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2010 Cut Flower Cultivar Trials

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Those who have read these reports over the years may have  noticed that  we have an affinity  for North American native plants that have made it into the big time. Sunflowers. zinnias, liatris, and lisianthus are all major cllt flowers native to North America. One other species that might be added to the List is the marigold. Tbis beloved garden plant has not been as fully accepted as a cut flower. The strong fragrance (read “odor” if you don’t like it) of the foliage puts off customers and growers and the thick, heavily  branched stems can be hard to cut efficiently. However, it might be time to rethink the marigold as a cut flower and consider its many positive traits. This year we had five cultivars from Gloeckner which were productive to a fault – they continued to produce many, many flowers all season long (too many according to the NCSU cut flower group). Marigolds show many similarities to zinnias – the first, and sometimes second flushes of the flowers should be sacrificed to allow the side shoots to get long enough to harvest. The flower heads are hollow where they meet the stems and are easy to pop off. After plants reach harvestable size the quality stems can be cut every couple of days and the beds cleaned of unmarketable flowers.

Here is a link to the complete report in PDF format:

2010 ASCFG Seed Trials