By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden
Statice flowers are long-lasting annuals with sturdy stems and compact, colorful blooms that are deer resistant. History of the statice flower shows it was once prized as a late-summer addition to bouquets, but new hybridized versions make it available now for longer use. The use of statice as cut flowers is highly desirable.
Using Statice as Cut Flowers
Also called sea lavender (Limonium sinuatum), using statice in cut flower arrangements seems to signify fond memories in many people. Statice cut flowers are long lasting in the vase, whether fresh or dried.
When growing statice as cut flowers for fresh bouquets, both foliage and protrusions should be stripped from lower stems to provide more longevity. They also look attractive in dried arrangements, and cut plants can be hung upside down in bunches and placed in a dark location with cool temperatures for drying.
Growing Statice Plants
If you are a fan of indoor cut flowers and dried arrangements, you may find that growing statice in outdoor beds provides you with an ample supply of this popular filler plant.
Start seeds of statice flowers indoors, eight to ten weeks before the last frost date. Statice plant care may involve a hardening off period in cold temperatures when plants are three to eight weeks old, providing a more productive plant with earlier blooms.
Blooms develop in mid to late summer. The history of the statice flower indicates the bluish purple color has long been the most popular when using statice as cut flowers. However, cultivars of statice are now found in whites, yellows, pinks, violet and orange colors.
Statice Plant Care
Statice plant care is minimal once the plant is established. In fact, once planted outside, the plant needs only occasional watering and pinching back as needed.
Consider growing statice to brighten your garden and your indoor displays. This popular and low maintenance beauty can make your indoor flowers stand out and look like a professional florist has created your cut flower arrangements.
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Growing Statice Flowers
Statice, also known as Sea Lavender, is a kind of flower that usually grows in a dry place as it is drought and heat resistant. Statice is a perennial plant which grows or blooms only once in a year. This plant can be easily grown and it needs no special rituals you usually do for your other flowers.
Statice flowers are ideal to be grown in your garden especially if you love to see a garden full of colors! This breathtaking flower has variety of colors which include orange, yellow, lavender, blue, apricot and peach.
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Connecticut Garden Journal: Strawflowers & Statice
Each year, I often rotate growing various cut flowers in our garden. This year I went back to growing two old favorites strawflowers and statice. I hadn't grown these annual cut flowers for years and I'm glad I did this year.
They are beautiful and durable. What I like about strawflowers and statice is they're attractive in the garden now, cut as fresh flowers for a vase, or cut and dried for long lasting indoor bouquets.
Strawflowers stand 2 feet tall with double, daisy-like flowers that have stiff, papery petals. Depending on the variety the flowers can be white to a deep purple color. I like 'Sultan mix' for the best variety of colors.
Statice is more understated. The dandelion-like foliage produces 1 to 2 foot tall, thin stalks loaded with rose, white, pink, yellow, peach, or violet colored small flowers. Like strawflowers, statice flowers are papery. Statice is also called sea lavender and grows well in poor soils and in salt air by the ocean.
Both flowers are best grown in full sun on well-drained soil. They aren't fussy about soil fertility, but should be kept well-weeded.
Harvest strawflowers when 2 or 3 layers of petals have opened. Harvest statice when most the flowers have fully opened. Cut 12- to 15-inch long stalks of flowers, remove the leaves of strawflowers, and hang them upside down to dry in a warm, airy place out of direct sunlight. Once dried, they will last for months in a dried flower bouquet with other easy to dry flowers, such as lavender and panicle hydrangeas, reminding you of your summer garden all winter.
How to Plant Statice
We start our seeds in an unheated greenhouse about eight weeks before the last frost date, sowing them very thickly in a tray filled with 1 inch of commercial potting soil and covering them with 1/8 inch of potting soil or vermiculite. Though the germination rate is always good, it varies somewhat with each variety and color. Therefore, just to be sure, we always sow many more seeds than we need. As soon as they're big enough to handle, the emerging seedlings are transplanted into standard nursery four-or six-packs filled with potting soil. (Compost can be used, but its high variability in nutrient proportions, pH and panicle size and the presence of weed seeds can make it more trouble than it's worth.) New transplants are protected from the sun for two days and then returned to normal light conditions.
In a few weeks, the seedlings are about an inch in diameter and resemble a lawn weed. We place these in cold frames to harden for another two weeks before setting them out in the garden around April 1. In order to take maximum advantage of the fact that statice has a long period of production, it's essential that the plants be given an early start. However, since the statice is planted in the garden long before the earth warms, we start it out by fertilizing with a 50/50 mix of blood meal and meat meal, which promotes both immediate and longer-lasting release of nitrogen until the soil warms up in late spring.
To make the most efficient use of garden space, fertilizers, compost and water, we grow statice in raised beds 5 feet across and 60 feet long. (Since we place the plants 15 inches apart, with a leeway of 7 inches to the edge of the path, each bed holds 188 plants.) In this way, 70 percent of the garden space is used for beds, and the other 30 percent is taken up by pathways, which are the width of the rotary cultivator plus 2 inches, allowing for easy maintenance. We've also found that using beds minimizes the tendency of the blooms to fall or bend, as their density allows them to support one another. Along the edges of the beds, we construct a simple string fence to keep the flowers from drooping into the walkways.
Watering can be done by overhead methods or by drip irrigation. Sprinkling the plants from above increases the chance that the blooms will fall, though this problem is not severe. Drip irrigation, then, is the perfect solution, but that, of course, requires extra capital.
Sowing Statice Seeds Growing Flowers from Seed Gardening for Beginners Cut Flower Farm
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Many ornamental flowers and cut flowers are TOXIC. ALWAYS do your own research and take responsibility for the plants that you introduce around your kids, pets, and everyone else. Use common sense when handling plant materials: wear gloves, always wash hands, avoid contact with face, etc. NEVER consume any plant which has not been positively identified with complete certainty to be safe and edible. Before planting anything, research to determine whether specific flowers are considered invasive where you live or if there are laws that apply to their planting in your area.
@freshcutky documents the pursuit of my goal of one day owning my own cut flower farm. Along the way, you’ll see random projects, cooking, and of course – growing stuff. I’m not an expert, and would never claim to be. There’s always more to learn – this is my journey. The purpose of my blog, and other social media accounts (including YouTube) is to share ideas. I do my best to offer information that is useful, but reliance on that information is strictly at your own risk and NOT a substitute for professional advice of any kind. I do not create sponsored content or use affiliate links unless they have been explicitly stated above.
Preparing the Stems
Garden flowers require some additional preparation after cutting. The type of preparation depends on the type of flower stem: hearty, hollow, soft, woody, or milky.
Flowers with hearty (or solid) stems, such as cockscomb, Clarkia, marigolds, statice, and transvaal daisies, need only the diagonal cut to absorb maximum water. They should be left to drink in lukewarm water with preservative for a minimum of one hour before arranging.
The stems of hollow-stemmed flowers, such as amaryllis, bells-of-Ireland, dahlias, delphiniums, and hollyhocks, need to be filled with water. Simply turn the flower upside down and pour water into the open cavity of the stalk. To keep the liquid in, you can plug the stem with a small piece of cotton and then place it in the vase. Alternatively, place your thumb over the opening at the bottom of the stem and then put it in the water. The water trapped inside will keep the stem strong and straight. I have noticed that when I fill the hollow stems in this way, the heads of my dahlias stand upright and the small buds on the tip my larkspur actually open!
Bulb flowers such as hyacinths, iris, and tulips have soft stems and should be cut where the green on the stem starts—just above the white bulb. Place the flowers in cold water. Since most bulbs bloom when the air and ground are still at low temperatures, they do better in a vase of cold water.
For woody plants such as lilac, dogwood, mock orange, pear, and heather, be sure to split the stems at the ends rather than smash them. This will keep vascular tissues intact and create more surface area to absorb water.
Flowers such as euphorbia, lobelia, poinsettia, and snow-on-the-mountain secrete latex sap that oozes into the water and clogs the vascular system of other flowers in the container, preventing them from absorbing water. For this reason, the ends of the stems need to be seared before the flowers are placed in the arrangement. There are two ways to accomplish this: Either dip the cut end of the flower in boiling water for 30 seconds or apply a flame from a match or candle to the precut flower stem for about 30 seconds.
Do not use these flowers with a pin holder, because each time the flowers are cut they need to be seared again. Searing is not effective in halting the seepage of secretion from daffodils. Therefore daffodils should not be mixed with other flowers if you want a long-lasting arrangement.
Statices make for excellent dry flowers. Cut the flowers when they bloom fully. Cut the stem to a length of 12 inches if you want a good crop of cut flowers. Shred the foliage and keep your blossoms in a vase topped with water and place it in a cool and dry area. Be certain, that direct sunshine does not fall on them.