Winter is coming. I mean, if you’re a flower farmer in Zone 3, winter is practically here. In Saskatchewan, this season brings sparkling snow, wicked winds, creamy hot cocoa, and dreams of next year’s cut flower garden. If you’re anything like me, at the first sign of snow, you’re immediately browsing all the options for next year’s seed order. Whether you’re a seasoned backyard flower farmer, a newbie to cut flowers altogether, or just someone who loves dreaming up beautiful bouquets, I have the remedy for you during these cold months. Let’s dream together. Let’s plan our cut flower gardens for 2022.
I’ve been growing cut flowers for as long as I’ve been gardening, and I’ve developed some longstanding favourites over the years. Last year, I sold my bouquets for the first time and I learned a lot in the process. I made more bouquets than I’ve ever made before. I really leaned into my favourite flowers. Those flowers that make everything look good and help the arrangements come together as quickly as possible.
Today, I’m going to share with you those must-grow cut flowers. The ones that look best in bouquets. The ones that pull everything together. The flowers you absolutely must have in your 2022 cut flower garden. If you’re just a beginner or if you’re already a well-established small-scale flower farmer, these are, in my opinion, the eight best-cut flowers to grow in 2022. And yes, we’ll talk about that one flower you should avoid at all costs, too.
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Now, onto the flowers…
Ok, these might be my favourite. Amaranth comes in coral, pink, green, orange, white, and more. I especially love red Amaranth because it is surprisingly difficult to find red flowers in fall. Amaranths vary from upright, plume shapes to dramatic drooping tails. You’ll want it all. I had the pleasure of making a bridal bouquet with the gorgeous drooping tails this summer, and they added that extra something special, that little bit of drama and intensity, to the arrangement. You’re going to love Amaranth. Trust me. These flowers dry well for centrepieces, too, so they look good for a long time.
I must admit, when I first saw the seeds and pictures of these plants, I wasn’t that excited. But, when I saw them blossoming in real life, I was hooked. When Cress is young, it has beautiful little white flowers that go with anything. And then, when the plant’s more mature, it has circular seed pods that add a gorgeous texture to any bouquet. These flowers do succumb to flea beetle pressure, though, so you will have to keep them covered if you’re a Zone 3 gardener. I love the blue undertones of this flower and definitely think Cress is a must-grow for 2022.
Before we get into these, a slight warning: these flowers have a bit of a weird smell. They are certainly not for everyone. That being said, I love the Tetra White variety. I also grow the Magic Lime variety, though I find it a little harder to use. In general, Feverfew works well in almost every arrangement. I am excited to grow three varieties next year: Tetra White, Magic Lime, and Magic Single, which is the more typical-looking variety that looks like adorable little daisies. Feverfews are moderately cold tolerant, so they can be put out a bit earlier than other flowers. You can also do a later sowing and have nice blooms into the fall.
4. FROSTED EXPLOSION GRASS
I’m not typically into grasses. They’re just not my thing, though I know they’re very trendy. But there’s just something about Frosted Explosion Grass. It is a beautiful, lyrical grass that adds a nice touch to any arrangement. This grass has a movement and texture that fills in the gaps in any bouquet and delivers those often-sought-after rustic, wildflower vibes. If you feel like your bouquet is missing a little something, but you’re not quite sure what, try this grass. It goes with everything.
5. QUEEN LIME ZINNIAS
The Queen Lime Series is a little bit more expensive than your classic Benary’s Giant or Oklahoma Series, but the cost is well worth it. Don’t worry if you aren’t immediately stunned by these flowers. The first time I grew these, I wasn’t sure if they were all they were cracked up to be. But then, I put them in a bouquet and suddenly they made everything look better. Queen Lime Zinnias are experts at pulling together flowers that don’t quite go together. If you throw a Queen Lime in blush, orange, or red into your bouquet, it suddenly makes everything feel right. These are on my lifelong must-grow list.
6. SNAP DRAGONS
These gorgeous cut flowers are cold-tolerant up to -10 °C/14 °F and come in a variety of bold, beautiful colours ranging from soft pink to deep violet. I like to do a late succession of these because they last so long into the fall. There are four basic varieties of Snapdragons that can be used as cut flowers, and they are all magnificent. You must have these in your garden. Just make sure you get the tall varieties that are meant for cutting and not the shorter stemmed varieties meant for pots.
These flowers were new to me this year, and at first, I didn’t think Statice looked that exciting. They are honestly kind of boring. But I got three—I repeat, three—cuttings from my Statice plant this year. Their stem length is fantastic, and they are a little cold-tolerant, too. The only trouble is the neon yellow variety. These are hard to match with other flowers. But the gorgeous hues in the apricot mix are a must-grow. I especially love the white, purple, and peach. Statice goes with anything and dries well, too. Just cross your fingers that you don’t get too many puke-coloured blooms.
You can dry them. You can use them in bouquets. And they grow for a good chunk of the season. These flowers are versatile. Strawflowers are one of the first flowers up in July and one of the last flowers that are cut and come again. These are great to have in the back pocket of your garden. They are also really easy to seed save. I’m planning to plant these in every colour available in 2022. If you are going to try only a couple of colours, try the silvery rose or the apricot, these are my absolute favourite of the favourites.
WHAT FLOWER SHOULD I AVOID GROWING IN MY CUT FLOWER GARDEN?
Without a doubt, the flowers to avoid growing in your cut flower garden in 2022—and, frankly, every year—are… Highlighter Yellow Flowers. These just don’t play nice with anything.
They are so hard to work with. They don’t look good with anything, and they don’t tie anything in. Even if you make a bouquet of just Highlighter Yellow Flowers, which I was very tempted to do, it doesn’t look good either! I’ve had especially bad luck with the highlighter yellow varieties of Statice and Snapdragons. Avoid the yellow colourings for these, and your bouquet-making stresses will melt away. Dahlias are an exception, with some nicer yellow varieties available. But if you’re going to avoid anything in 2022, let it be Highlighter Yellow Flowers. Especially if you’re a first-time flower farmer, these are more trouble than they’re worth.
There you have it. The eight must-grow cut flowers for 2022 and the one variety to avoid at all costs. If you want even more practical information about growing cut flowers or you’re thinking of starting your own urban or backyard small-scale cut flower business, my cut flower course is now open. I plan to share absolutely everything I am planting, why I’m planting it, and the strategy behind it all. I hope to see you all there!
Ready to grow your own beautiful cut flower garden, without the hassle?
I’ve taken all the guesswork out of creating a cut flower garden with my e-book, Cut Flowers Made Simple. It’s the perfect way for beginner and intermediate gardeners to start their own cut flower garden with or without seed starting.
Finally, you can create a stunning cut flower garden with everything you need to make beautiful bouquets all summer long.
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