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Beautiful flowers begin in the garden—and once spring arrives (soon!), going to the garden can be a great place to find yours. Deadheading is intuitive to even dilettante gardeners like me. It’s natural to pinch off any withered and brown buds, if only for their unsightliness. Pruning a flowering plant in its prime though, requires a deeper commitment to plant care. And an iron will.
But what if you could create an aesthetic incentive to prune and extend your cuttings’ flowering life before they meet the compost heap? In preparation for this spring and summer—and all the flowers and pruning that will come with them—here’s what I learned about pruning and keeping the clippings as indoor flower arrangements.
Outdoor plants with wooded stems make excellent cut flowers. The dense and often dark foliage contrasts with the bright buds. The branches give you the structural rigidity to construct an arrangement without the aid of floral foam.
The Lantana plant, for example, is a favorite of green thumbs looking to attract butterflies. Its cheerful mix of orange, yellow, and pink buds brighten gardens in addition to drawing pollinators. When I sought to prune my Lantana last summer, I turned to my local experts at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for tips on how to cut and care for blooms in water.
Read more about how to give your pruning victims a second life at Brooklyn Botanic Garden!