of the small filler type.
Do you offer bundles of greens or do you include them in the flowers? My bouquets always sold better than other because I had greenery in them.
If your selling,you want to give your customers flowers that have a vase life that's long as possible. Best time is in the am after the dew has dried,the day before you go to market or do your arrangment. The plants cells are plumb w/ moisture early of the am. Have a bucket of water w/ floral crystals that are for keeping cut flowers fresh longer with you as you move about the garden cutting flowers,placing the flowers immediately after you cut them into the bucket. . Can't remember the name of the floral crystals because I don't use it,I use homemade preservative.As soon as I'm done cutting a bucketfull I put the bucket in the master bedroom because it's the coolest room in the house and w/lights off. I leave them overnight then the next morning ,I recut the stems,under water in the sink but not running water because that forces air into the stem then the flower can't take up water completely.I make up my bundles,wrapped in rubberbands then put them back into a bucket of fresh preservative. It's a royal pain because I have to get up before the chickens to get it done before I leave for market at 5am.
Sunflower and zinnas are the only two flowers I know of that you use only clear water on. Flowers with hollow stem such as tulips,poppies and jonquils/daffodils have to have the ends seared with a cigarette lighter to seal them off so the milky sap doesn't cloud the water. These you mostly see sold seperately because they have an adverse effect on other flowers.
Long stem flowers such as tall snaps need to be held straight up and down in a straight sided bucket or they will bend to right themself toward light. Glads should be harvested while the buds are still closed(looks like a tube of lipstick) but in full color on most of the flowers up the stem almost to the top. They open bottom to top so it takes some hit and miss the get them just at the right moment.
A lot of work but most flower conditioned right will last a week or better in the vase. Having small packages of the preservatives and info on caring for cuts is a nice touch but I find most people won't both to add water muchless change it everyday and add preservative.
Oh yeah,Sunflowers are harvested just as the petals have barely lifted of the center.
Thanks Patty. I had heard/read some of that stuff in bits and pieces, but not everything, Had heard about the toxicity of daffodils and how its not recommended to mix them with other cut flowers, because they still seep sap even when seared. I didn't know that other hollow stemmed flowers are toxic unless the end is seared or soaked in boiling water.
I never have those preservative packs around the house unless I take a few extras when I buy flowers at the supermarket. I just read about making it at home so I'll try that.
It really does work and don't forget to change the water daily...and if you want to get some milage out of them: remove any spent flowers,re-cut stem of flower that are still looking good and re-do bouquet arrangement.
y purple loroptalu need a hair cut so I going to use the and soe Begal Tiger canna leaves for a nice arrangeent for the dining table.
My main florist, who guarantees her bouquets for a week, will only buy glads when they are showing color at the lowest bud on the stem. Glads and snaps, as bigred says, will bend, but they will also bend towards the light/sun. Condition them in darkness.
In my experience, all cut flowers have their own preferences as to how to harvest and condition them. I have both "The Flower Farmer" books by Lynn Bycznyski and an on-line subscription to "Growing for Market". The very first issue of GFM, paid for itself by telling how and when to cut zinnias, storage for the best results. Zinnias do not like to be placed in the flower cooler, preferring room temps. This info I pass on to the customer.
Scissors & knives are disinfected prior to use and also in the field while in use. Buckets are bleached every time they're used.
Poochella, famous on the dahlia forum here, taught me how to harvest & condtion dahlias.
I harvest the evening before market, after it has cooled off. Water in the morning, cut in the evening.
Greens in the bouquet: usually I bring a few buckets of assorted stuff. Could be hosta leaves, ornamental grasses, shrub branches , shoofly (a new favorite), etc. Not everyone cares to have some greens in their bouquets, so I ask. My inference is that they're getting a little something extra. Marketing, marketing, marketing. BTW, the florists embraced the Shoofly as something new and different. My garden buds went nuts for it too.
I'm looking for a few new-to-me annuals & perennials for next year. Any suggestions ? The tall ageratums did reasonably well this year. The timing for harvest can be a bit tricky. Will try 'kiss me over the garden gate' in 2010.
Hello all. I don't get to DG except winter, and last year enjoyed terriculture's arrangements and some of the others. Came back to look at more, but I didn't happen to see her on any of the current threads.
I sell cut flower stems and bouquets at a market...about 10 years now. But I still have learning to do and enjoy learning from others, and being a help if I can.
I was well pleased with our market that cut flower bouquet sales were not down. What's worse, is I seem to have more and more competition every year, but our market has grown in leaps and bounds...when I started I was one of only about two or three other vendors who sold cuts, and I was the only one who had cuts generally the whole season, incorporating as many perennials as I could into my bouquets, from early spring to fall.
My best sellers were lilies, gladiolas, cockscombs and dahlias. Lilies are my flowers of choice because I have very little time involved in them.
Granny I don't know what perennials and annuals you already grow, but if you haven't tried Euphorbia 'Kilimanjaro'...it's wonderful. I use it mostly as a filler, it can make a few flowers go a long way, or could just be used in one bunch for that matter. It is gorgeous with lilies. I don't know if you grow Nigella, but my customers love it. Only bad thing is no matter how you cut it, at best, it only lasts a few days in the vase. I have many customers still willing to pay $3 per bunch just for their weekend table. The pods are excellent for bouquets too.
Penstemon digitalis Husker's Red is a great cut flower as are the other taller Penstemons, which some could be classified annuals.
My customers love the look of Salpiglossis (annual), but I find them difficult for cuts because of the very thin stems.
All the ornamental alliums are great cuts. And I usually never go home with a bouquet that has red hot poker (torch lily) in them. Asclepias tuberosa is great too. 3 or 4 mature plants can provide *a lot* of stems. I use it as an accent filler with lilies, or by itself in a bunch with a few allium sphaerocephalon or Monarda purple. Asclepias incarnata white and rose are nice too, but they never last longer than 3 years in my garden, just when they are nicest for cutting. I need to try maybe the gay butterflies mix type. Although Stokesia closes up at night (darkness), even at that, they still look nice in a bouquet and last good.
This year I'm going to try Pentas again (an annual). I grew them 6 or 7 years ago and really liked them for cuts. I then only had a few seed started plants, but hopefully this year I will at least have a short row of them. For perennial, I'm going to try a new colorful Euphorbia. I've liked the annual Kilimanjaro (my customers too!) so well I thought I'd try a perennial type.
And I have to agree that usually my bouquets with greenery or fillers tend to sell best. Same for my lilies. I can bring a bucket full of lily stems and ask $3 per stem, and then make up a quick bouquet with one lily stem, adding a piece or two of filler and maybe two or three other flowers and put them in a vase and ask $5 or $6 (vase not included), and those generally will always sell first.
And Granny, if your customers are anything like mine, they will really like the kiss me over the garden gate. I use it a lot as a filler in my zinnia bouquets and the customers love it. Since I have a lot of repeat customers, they always love to see something new. Is the shoofly = Nicandra physalodes? I looked at that in the plant files and I just can't imagine it being a cut flower. ?? Perhaps shoofly is a common name for some other, or perhaps you are speaking of just using the greenery. Coleus then would be like that too me. I just love it as filler/greener. So many different colors and shapes.
Teresa, thanks for all your imput and information regarding all types of flowers for cutting. I don't sell cut flowers, but am always looking for something new/different to grow out in the yard. Some of the flowers you mentioned I wasn't even familiar with so had to look them up. This winter I'm trying a few things I haven't tried before like Amberboa, Cineraria, Calendulas and Larkspur. Am also trying quite a few different flower bulbs for warmer weather zones. I do recall ordering some Lisianthus plants from you in 2008.
Hi Jon, interesting. Did the lisianthus do okay for you? Will Calendulas and Larkspur grow in Florida? I was going to mention those/that to Grannymarsh, but thought she'd probably already tried those. I love the perennial Delphiniums too, but they only last about two years in my garden. I get tired of replanting them for getting only about 3 or 4 cuts per plant in the second year. Sometimes only one or two stems per plant the first year, and sometimes not even that. Although my customers love them. I've not heard of Amberboa, so I'm guessing it's a southern hardy plant. If you are starting your Calendulas and Larkspur from seed, they really prefer cool weather to germinate so I'm guessing you will winter sow. ?? I forgot to mention that I'm going to try to get some of the large flower (long stem) Primula going. Would love to add it as a cut if it will work. Being in Florida you should grow Alstroemeria. Excellent cut flower...Walmart carries it a lot as cuts. And it would be a hardy perennial for you, and it grows well in pots if need be.
Hey Jon...I was over browsing the Annuals forum and saw your Ptilotus. I love it! Had never heard of it before. How is it as a cut...did you try cutting any? Have you been able to save seeds from your plant? I think maybe I'll order some seeds and maybe it could be a new annual cut for me. It looks similar to celosia pink candle if you cut out the main flower of the plant it will then form lots of shorter side-shoots.
The Lisianthus grew and bloomed well initially, but I have a hard time getting them to keep reblooming after the first flush of blooms. I cut the spent blooms, but would get very few to rebloom. If my memory is correct it was the "ABC Series". Perhaps I need to stick with the shorter "Florida Series" which is better suited for our summer climate.
I'm trying Calendulas and Larkspurs, both from seed, right now. They're doing very well so far. When you experiment with flowers down here you're best to try them during the cooler winter months. Delphiniums are not gonna work down here. They take too long to grow from seed to bloom and would never hold up to our summer heat/humidity. Actually I sew many of the seeds in the kitchen under a low hanging light. Very unconventional, but it seems to work for me. After they germinate, then I move them outside. I always grow many tall snapdragons from seed each fall/winter. They're one of my favorite cut flowers.
Amberboa muricata seeds came from Thompson & Morgan. The description calls it a tall stemmed, easy to grow annual with large purple-mauve flowers ideal for cutting. I've tried Primulas but I failed on that attempt. I've had Alstroemeria "Sweet Laura" and "Freedom" for about 2 1/2 years now. They generally bloom from Feb-July down here and then go quite until the next year.
I'm trying a few new flower bulbs that would be good for cutting...I think. They are Watsonia, Tecolote Ranunculus and Calochortus. Watsonias are similar looking to gladiolas but are supposed to be multi stems per bulb. They are all bulbs that could be left in the ground here. They've all appeared above ground so now its just a "wait and see" thing.
Ptilotus "Joey" was easy to grow from seed, but it only bloomed over the winter months here. Some people in cooler climates have mentioned it bloomed for them all summer. I didn't save any seed from it. I never cut any of it for bouquets, but would think it would make a good cut flower. The plumes/blooms lasted a good 3-5 weeks...I would guess.
Shoofly is 'Nicandra physalodes'. The flowers are incidental and close in the evening or on overcast days. I wait until the pods are turning burgundy/chocolate color to cut them. Their stout, square stems with those same dark colors are eye catching, plus they are glossy. And the deer and rabbits don't seem to bother them (never say never - knock on wood). The plant is tall, up to 5' in my thin, sandy soil. When cut, they will regrow rapidly, and seem to appreciate a bit of fertilizer. They will self sow, but transplant easily. My florists appreciate having something different to work with, using them as filler. I usually cut off entire branches, my minimums are 18 inches or so.
Granny - do you have photos of your shoofly in various growth stages in your garden to to show us? I have never heard of that plant before and would love to see how it looks in your yard. And possibly an arrangement to see how it looks as a filler?
This is the best photo of it that I have. It doesn't show the growth habits but will give you an idea of the coloring. When it is sprouting, the leaves look very much like the mature leaves, just tinier. I seldom do arrangements, so can't help you there. It does need room, it grows rather like a tree, a central stalk with branching off the sides. It will shade out it's neighbors. Next year it will be in a dedicated bed. I really like the coloring on the stalks.
So granny then you just sell your cuts as all individual stems? The shoofly is interesting...it reminds me of Chinese lanterns (Physalis) which my customers loved this year combined with bittersweet. However, the Chinese lanterns I *had* to spray because the bugs chew them up badly.
Ts; yes and no. Generally at Market, I sell by the stem, because there it is mostly dahlias. And, as I said in the earlier post, there are others who make bouquets faster and better. Florists buy by the bunch. Except for dahias, glads, crocosmia, lilies, maybe a few others. I check the USDA market prices daily/weekly. I've only been at this for three seasons, every day is a learning experieince. If I make a mistake, so be it. Correct it, adjust for it, and move on. I've done a bunch of adjusting, correcting and moving on !!
Bittersweet is something I've been pondering. I want to plant the American variety because of the invasiveness of the import. What I cannot find are some guidlines for how much to plant , what an expected yield would be or the time frame for the first crop cutting. I have discovered that it is sold by the pound. (wholesale).
Thanks for the photo. I try googling images of the plant, but do not seem to find one that shows a stem that would be what you would be selling at the market for arrangements. Do you always wait for the pods to mature before cutting them - at the stage when the leaves are gone? From the photos, the leaves look very large - so you don't offer them for sale when the branches are green and leafy?
Jon - the ranunculus and watsonia do make good cut flowers. Larkspurs grow well in my 9a zone - hope they grow well for you too. Delphiniums always gets eaten by snails, but they don't bother the larkspurs. Here are some ranunculus from this past spring.
Beautiful ranunculus. I love them. Are yours the telcote (sp) strain. In 2008 I grew some cheapies from the dollar store. They did amazingly well. I planted them in ground in early April (before last spring frost) and they bloomed in May and June and then mostly went dormant. The little claw things were tiny when I planted them and when I dug them in October they had increased nicely. I stored them in my basement, and then forgot to plant them in 2009. Since they did fairly well, I'm thinking of investing a little more and being more diligent in keeping them. They were an excellent addition to my shorter spring cut flower bouquets. Would love to have the longer stemmed ones.
Nice Ranunculus bouquet soilsandup! I've always passed on trying them before because I wasn't sure if I liked their look. Someone on Dave's Garden, in Zone 10, in Texas convinced me I should give them a try...so I did. They're just a few inches out of the ground right now.
All I have for cut flowers in the yard right now are gerberas, rudbeckias, echinacea, salvia, cosmos, osteospermums, and amaryllis.
LOL. Yeah, maybe I'm spoiled. The tall snapdragons are getting close to blooms. It's all Rocket Series snaps except for a section of "Animation Cognac". Weather is WAY too hot for December down here. Record high of 87 yesterday and another 87 predicted today. Don't like it this hot in December!!!
Jon, I was thinking I saw a photo of your ranunculus...but skimmed back through and didn't see anything. Which variety do you grow? Yeah, that warm is probably not good for the stuff that's just getting started.
You mentioned T & M, and although I get their catalog every year, I am fearful of even opening it. I don't think I've looked for the last two years. Generally always so busy and then I want so many new things, and then I start the stuff and never manage to get it transplanted into the garden. Then I kick myself.
My hopes have been to have a Florida winter home. Clean up things here and go south for December through mid-March. My mom hates the cold, but she has just not quit her job of about 35-36 years, her being past retirement age, although she complains about it all the time. Her parents (my grandparents) moved to Florida in their later years and I'm sure my mom would like to as well. If she ever quits her job, perhaps our family will get a place there. A place large enough where she could stay year round and then kids possibly come stay in winter. We've talked about it, like all chipping in for a place.
Shoofly: there will be pods and new flower buds forming at the same time, all season long. To harvest, cut off one of the branches, leaving enough of it -1/4 inch?, so that the dormant bud isn't affected. The leaves, pods and flowers will all be there. And top it, by cutting the main stem, this too, is sellable and and stimulates the plant to send out more side branches. I wait until the pods are showing color before I start harvesting and before the outer layer of the pod dries out. I can harvest off one plant about every other week, but I have poor soil. Better than it was when we moved here, improving it every year.
The leaves aren't large, just a good size for filler, smaller than the palm of my hand.
Flowers are an inch or so across and to me, are not the star attraction.
The stem will have a hollow stem, but just a bit hollow, so I usually treat them like I do my dahlias, by poking a sterile straight pin into the stem while it is under water, this lets the trapped air out.
To be more clear, it is the stalks that are glossy, not so much the leaves.
I sell it by the bunch, 10 stems for $5.00.
Hope this explanation is helpful and is clear/organized enough to answer your ??'s.
I'm growing just a couple of bags of "Rainbow Mixed" Tecolote Ranunculus. I have another bag of 25 Ranunculus that I got on sale up North for $1.99, but haven't planted those yet. My main passion is hybrid hibiscus, but also like flowers that can be used for cutting. The pansies seem to be the most unhappy with this hot weather. It's only supposed to last 1 more day which would be ok. Many of my smaller plants are still inside the screening around the pool. I can grow things a bit earlier than normal in there, because the screening probably filters 20-30% of the suns rays.
Living here from Oct - May would be most ideal for anyone who would like to continue flower gardening during the winter. You can still grow some things from June-Sept, but its much more limited and the heat/humidity is relentless. I like to go up North, in the winte,r and see the snow for a couple of days, but that's it. I get kind of bored and don't know what to do after a few days.
You're right about the Thompson & Morgan catalog Teresa. There are too many temptations in there. Personally I stick to just trying a couple of new things each winter. It's all about not overwhelming yourself and getting frustrated with the upkeep.
mee too...hey Jon, you need to be making some flower bouquets and posting for us to see. (smile) I wished I had gotten some this past summer, but didn't. Will try for some in 2010...but of course won't be able to post those til winter 2010.
Just starting to get some flowers for cutting around the yard. You can't start winter annual seeds here until late September, so it's mid December before things start to bloom. Anyway here are some flowers I picked yesterday and today and put in a vase.
Both the "Soiree Series" and "QIS Series" statice have done well for me down here, in the winter. Can't recall where I purchased the QIS series back in 2007. The "Soiree Series" statice is available through Park Seed.
Red - I visited a floral shop in Sonoma earlier this year where they were selling peony stems. They range any where from $3 to $6 - I think the $6 was for the rarer yellow color ones. This is a touristy town, so the prices may be higher, but I would imagine you can sell them for at least $3. In this photo, there are some yellow ones to the right, pinkish ones in the middle, and in the left corner, some red charm. My friend who was with me bought some for her mom's birthday. I told her that if I had known she wanted some, I would have picked some for her from my garden.
Just think, I could have gotten $24 for this if I sold them at a bargain price of $2.00 a stem. These are Sarah Bernhardts - I looked them up online and one grower was selling them for $4.75 a stem, then you have to pay shipping on top of that.
Sometimes out here we have to settle for what the market will bare. If you find a thing at the market not selling well in the first few hours take the stickers off and then sell them at what the costomer thinks is a fair price. You will not have waste then at the end of the day and it will boost your sales the next time you are out if you have regulars.
People at the farmers markets can be an odd lot. They will pay their favoritefarmer double over the booth nextdoor at half price too though.
When we did the markets I would always ask if the person will be out again next week and what should I bring them and if I had it would bring stuff to fill their requests. As to whether or not they showed the following week that was hit or miss. You can try taking prepaid orders for the following week.. bring them the next week. There are all sorts of tricks to help boost sales. It will help you to presell your fresh too!
The worst you can do is have a bunch of fresh flwoers at the end of the sale day that did not sell and you have to dump them. Short of dumping them, stop at a retirement home or hospice or some place and give them away. It will be great advertising for you too. Sometimes you end up doing something for nothing only to make a gain later. Chaulk your lost sale up to good advertising in another valley!
Hi BB - I guess I need to qualify my comments...LoL.. I was not trying to sell the flowers. Those are the flowers that I take to work to display, or I give my flowers away, I was making a observation that if I wanted to, perhaps I could have gotten a couple of bucks per stem, seeing as how other people are asking for a lot more. It is too hard to try to sell - for all the reasons that you pointed out. I just grow all my flowers for personal pleasure.
Oh that makes me want spring even more...WOW...all that color.
In Arkansas,probably the most I could get per stem would be $2.00. My white one bloomed so heavy last year that even the cage couldn't hold all of the blooms up. I have Sarah B. too (your's just beautiful)and a red one ...have to look at tag,can't remember it's name.
been selling cutflowers for 30+ years in Tennessee, hope I can contibute to the discussion
I grow peonies and sell them by the 5-stem bunch for $12 in season. Maybe a little more for really nice ones. The ones you see in December come from Chile and usually sell for $2-4 a stem, but there's a lot of quality difference among growers.
In my market nothing delivers a consistent profit like zinnias. we grow the Benary series with a few special colors - envy, uproar, etc - spiced into the mix. We sell a 15-stem bunch for $7.50, growing cost is negligible. Our wet summer in Tennessee gave lots of mildew problems and lots of practice with the sprayer. Another grower tipped me off to "Actigard 50WG," which is a systemic "plant activator" rated for zinnias to give them protection from mildew. I'll try it this year.
Dahlias seem to be too much work for the money. Another grower gives me his on consignment and I get half for selling them.
Cutflowers are all about delivering consistent high quality for a fair price.
Dibbs on yer mini croms when ya dig them LOL! I want to do some glads.. Gonna do them in large containers though. Then I dont have to dig themup, just dump them in the fall! I can also then just move them anywhere in the garden where I might need a hole filler! I like to tuck them in with the varigated hostsas. The hostas hide the pots and the glads give a splash of color.
So hows yer alligator Jon? Haighr and soils been shoing theirs off at the cafe.
The gator is fine. Gonna put em back outside in a bit because the rain is coming and he likes playing in the rain. I'm sure he'll be scratching at the door tonight after the cold front comes through and the temps drop into the 40's.
Oh no!! TMI on the redneck hill. Actually I'm gonna watch the "Cotton" pickin "Bowl" at 2PM. I like the rednecky "Ole Miss Rebels".
I haven't started looking at all the flower catalogs that came around Christmas. Just got em set aside to look at sometime soon. Get those seeds planted Blossom. Hopefully they'll do well and give y'all a jump start for spring.
Hi lfarr - welcome to this forum. I grew zinnias for the first time this year, and was quite pleased at how well they grew and flower until mid December here.
Regarding glads - I grew some years ago, great for the first two-three years, then started noticing deformities in all the patches. The thrips have attacked!!! After reading up on it, it seems like the only remedy is spraying on a regular basis, so I ended up tossing them all away since I did not want to spray. I read somewhere that you can control the problem by spraying early in the season with a mashed garlic concoction - has anyone ever tried it? If I can control the thrips organically, i may consider growing them again.
i am inbetween here with the high in the mid-fifties to sixty.
Soils, I have not had any problems with glads here. I put mine in containers though. I do have to stake them on occassion.
Hmmm... now thats my kinda weather. Was just outside. It actually warmed up by the thermometor, but it feels colder than it was earlier today when it was colder! Well, back to the dog, the hub and a cozy couch! Although, thats my kinda weather too! Snuggly!
Jon, I would not think either you nor soils woluld have to lift them? Just let them go? Here we have to obviously lift them.
You're correct Blossom. Gladiola bulbs can be left in the ground here. They're very inexpensive cuts flowers here. You can buy 10 stems for no more than $3.99 year round at the supermarket. The only reason I'm gonna grow a few myself is because the colors are different than what they typically sell at the supermarket.
Thrips are a big pest here, especially in the summer. I have to spray my hybrid hibiscus plants every couple of weeks, in the summer, if I want to see any blooms. They cause premature bud drop with hibiscus. They tend not to be much of a problem during the months of Nov-May. I suppose there is probably an organic approach to controlling thrips, but I use pesticides. There are about 3 or 4 very common pests in the summer here and the pesticides work on all of them. I know the organic/non pesticide approach is more politically correct, but it would be very time consuming to battle each pest on an individual basis.
Ok, some other flowers for cuts that are good.. Convent Gyp and achilleas. Coronation gold makes a great focal.. sell them 3 in a bunch. The other achilleas make for nice fillers and there are so many colors now. And so easy to grow.
Gomphrenas, craspedia, delphiniums, cosmos, stock, balsams, laitris, bells of ireland.
Strawflowers, feather celosias
If you want colorful foliage go with coleus. Only thing on coleus, some people can develop a dermititus rash from it. So handling it may be an issue.
Dont ignore your rudbeckias, gazanas, gerberas, coreopsis and mums! And lavenders! hmmm, for that matter, calendula, marigolds, chives, basils and salvias.
Hostas make great foliage, and the flower staulks can be great cuts. Evergreens, boxwoods...lilacs
Speaking of foliage, the newer huecheras have some stunning foliage.
Pansys can be good cuts too. They have a nice vase life.
I have had people wanting hollyhocks for cuts... go figure! I told them they would droop, but that did not matter! You can cut the tips back to make a sturdier staulk, but the vase life is not all that long.
Verbena bonarensis, coralbells make nice fillers...
lily of the valley...
ok, more than we need to know, but there are others too!
Mix your cuts with drieds. Feathers could be sold to add too.
Of course everything is seasonal, but there ae a lot of garden flowers that can be used for cuts.
In your small bunches always put MINIMUM three of a same kind, same color for focal flowers in a mixed bunch. The focal flowers are your key elements to when you just stick it all in a vase as is. To help your bunches appearance, cut those three flowers to three different lengths. It just helps the buy-it-in-a-bunch buyer make a quick pretty arrangement when they do not know how to arrange flowers! Field bunches are great sellers, but they do need to have some appeal and that is what your three focal flowers do for them if you are selling vase ready bunches. Sleeves are a cheap bonus for a customer so have them. And have on hand some ribbon or raffia to tie the bunch once sleeved.
And yes jon, time of day to cut is relavent to extending cut floral life! Timing is everything!
bigred what about calla lily do they last longer if you burn the stem. i get 2 weeks out of them fi i change the water and trim them a little. where do you get your flower treatment stuff? i dont go to market or anythig but i do flower shows. would love to see some of your cut flowers. ive only been a member of daves garden for about 2 mo. have gained alot of good stuff in a short perid of time.
Some of those flowers I've heard of and/or tried and some of them are new to me. A few of them won't grow here. I ordered quite a few different interesting seed packs from www.botanicalinterests.com a few weeks ago. I liked the look of "Brightest Brilliant Rainbow" Quinoa. I ordered it for the colors it comes in and didn't realize it's a vegetable. LOL
Planted some "Giant Excelsior" Stock, "Pavlova Dark Blue" Aster and "Bloomingdale Mix" Ranunculus seeds this afternoon in small 2" containers. Need to get the "Imperial Giant" Larkspur plants transplanted into the ground this weekend. Hopefully some of this stuff will do well down here in the winter. Ya never know if you don't try.
I generally cut flowers in the AM, but didn't know that was the best time to do so. Mostly just cut flowers for myself, but sometimes takes some to the neighbors.
The best way to keep pests/bugs away down here is to keep things cleaned up and neat. Many insects thrive on decayed matter. When you remove that stuff they seem to go elsewhere. At least that's what I've noticed in the past few years.
I don't know what all I'm going to do for cuts this year. I do have seeds for cockscombs,that new gompherna Fireworks. Lady at market last year only sold zinnas and huge cockscombs.
I like Queen Ann's Lace,flowers and seed pods of talinum for filler material. I have the green and gold leaf talinums.Alos have a native(weed)called seedbox(can't spell it without looking). It's weedy looking even in flower but makes the most darling seed pods that look like tiny boxes.
I use boxwood and fern mostly for greenery.
I don't have many calla lily plants so I haven't done any for market. As soon as I can get the dog outta my lap,I'll check my cut flower ref.
Spider mites are one of the common pests here along with thrips, whiteflies, mealybugs and occasional aphids. They are mostly a summer problem, but I can be battling a couple of them at the same time. That's why I try to treat the plants with something that will eliminate all of them, rather than treating on an individual pest basis.
I do grow calla lilies here in South Florida and they are a great cut flower. They usually last 1-2 weeks in a vase. The bulbs can be left in the ground here.
amorecuore im in zone 7a or b just depends on which way the wind blows. i also grow amaryllis out side, calla lily, and other plants that should not grow here, this is with mulch and extra protection this area is known an the river valley. mountain range on both sides guess this would be why i get by with doing this. do not know. the callas made seed this year one has come up i going to keep trying . i only have yellow and white.
Probably the extra mulch is doing the trick littlenettie. Sometimes that little extra "TLC" and a bit of creativity can help you grow some things not typical for our zones. On calla lilies most of them bloomed year one (2007) for me, but the second year was a bit "hit n miss". Quite a few of them were just foliage and no blooms. We'll have to waot and see what 2010 brings with them. I have some calls in yellow, white, pink, orange, red and purple. All of them are short varieties of about 8-18 inches...I would guess.
I have some callas in pots. The first season they were great.. they have wained terribly and I do not expect hardly anything of them for this spring. I did nothing to fertilize them or anything.. shame on me, but they were gorgeous while they lasted!
Im afraid in my zone I cannot really make a crop out of them for cut flowers, but they would make a terrific hot house pot crop, which thatis hhow most are sold up here!
Jon. been meaning to ask you. do you do cannas and if so, what would be your advice on how early I should pot some? I have 3 in my cripser drawer in storage and was wondering, since my last frost date is mid April, if I were to plant them now if that was too early? Knowing of course I could not set them outside for any time soon? I was just wondering if I could have a little fun with them as house pets before their booting out of doors would be more doable? Then too, where should I place them best for lighting etc!
I did quite a few tall cannas (5-7 feet) back in 2007 Blossom. Also grew the shorter "Tropical White" and "Tropical Salmon" Cannas from seed back in 2007. The seeds came from Park Seed. Although I do like them, I removed all of them in 2008. They were very high maintenance down here due to an insect called the Canna Leaf Roller. It's a caterpillar that secretes a sticky substance, folds the edges of the foliage over, and devours the foliage at a very fast pace. I had to spray the foliage every two weeks or I'd immediately start to see the damage to the foliage.
I'm not sure whether you could start them inside quite yet Blossom. They do have very high light requirements and no tollerance to freezing temperatures. Perhaps you should wait until late February if you want to give them a head start inside. That way they will have a chance to get started and won't be too large inside the house prior to you planting them outside in mid-late April.
Thanks, I was wondering. Oh poor you and your pests. Jaws is shirking his duties! LOL! Well anyway, they are lovely plants, but one of the reasons I do not grow them either is because of the fall lifting. I have 3 that I plan to do and to just leave in large containers and that is it. If they work out that way , maybe I will try more, but fall lifting is too hard on my arthritis. The ground is too cold getting colder and that just is not fun. Spring lifting is not so bad as the ground is warming. I take it then the cannas are pretty fast growing?
Same on the taro, it has to do well in a container and it will be first trys this season if I can find the ones I am after. One is a near black leaf with a blue vein, so very striking,.
Summer pests are a real pain in the ... down here. Yes, Cannas grow real fast down here, but surprisingly you don't see lots of them around. Mine just got so massive in the one year I had them. They keep spreading and sending up new stalks all the time. They tripled in size/width in just one year because they never stop growing. Perhaps you should try the dwarf "Tropical Series" of Canna seeds from Parks. They are a nice/manageable 18-24 inches in height and still have fairly large sized blooms. They grow very quickly from seed to bloom. I would guess it was around 90 days if my memory is correct.
I'd love to send you some of my plants Blossom, but they probably wouldn't survive going through the cold in transit. Bummer
Ouch, that's a numbing cold. Sounds like it's going to be a lazy/cozy Sunday up there. It's gonna get down to around 40 tonight here after barely making it to 60 today. Thats fairly cold for down here, but I love these cool days we occasionally have in the winter. My parents used to plant some tulip and daffodil bulbs outside in pots in the fall. Then they would bring in a pot every few weeks during the winter and watch them grow/bloom.
I don't think anyone ships plants during the winter because they're likely to travel through somewhere cold.
Its been numbing cold for days.. its the kind of cold that can freeze your lungs. You just cannot stay outside for more then a few minutes at a time. Its hard on the animals and doing chores has been a real effort, but you cant let the cold stop you. Our chickens even stopped laying yesterday and the day before their eggs froze and cracked.
I should have started some daffs for in the house but just did not get to. Did only that one paperwhite! LOL! And that one I just tucked behind my peppers to let it up and die! Told my hub, no one has to look at it there and thats just fine! I will not do tulips. They do not do good in the garden. Its too wet for them and they rot.
And as for corn.. nope not gonna happen in any volume here! We cant raise corn here. Tried sweet corn, indian corn and the grounds to piss poor and too wet in the spring, too dry in the end of summer and it just does not grow here. We used to row crop at the old farm.. had 120 acres and I sure miss that. But dont miss doing the beans at all! Dang fuzzy stuff! Itchy as all gad out. unlike my pet Goliath! DId think about trying a couple corn in pots though for grins, but will wait until summer! Maybe try some broomcorn.. been awhile since I have done that! Gonna try some millet this year too.
And no, the aquarium is gonna be straight radish, its to small to put any lettuce! LOL! Im not a fan of growing lettuce, especially leaf stuff. I have rabbits and well, they have plenty of other stuff to eat!
My Florida brother told me a funny story about the radishes he planted back in November. His dog discovered that she liked them!!! That dog dug them all up and ate them!!!
Never tried corn although it IS grown down here. Florida corn is generally harvested in May, so it must be something that's planted around the end of January. I guess they wait until January when the days start to get longer again. Haven't tried beans either.
LOL Now how did we wonder off from "cut flowers and floral design" to plantin' vegetables. LOL Too funny
Well, some parts of corn jon would make a nice cut flower! Up here we tie bundles of it into shocks or some folks call them shucks. People will tie the shocks to a lamppole and put pumpkins and gourds around the base in the fall and then your cut flower market turns into gourds and squash and indian corns, mums and asters and all kinds of fall decorations a florist loves! Broomcorn is another peopel will use and it comes in many colors.
Why just ask patty about making scarecrows! LOL! many parts are edible, but most are for show!
But anyway jon, right now the cut flower market up here is sporting things like white and green and red mums. some fern leaf, maybe some beargrass twirls with glitter glued on, red, white, green or peppermint carnations, evergreens, boxwood, holly. Be ending that stuff soon enough but the green carnations and greenery will stick around excepting the evergreen boughs. The white will stick around and the mums too. Then new stuff will be popping out in a few weeks.
Jon, have you though about taking a florist course? there is a good one by mail that you can do in your spare time which is really very thorough. It would help you learn about cutting flowers, arranging them, the care the pros use etc.
Haven't thought about taking a florist course, but maybe I will somewhere down the line.
We used to shuck the corn, so am familiar with that phrase. I usually put bunches of indian corn on the front door in October. I do like that "pumpkin on a stick" that is used in some autumnal bouquets. I guess it's most closelhy related to an eggplant.
Cut flowers down change much down here unless you go to real florists where you find good variety. You mostly see roses, alstroemeria, sunflowers, gladiolas, mums, gerbera daisies year round. If you want "Northern" types of flowers you generally pay a pretty good price for them since they're not grown here at any time of the year. Very few people seem to grow flowers in their yards, in general. Everyone seems to go for the low maintenance tropical stuff...for the mostpart.
Nice photo Blossom. Autumn is the one season I really miss from living up North. There isn't any change of colors down here.
I am the opposite in that I try to grow almost exclusively plants that are suitable for cut flowers. I live in a relatively mild zone (9a) so it is possible to have some cut flowers almost year round. It is pretty slim pickings right now for me - some of the narcisscus, knophofia "Christmas cheer", bird of paradise, and a few sansaqua camellias. My tulbaghia Fragrans was doing really well until three days of 25 degrees F hit a couple of weeks ago. I have one cymbidium orchid with buds for over a month now, but it just won't open yet. I am aiming for cut flowers on a weekly basis - almost there after 4 years of looking for plants that fit the description - "bloom in fall until frost", or early bloomers for spring blooming plants. First cut flower posting for the winter was "christmas cheer."
Well...back finally. My book says nothing about doing any special to calla lily stems. Says precondition 7-12 hrs in preservation solution.
amore that canna leaf roller is cat of the Brazilian Skipper(calpodes ethlius) since I'm a caterpillar/butterfly nut,unless my cannas get really bad infested,I leave the cats alone or cut the infested leaves off and toss them across the road. I can't/don't spray unless I have very severe infestations because of all my tiny flying livestock. My nursery and greenhouse were full of caterpillars this year. Couldn't take some things to market because the cats stripped the leaves. I have customers that come out looking for plants"infested" with cats.One year my milkweeds were covered w/ monarch cats and that was the best year for mw sales. They'd ask how much the plants were and I'd say the plants were $5.00 but the cats were $50.00 a piece...LOL...just kidding...most of my nursery business are long time repeat customers so they're use to my sense of humor.I also had spicebush,Giant Swallowtail and comma cats in the greenhouse this year munching.
I only got to take golden hops vines to market twice before the comma cats found them and munched them "nekkid". I should have taken them w/ cats on them but some folks are squimish and not educated about"bugs".
I had pulled off some of the chewed foliage on the cannas before, but its usually a losing battle. If left untreated they will usually strip my plants within a week. I guess we think differently on the caterpillars. I've decided to not spray as often and somewhat share my foliage with them, but if it gets out of control I spray. Some of them start chewing my flowers and then I definitely spray. During the winter months they seem to be the only insect doing any plant damage down here.
There are places now marketing and selling caterpillars and butterflies. Some even raise the cats in large hoop houses and produce butterfly crops and sell the butterflies to release at gala afairs like weddings! Aaaah the pleaure of a butterfly! We really do need those pollinators as do we the bees!
They will raise a crop of butterfly flowers sown in the ground in the hoop houses and let the critters have all they can eat! The hoophouses are a perverbial meadow under plastic! Some places will allow tours to see the many different butterflies they will raise!
I love praying manthis in the greenhouse.Hate it when they get a good bug but that's the way of nature. I usually have several lizzards or skinks(not not skunks...skinks)in the GH.
I try to have the "live and let live" frame of mind but if a plant is really infested and I can't find a predatior(SP?) to move onto the plant,I'll use systemic only on effected plants. Real bad infestations I will spray as a last resort.
I have those black skinks with the yeller polka dots! and tons of tree and other kinds of frogs. I dont spray any pesticides... I dont want to hurt my froggies!
About the only bad plant predator I got are the rabbits.. Oy those pests eat my new trees. But like P, live and let live. I end up putting a handful of grain out for them to divert them or cage the newbs up. Then that grain draws mice, the mice draw snakes.. EEEKS! Dont like the snakes, but anyway...
Snakes, yuck. Those things freak me out. Luckily I only run across them a couple times a year, even though they're definitely around. The last encounter was real freaky. The snake had somehow climbed the Morning Glory and jump out of it when I was removing dead blooms. It was a good 5-6 feet up the vine!!!
I draw the line on and definitely spray when insects/caterpillars start chomping on flower blooms/petals. That aggravates me.
I had a big black rat snake crawl up into a pee gee hydrangea one spring. I had a puppy tucked in one arm and was pulling limbs that had blown out of the trees into the shrubs during a storm. I reached in to pull out a "limb" and realize just in time it was a BIG OLE snake.Durn near had to have a change of laundry afterwards..*G* Thank goodness I didn't fling the puppy.
LOL. I definitely can relate to that story Patty. Took me a couple of days to put my paws back into the morning glory vine without thinkin about it. I'm just glad it wasn't a python snake. We're beginning to have problems with those now. Some idiots decided to release their pet pythons into The Everglades and now they're reproducing like crazy. On occasions some of them have wondered into our populated areas.
Yeah, we had some idoit release a boa constrictor at the bog here.. it got unfortunealy ate up by an 8 foot mower deck. The thing was 7 feet long.. well what parts we found of him... errrgh! Ita never made it through winter here so.. one cruel demise or another the thing was a gonner.. it was an unexpected mow job though!
Some people get off on snake pets.. me personally no freaking way!
Well , guess ya could market yer crickets for the lizaaards...
Can ya just see it though taking all these bugs and critters with ya to the cut flower market!????
LOL. I don't think I'll see selling any cut flowers at the market anytime soon. Just growing them for myself and property isn't that large.
They estimate there are now 50,000 python snakes in the Florida Everglades. There main competition for food is with the alligators and they get in fights with them. From what I've read sometimes the alligator wins and sometimes the python does.
Huh? You live on my street?? LOL! They are everywhere. People get these pets dogs, cats, horses, squarrels, you name it and have no clue.. then you get the dummies that breed them and dont know when to quit. Nuttering the pets dont make sense, that still gives them the licesnes to just let them roam and dung up the neighborhoods and that aint right, but they do it.. ... they out to abort the perps! Shut down some of the animal mills. Got enough animals needing adoptions as it is, no less the kids they pop out in the world and cant take care of either. Then they abuse them, the humane societies are full up and it just does not end. tHEN THEY GOT THE AUDACITY TO SAY, OH WE CANT SELL THEM WHEN THEY OVERBRED. IDIOTS. Makes ya spit nails.
that's the problem out here...so many to useless to work,claim disability and live off our dime. Instead of teaching the children to be responsible pet owners(don't ahve a pet if you can't or won't take care of it) they think..."well,I can hardly afford to feed and clothe my kids ...let me add a half dz. pets to the mix." I don't blame the animals...they're doing what animals do...I blame the owners. AND they're going to be the ones to get all up in arms when something happens to these aniamls...blame everyone but themselves.
Priorites on the mix up for sure. Ive seen some though mysteriously come up with $100 for a vet bill standing in a bread line. Go figure And yet they cant afford to feed cloth or doctor the chillun and oh how they also can get their smokes, dope, tatoos and beer. Then they ~B~ on how the schools are worthless and yet will not do anything. They think their kids are sposed to be disaplined by the system. But Lord forbid anyone disciplining their dawg. Its a sickness I tellya. Then get someone in line who really needs the help and the money is not there to help the people who dont milk the sisytem and would give it all back if their hearts could beat. Well, guess thats what makes the world go round.. .
the world is full of them, my husband and i have been feeding a little dog over by the river, tiny little thing, you can tell it has been miss treated , it will come and eat but you can,t catch it.the temp. droped real low last night. but the man says the dog came from under the bridge and ate the dog food.. as you get older you can,t stand to see anything starve to death. the area where we live is very rural so we grt more than our share of unwanted pets. sometimes you can find homes for them and sometimes you just have them fixed and let them stay. lo i don,t have an answer for the problem wish i did. thought my retirment would go better than it has. but it reads more like the world turns!!!! have a good day littlenettie