One of the biggest benefits of growing flowers is cutting them for indoor bouquets. Choose varieties that are long lasting as cut flowers; some will last for weeks in water if they are properly cared for. Change the water in the container daily and remove individual flowers as soon as they fade. This will help prevent bacteria, which smells unpleasant and reduces the useful life of cut flowers.
A popular and well-known cut flower, the chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum spp.) can last a month or longer in an indoor bouquet. Chrysanthemums, or simply "mums," are increasingly available as small potted plants in springtime. Transplanted into the garden, they will produce a wealth of blossoms in late summer and early fall, in time for use in autumn-themed bouquets. Grow them in full sun and pinch out the growing tips until early June. This will encourage them to branch out and produce many more flowers.
Carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus var) have moved beyond the boutonniere to use as a popular component of cut flower bouquets. White varieties of carnations are commonly cut and placed in a solution of water and dye. The stems absorb the dye, and the flower petals turn a lovely pastel color. This procedure is most commonly used to dye carnations a delicate green for a particular holiday in March. Still other varieties of carnations have been developed that are white with brightly colored edges on the petals. Carnations are hardy perennials that bloom in the garden beginning in late spring. They have a delicate clove-like scent and ruffled petals with pinked edges.
A member of the same family as amaryllis, alstroemeria (Alstroemeria spp.) are tender perennials grown primarily for the cut flower industry. They have lily-like blossoms that are bi-colored, primarily white or cream accented with pink, rose, yellow, tan and golden. Alstroemeria are grown from tubers planted in early spring. They flower from late spring through early summer. Keep them moist throughout the growing season. Dig and store the tubers for winter. Wrap them in damp peat moss and store in a frost free area. Check them every two to three weeks and add a small amount of water if needed to keep the peat moss damp.