2021 Cut Flower Trial Kit Tips and Tricks

Cut Flowers

Here are some production tips and postharvest tricks for what you will be receiving in your trial kit. This is a Trial Kit so the varieties you receive will be a collection of the following and you may not receive every variety due to limited availability of some, but you will get 2 full boxes of young plants.

Antirrhinum majus Madame Butterfly Cherry Bronze

 


Description:

  • Unique “azalea type”, double petal form which prevents pollination by insects, allowing flowers to last longer than single-petaled varieties
  • Also available in Bronze, Bronze White, Ivory, Pink, Red, Rose, Yellow, and a mix
  • Was an AAS Winner in 1970 – talk about longevity!
  • ASCFG Cut Flower of the Year Award in 2016

Production Tips:

  • Suitable for field or high tunnel production
  • Can be produced from spring through fall; all season group
  • Support netting may be needed
  • Expected stem length: 30-36 inches
  • Suggested spacing: 1-2 plugs per 6 x 6 inch square

Postharvest Tricks:

  • Harvest stems depending on your market: For local markets/quick sales – harvest when one-third to one-half of the florets are open for a more showy display and saturated color; For storage/long-term availability – harvest when 2-3 florets up to one third of the florets are open and be sure to use preservatives
  • Expected vase life: 9-11 days without preservative solutions; 13-15 days with preservatives
  • Use a holding solution to encourage buds to open and keep color
  • Snapdragons can be sensitive to ethylene so keep from ethylene sources
  • Store upright to prevent the tips from bending up due to geotropism

 

Antirrhinum majus Opus III/IV Lavender

 


Description:

  • Shapely, central flower spike that has timeless consumer appeal; traditional flower form
  • This Lavender is gorgeous, but this series is also available in Early Bronze, Early White, Pink, Yellow, Appleblossom, Fresh White, Red, and White

Production Tips:

  • Suitable for field, high tunnel, or greenhouse production
  • Opus is bred to flower under long, warm days
  • Support netting may be needed
  • Expected stem length: 30-36 inches
  • Suggested spacing: 1-2 plugs per 6 x 6 inch square

Postharvest Tricks:

  • Harvest stems depending on your market: For local markets/quick sales – harvest when one-third to one-half of the florets are open for a more showy display and saturated color; For storage/long-term availability – harvest when 2-3 florets up to one third of the florets are open and be sure to use preservatives
  • Expected vase life: 7-10 days without preservative solutions; 12-15 with preservatives
  • Use a holding solution to encourage buds to open and keep color
  • Snapdragons can be sensitive to ethylene so keep from ethylene sources
  • Store upright to prevent the tips from bending up due to geotropism

 

Dahlia Café Au Lait  

Pure Perfection

Description:

  • One of the most popular cut flower dahlia varieties on the market
  • Dreamy informal decorative-type blooms in elegant shades of cream to pink
  • These liners were produced from vegetative cuttings, available as a reliable, virus-free alternative to tubers

Production Tips:

  • Suitable for raised beds in the field or high tunnel production
  • Support netting is recommended
  • Expected stem length: 12-15 inches in the field; tunnel grown stems will be a few inches longer
  • Suggested spacing: 12-18 inches or greater in hot, humid areas to allow for air flow

Postharvest Tricks:

  • Harvest when the first few outer rows of petals are open but before the back petals start to fall off
  • Dahlias are not sensitive to ethylene
  • Expected vase life: 4-5 days
  • A holding solution is recommended to extend vase life
  • In general, dahlias do not tolerate long-term cold storage

 

Dahlia Karma (various colors)

Good Vibes from Field to Vase

Description:

  • Specifically bred for cut flower production; beautiful, vibrant blooms on strong, sturdy stems
  • Karmas can be harvested at a tighter bud stage for longer vase life
  • Mix of flower types including decorative, water lily, and cactus
  • These liners were produced from vegetative cuttings, available as a reliable, virus-free alternative to tubers

Production Tips:

  • Suitable for raised beds in the field or high tunnel production
  • Support netting is recommended
  • Expected stem length: 15-18 inches in the field; tunnel grown stems will be a few inches longer
  • Suggested spacing: 12-18 inches or greater in hot, humid areas to allow for air flow

Postharvest Tricks:

  • Karma can be harvested as early as when the petals start to lift off the bud and show color and will continue to open; however, harvest for your market similar to our recommendation for Snapdragons – more color for local market and quick turns where color sells and tighter harvest stage for storage or sales to florists where it might be held before being sold/used
  • A holding solution is recommended to extend vase life
  • In general, dahlias do not tolerate long-term cold storage
  • Expected vase life: 4-5 days
     

Dahlia Moon Lady 

Bask in Her Glow

Description:

  • Decorative-type bright yellow blooms on productive plants with sturdy stems for cut flower production
  • These liners were produced from vegetative cuttings, available as a reliable, virus-free alternative to tubers
  • Perfect addition for the Pantone Color of the Year – Illuminating!

Production Tips:

  • Suitable for raised beds in the field or high tunnel production
  • Support netting is recommended
  • Expected stem length: 15-18 inches in the field; tunnel grown stems will be a few inches longer
  • Suggested spacing: 12-18 inches or greater in hot, humid areas to allow for air flow

Postharvest Tricks:

  • Harvest when the first few outer rows of petals are open but before the back petals start to fall off
  • Dahlias are not sensitive to ethylene
  • Expected vase life: 4-5 days
  • A holding solution is recommended to extend vase life
  • In general, dahlias do not tolerate long-term cold storage

 

Digitalis Camelot Cream

Description:

  • Large, tubular flowers on tall stems for a dramatic display
  • This kit includes Cream, but Camelot is also available in White, Lavender, Rose and a mix

Production Tips:

  • Perennial in Zones 4-9, though usually grown as an annual
  • No vernalization required though can be beneficial
  • Blooms in spring - summer the first year
  • Great for high tunnels or field
  • Expected stem length: 42-48 inches
  • Suggested spacing: 9 x 9 inch, 12 x 12 inch if reliably perennial in your area and you want to keep it

Postharvest Tricks:

  • Harvest when up to one-third of florets are open for quick sales and when 2-3 florets are open for long-term sales/maximum vase life
  • Harvesting before flowers are pollinated will maximize vase life
  • Expected vase life: 8-9 days
  • Use a holding solution to extend vase life
  • Foxglove is generally sensitive to ethylene so keep from ethylene sources and consider treating with an anti-ethylene agent to extend vase life

 

Helianthus interspecific Sunfinity

 

Description:

  • Unlike any other seed annual sunflower because it keeps reblooming and branching for 9-12 weeks unlike the one-cut-and-done varieties; a branching sunflower that actually branches!
  • Interspecific hybrid
  • Warm golden petals and a dark center for a traditional look
  • Great flower size and stem length for bouquets
  • Perfect choice for pick-your-own farms since customers can cut flowers and the plant would re-bloom unlike one-and-done varieties that would need to be replanted
  • Also great for those Instagram-worthy backdrops for season-long blooms; people can’t help but want to take a picture with Sunfinity

Production Tips:

  • Best for field plantings
  • Takes about 2 weeks to flush out again after hard harvests, utilize 2-3 plantings for future planning
  • Pinch to 6 nodes after transplant in the field to encourage lateral branching early, but not critical
  • Expected stem length: 19-25 inches
  • Suggested spacing: 12 x 12 inch spacing minimum to allow for full, branching plants
  • Plants can reach up to 3-4 ft in height and width at maturity

Postharvest Tricks:

  • Harvest when petals just start to lift from the disc for maximum vase life
  • Expected vase life: 8-9 days
  • Holding solution recommended to extend vase life

 

Lavandula angustifolia Vintro Forte Blue

Description:

  • English lavender, traditional flower form on strong stems and sturdy plants
  • Perennial zones 5-9

Production Tips:

  • No vernalization required, first year flowering
  • Suggested spacing: 9-12 inches
  • Expected stem length: 14-18 inches

Postharvest Tricks:

  • Harvest fresh or hang to dry
  • Expected vase life: 5-7 days but tend to dry in the vase

 

Lavandula stoechas Violeta XL Purple

Description:

  • New introduction for 2021!
  • Spanish lavender propagated from seed and the first ever with repeat flowering
  • Vigorous habit with large high quality flowers with purple flags on top
  • Perennial zones 7-9

Production Tips:

  • No vernalization required, first year flowering
  • Expected stem length: 14-20 inches
  • Suggested spacing: 9-12 inches

Postharvest Tricks:

  • Great fresh or dried
  • Expected vase life: 5-7 days

 

Penstemon hartwegii Arabesque Pink

Description:

  • Showy, tubular flowers that are bigger than other common cut flower penstemon
  • Summer alternative to a snapdragon
  • Pink comes in this kit, but Appleblossom, Red, Orchid, and Violet are also available
  • Strong branching habit and sturdy stems

Production Tips:

  • Expected stem length: 24-30 inches
  • Suggested spacing: 9 x 9 inch

Postharvest Tricks:

  • Harvest stage is similar to snapdragon
  • Expected vase life: 4-7 days
  • Use a holding solution to extend vase life
  • Some penstemon can be sensitive to ethylene so protect them ethylene sources and consider treating with anti-ethylene agents

 

Penstemon hartwegii Phoenix

Description:

  • Showy, tubular flowers that are bigger than other common cut flower penstemon
  • Summer alternative to a snapdragon
  • Your kit will have one of these 4 colors: Magenta, Violet, Red, or Pink  

Production Tips:

  • Expected stem length: 18-24 inches (a little bit shorter than Arabesque)
  • Suggested spacing: 9 x 9 inch

Postharvest Tricks:

  • Harvest stage is similar to snapdragon
  • Expected vase life: 4-7 days
  • Use a holding solution to extend vase life
  • Some penstemon can be sensitive to ethylene so protect them ethylene sources and consider treating with anti-ethylene agents

 

Zinnia elegans Uproar Rose F1

Description:

  • The only color in the series, but it’s a beauty!
  • Long, strong stems, high yield, and fully double flowers show off the benefits of an F1 hybrid Zinnia
  • ASCFG Cut Flower of the Year award in 2009
  • Its consistent magenta-rose color, high degree of doubleness and large flower size made this a favorite with growers across the country in the ASCFG trial

Production Tips:

  • Best in the field
  • For those growing zinnias in the North, one planting may be enough for long stems all season
  • For those in the South, fresh plantings every four weeks will insure a constant supply of high-quality flowers for future production considerations
  • Mildew resistant, but as with similar cultivars, the incidence will increase on older plantings, especially in the fall
  • Expected stem length: 30 inches
  • Suggested spacing: 9 x 9 inch recommended, up to 12 x 12 inch

Postharvest Tricks:

  • Harvest when yellow disc florets start to show and the stem is stiff under the flower head
  • Vase life: 7-10 days
  • Use a holding solution or chlorine tablets to maximize vase life
  • Zinnias don’t tolerate cold storage well; some growers find it best to store them in a cool shaded spot rather than the cooler

These tips and tricks are meant to be starting points for your production and postharvest practices. Actual performance may vary with region and growing conditions.

Author

Alicain Carlson
Alicain Carlson, Ph.D.
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Cut Flower Technical Specialist