How to raise cut flowers from seed

Do it:

Mar, Apr

Takes just:

15 minutes

At its best:

Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep

Cut flowers really brighten up a home, and growing your own can save you a fortune on floristry bills. There are plenty of varieties suitable for cutting, including ‘everlasting’ flowers, which can be cut and dried to use in arrangements all year round. Also, many attract bees, butterflies and other insects, providing a valuable resource for our native wildlife.

Raise cut flowers from seed in small pots or trays during spring, and the plants will be ready to plant out in May. Use them to fill gaps in summer borders or grow larger quantities in rows on the allotment or veg plot. Stagger sowings by a few weeks to give you a regular supply of blooms.

Many of the best summer blooms are easy-to-grow hardy annuals and, with seeds costing less than £2 per packet, you can enjoy a mass of colour even on a tight budget.

Cut flowers that are easy to grow from seed include Ammi, Antirrhinum, cosmos, larkspur, Nigella, scabious, sunflowers and zinnia. For flowers to dry, consider quaking grass, sea lavender, strawflower and Rhodanthe.

You will need

Modular seed trays

Good quality compost

Seeds

Vermiculite or grit

Plant labels

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Fill a pot or seed tray with seed compost, and tamp it down. 

Sow seed sparingly, following the instructions on the seed packet for sowing depth. Moisten your fingers to help pick up individual seeds.

Cover the seeds with vermiculite or horticultural grit, and label the tray. 

Stand the tray in a shallow dish of water so the compost saturates without disturbing the seed. Allow to drain and then keep the tray on a sunny windowsill or in a heated propagator until germination. 

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