Giving that special someone a floral arrangement to celebrate life’s occasions is a wonderful way to express your feelings. What makes it even more special is if you’ve grown those beautiful blooms in your own garden.
Growing your own flower arrangement lets you enjoy those flowers both outside in the garden and when it’s time to gift them in a bouquet.
Types of Flowers to Grow
When Choosing the types of flowers to grow in your flower arrangement garden, it’s wise to select plants that you like and also will grow well in your region. The amount of sunlight your garden receives will also help determine which flowers will thrive and produce the beautiful blooms you’ll want to cut and enjoy in your flower arrangements.
Roses are one of the most recognized flowers in the world and a popular choice for flower arrangements. A species from the modern Rose family is an ideal choice as they have been bred to possess most if not all of the characteristics you’ll want in a cut flower.
Plant your Rose bush in the spring if you live in Northern climates. Those in Southern climates can plant in either the spring or early fall. Choose a sunny location with at least six hours of sunlight per day and give your Roses lots of room to spread. Water your Rose bush at least twice a week during the heat of the summer and fertilize once per month to encourage blooms.
In flower language, Roses symbolize love and romance. Red roses are associated with romantic love and passion, whereas yellow roses mean friendship love. Pink Roses symbolize gratitude and joy, and are also popular to give to Moms or sisters or female friends on special occasions.
Hydrangeas are large, flowering bushes that produce large, showy clusters of blooms. The Mophead Hydrangea is the most popular variety for its exceptionally stunning blooms. White and pink are the most common colors, but Pink Hydrangeas can be turned blue if you grow them in highly acidic soil.
Hydrangeas prefer a sunny location. For warmer climates, morning sun with afternoon sun is often enough. For Northern climates all day sun is recommended. Hydrangeas also need a lot of moisture, so ensure your bush is planted in an area that receives a lot of rainfall or can easily be watered manually.
Gratitude is the primary meaning of the Hydrangea, though in Japan the flower is meant to convey an apology. There is an outdated meaning of boastfulness associated with the Hydrangea, but that association has mostly faded over time.
Irises are an early-blooming flower that are relatively low maintenance but produce unique and fragrant blooms. Irises are available in bearded, beardless, and dwarf varieties.
Plant Irises anytime between late summer to early fall. Choose a spot that receives between 6 and 8 hours of sunlight per day. Irises have low water needs of approximately 1 inch per week from spring to the first half of summer when the plant is actively blooming. After mid summer, watering your Irises once every second week is often enough.
When giving Irises in a flower arrangement, the flower’s meaning is associated with cherished friendship or promises of love, depending on the recipient. Hope and wisdom are secondary meanings also attached to the Iris.
Delphiniums are tall plants that produce several large, cup-shaped blooms on a long spike. These flowers bloom from late spring to early summer and generally last between three to five years.
Plant your Delphiniums in full sun in an area sheltered from the wind to prevent damage. Spring and early fall are the best planting times for these plants to avoid forcing the Delphiniums to establish during the heat of the summer. Delphiniums need regular watering during high heat but avoid soggy soil.
Positivity and encouragement are the sentiments conveyed with Delphiniums. These are perfect flowers to give to someone to encourage them to prevail through difficult times.
Similar to Chrysanthemums, Asters are fall flowers whose blooming is triggered by the shortening of days late in the season. These hardy flowers are a perfect addition to flower arrangements with their colorful and fluffy blooms. Out of the two main varieties, New England and New York, the New England Aster generally makes a better cut flower.
Full to partial sun is recommended for Asters. For warmer climates, avoiding the midday sun helps ensure your Asters don’t struggle to survive in the intense heat. Newly planted Asters require consistent moisture until blooming is finished. When watering, avoid getting water on the foliage which causes mildew or fungus issues.
Love and wisdom are the primary meanings associated with Asters. Include these flowers in an arrangement to celebrate a graduation or career advancement. Asters also make a pretty addition to any fall floral bouquet.
Another popular spring flower, these slender beauties are available in a wide array of colors and shapes. Tulips make great cut flowers thanks to their sturdy stems and blooms and will last over two weeks if well cared for.
Tulips are planted in the fall, six to eight weeks before ground freeze. Tulips prefer full sun but require very little water beyond watering them well in the fall. If rainfall is less than once per week, supplement with one generous watering to keep the plants hydrated.
Tulips symbolize perfect and deep love. Give a bouquet of Tulips instead of Roses in the spring when Tulips are plentiful and easy to find. Choose one main color or mix and match bloom colors for a bright, spring arrangement.
Lilacs grow on bushes and bloom in the late spring and early summer. These fragrant flowers make wonderful cut flowers either one their own or included in a flower arrangement.
Lilac bushes spread so need room to do so. Choose a sunny location that receives between six and eight hours of sunlight per day. Lilac bushes are best planted in the fall, but spring will do if necessary. New Lilac bushes take between three and five years to begin producing blooms. Keep your Lilac bush consistently moist but not soggy.
Lilac meanings vary depending on the color of the blooms. Magenta blooms symbolize love and passion, much like the red Rose, while the traditional lilac-colored blooms mean first love.
Poppies are easy-to-grow flowers that often self seed year after year. Red is the most popular color for these flowers, but orange, white, and yellow are also common. A benefit of growing Poppies is, once they have bloomed the first time, you can cut them back to encourage a second wave of flowers.
Lots of sun and good soil drainage are the keys to healthy Poppies. Planting Poppies is simple–just sprinkle the seeds over loosened soil and shallowly cover the seeds. Germination will occur within seven to 30 days. Keep the soil moist but never soggy.
The red Poppy has long been a symbol for peace and remembrance in the Western world, worn in many countries as a tribute to soldiers who died during combat. In Eastern countries, the red poppy often means love and success.
It’s hard not to admire the cheerful blooms of the Sunflower. Some varieties of these garden giants will grow to a height of up to 16 feet tall. They are fast growing and make a wonderful addition to floral bouquets due to their large and bright blooms.
Sunflowers are heliotropic flowers and will follow the sun as it tracks across the sky throughout the day. Along with full sun, Sunflowers prefer loose, well-draining soil. Shelter from strong winds and regular fertilizing is also recommended.
The primary meanings of the Sunflower are adoration, loyalty, and joy. The traditional yellow blooms are the most popular and perfect for friends or loved ones. For a more tailored meaning, include red Sunflowers for positivity or pink Sunflowers for good health.
Along with the Aster, Chrysanthemums are popular fall flowers that extend the blooming season well into the cooler, Autumn months. Also known as Mums, these flowers are often purchased as potted plants in the fall but cold-hardy varieties can be planted and grown in the garden in USDA zones 6 to 9.
Plant Mums in the spring once the risk of frost has ended. If you’re growing the hardy perennial types in a Southern climate, you may be lucky enough to enjoy blooms in both the spring and fall. Give these blooms full sun and well-draining soil. Keep moist but not soggy.
The universal meanings of Chrysanthemums are happiness, love, and joy. In Asia , Mums are popular to give for birthdays, while in Europe, Mums are often sympathy flowers.
It’s hard to beat the fluffy, beautiful blooms of the Peony. Long associated with the Victorian Era and romance, Peonies bloom from late spring to early summer and make wonderful bouquets to brighten your indoor spaces.
Peonies prefer full sun throughout the day, but will survive on a half day of sun if needed. Shelter from strong winds is recommended, along with fertile, well-draining soil. Due to the Peony’s heavy blooms, these plants often need to be staked for support.
Happiness, romance, and good fortune are the meanings associated with the Peony. The Peony is also the traditional flower for the 12th wedding anniversary. To specialize your flower sentiments, choose white to say you’re sorry, or yellow to celebrate a fresh start such as a new job or at a housewarming.
Growing flowers to create your own floral arrangements is a rewarding and fulfilling endeavor. Not only do you get the joy of growing these beautiful flowers from starter plants, but you can create your own bouquets whenever the need arises.
Avoid having any leaves attached to your flowers’ stems below the water line. These leaves begin to rot in the water and cause premature sullying of the water.
Make your cut flowers last longer by conditioning the flowers. Fill the vase up with water to just below the blooms. Add flower food to the water and place the arrangement in a cool, dark place overnight. When you bring the flowers out to be displayed, avoid sitting the vase in full sun.
Dissolve 3 tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to your flower arrangement’s water. The sugar acts as food for the flowers and the vinegar inhibits bacteria.
Harvest flowers for floral arrangements in either the early morning or evening when the temperatures are cooler. Use a pair of sharp and sterile shears to avoid damaging the plants. Cut the stems at a 45 degree angle and avoid laying the flowers down on the ground. Instead place them on a clean, dry surface to bring them inside.
Roses, Carnations, Orchids, and Tulips are popular flowers to give to a romantic love interest.