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Cut Flowers Garden Plan

.   .  .  grace your table with flowers from your garden!

Native Plant Flower Arrangement

Who says only annuals can make up a cut flower garden? By now gardeners know that native perennials are sustainable pollinator attractors and are necessary to support wildlife. In addition to providing these ecological benefits, many of them make beautiful cut flowers. With their relaxed habit and unique blooms, native plants add a touch of wildness to a floral design. The following native perennials look great inside the home as well as in the garden, where they provide support to the local ecosystem.

If you’re just getting started or want to augment your existing perennial plantings for cutting, here are 25 native flowering plants and grasses that you may not know and make exceptional cut flower arrangements.

To create fast, no-fuss arrangements on the fly, follow a few simple design principles.

  Tall elements go in the middle and back, short elements belong in front and sides
  Use shades/variations of the same color and colors opposite each other on the color wheel
  Use foliage or thicker blooms at the base of the arrangement as filler to hold things in place

You don't need to be a botanist or even have green thumbs. But, it does help to know a little bit about the actual structure of flowers and their stems. When a flower stem is cut, a tiny bubble of air forms on the base of the stem and covers the small screens that allow water through. If this bubble is not removed, the flower won’t be able to absorb the water in the vase and will dry out and die, so you have to act quickly to stop this drying-out process. Here are 6 more helpful hints.

  Trim the stems
  Remove unnecessary leaves
  Do not remove thorns
  Avoid heat
  Cut flowers early in the evening
  Use a clean vase

Use Citrus Fruits

If you use colored vases, a good squeeze of lemon, orange, or lime juice will work just fine. However, they can stain glass, so they are no good if your vases are clear.

Use Lemonade or Sprite

For clear vases, use lemonade or Sprite instead. This is a good way to use up the last drops of your soda as the flowers won’t care if the soda is flat. Don’t use the diet variety though.

Use Vinegar and Sugar Mixture

Another useful homemade flower food is to mix two tablespoons of sugar with 2 tablespoons of white vinegar in two pints of lukewarm water.

For a complete catalog of Wisconsin native plants for cut flowers:

Bloom Common Name Scientific Name Color Height Light
EARLY Large-Flowered Bellwort Uvularia grandiflora Yellow 1-2'
Pussy Willow Salix discolor White, Yellow 10-20'
MID Blue-Eyed Grass Sisyrinchium angustifolium Blue, Lavender 6-12"
Columbine Aquilegia canadensis Red, Yellow 2-3'
Common Bluestar Amsonia tabernaemontana Blue 2-3'
Early Meadow Rue Thalictrum dioicum White, Cream 1-3'
Golden Alexanders Zizia aurea Yellow 1-2'
Virginia Waterleaf Hydrophuyllum virginianum White, Pink 1-2'
MID-LATE Bur Sedge Carex grayi Green 2-3'
Canada Anemone Anemone canadensis White 1-2'
Lanceleaf Coreopsis Coreopsis lanceolata Yellow 1-2'
New Jersey Tea Ceanothus americanus White 2-3'
Pale Purple Coneflower Echinacea pallida Lavender, Pink 3-5'
Poverty Oatgrass Danthonia spicata White, Green 12"
Purple Meadow Rue Thalictrum dasycarpum Cream 8'
Scarlet Beebalm Monarda didyma Red 3-5'
Bergemot Monarda fistulosa Lavender 2-5'
Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta Yellow 1-3'
Carolina Larkspur Delphinium virescens White 6-12"
Lavender Hyssop Agastache foeniculum Lavender 2-4"
Oxeye Sunflower Helianthus helianthoides Yellow 3-6"
LATE Dense Blazing Star Liatris spicata Lavender, Pink 2-5'
Rough Blazing Star Liatris aspera Purple, Lavender 2-3'
Stiff Aster Ionactis linariifolius Purple 12"
Tall Joe Pye Weed Eupatorium fistulosum Lavender, Pink 5-8'