Spring Bouquet Besties to Grow & Give

Having beautiful flowers growing outside in your garden is only part of the fun. Equally enjoyable is cutting a vaseful to admire inside on your kitchen table, or bringing a bouquet to a friend or neighbor to brighten their day. Some of our favorite bouquet besties are Scabiosas, Centaureas and Nicotianas, not because they have a single large flower that might be the center of attention in your bouquet, but because they produce a grand chorus of back-up singers that add the harmony, volume and depth that makes the entire flower show better. They’re all super bloomiferous so you can harvest a lot and won’t even notice they’re gone. They’re long lasting in vases and they come in a variety of colors to mix and match with everyone else in the vase. No wonder why we love’em!

Nicotiana alata 'Lime Green'

Easy, versatile, lime-a-licious and exceptionally long-blooming, we use this plant A LOT in our nursery beds because it harmonizes so well with everything! This is the old-fashioned, 3’ tall variety - not the awful modern 6” hybrid. Quickly growing to a bushy 30” across, it glows with 1.5” lime chartreuse starry flowers that are long lasting in cut flower bouquets! Cut back to 6” when it’s finished, side-dress with 1” of compost and it’ll bloom again!

Perennial USDA Zones 8-10
(Annual Elsewhere)

Scabiosa caucasica 'Fama Blue'

One of our favorite perennials! EASY and reliable “flower machine”, HUGE, rich lavender, violet-scented blooms to 4” across, are studded with white pins atop sturdy stems to 3’ tall – fab for cutting! So very long-blooming – late spring to summer or fall with deadheading. Cut back to 2” tall in Winter. Can easily be divided after a year to keep it high performing. Mil­dew-free, bee and butterfly magnet! Rich soil a must. Deer resistant!

Perennial USDA Zones 4-10

Nicotiana mutabilis

Can you say robust? This giant Brazilian, show-stopper blooms year around along the coast and will quickly and easily reach 5’– 6’ – 8’ tall, creating a cloud of sensational 1” blooms at least 3’ across. Each flower starts out white and ages to pale pink, then rose – with all colors appearing at the same time. Trust us, it’s awesome! Perennial in temperate zones, cutting it back encourages its divine purpose. Makes an attractive cut flower for mixed bouquets. Rich soil for best show and it self-sows, too! Very popular with hummingbirds.

Perennial USDA Zones 8-10
(Annual Elsewhere)

Scabiosa atropurpurea 'Snowmaiden'

The large and almost spherical blooms of Scabiosa atropurpurea, come in a new color - pure white! A veritable “cut-flower machine,” the blooms are borne atop long, wiry stems up to 18” long and appear prolifically spring thru summer. Very easy to grow in full sun and rich, loamy soil and excellent in a large container. Cut back to 8” or 10” after bloom and fertilize or top dress with compost to keep her happy. Perennial in Sunset zone 16-17. Easy and much loved by butterflies and bees. To 3’ tall and 2’ spread.

Perennial USDA Zones 9-11

Centaurea cyanus 'Black Gem'

Now you don't have to wait for the Black Bachelor Buttons to show up out of the mix! Ruffled, darkest maroon flowers contrast pleasantly with the silvery cast of the leaves spring through summer. Ooh, the new plant combo possibilities and a wonderful cut flower of course! To 2’ x 1’. Self sows!

Annual All USDA Zones

Centaurea cyanus 'Blue Diadem'

How hard is it to find old-fashioned TALL “Bachelor Buttons” these days? Unless you grow them from seed, you’ll probably only find those squatty ones sprayed with dwarfing chemicals that will never look as charming as these! Bright, richest blue, 2.5” wide, edible blooms on upright 3’ branched stems is what you want and our favorite, ‘Blue Diadem,’ truly delivers!

Annual All USDA Zones

Scabiosa atropurpurea 'Florist's Pink'

The “Florist’s” varieties are bred to have larger 2” “pinned” spherical flowers and longer stems perfect for flower arranging. A charming new color for us – the blooms begin as raspberry-pink, shifting with time to soft pink so you get a multi-hued effect. To 3’ x 20” with loads of blooms for months from summer into fall, especially with deadheading. Bee and butterfly magnet! Rich, loamy, well-drained soil a must.

Perennial USDA Zones 9-10
(Annual Elsewhere)
Centaurea cyanus 'Red Boy'

Another cottage garden essential – rosey-red bachelor buttons that grow to a proper size of 40" tall and 30" across, brimming with hundreds of 2" blooms for months – especially if you dead-head. A great zingy color to liven up your garden that will give you lots of delightful cut flowers. EASY! Best in rich, loamy soil. Butterflies and bees will love you! Self sows reliably.

Annual All USDA Zones

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Annie's Annuals & Perennials
Nursery: 740 Market Ave. Richmond, CA 94801
Business Office: 801 Chesley Ave. Richmond, CA, 94801
(888) 266-4370