Green flowers are all the rage

January 24, 2018

This year we have two months with blue moons – that is when the full moon appears twice in the same month. It might be a blue moon, but as every kid knows, the moon is still made of green cheese. Green cheese has nothing to do with the color green. Here, "green" simply means new or fresh, so new cheese is "green" cheese. If the moon isn't green, at least space aliens are. Because early science fiction writing from the 1920s and 1930s wanted to portray space aliens as strangely different from humans, they were given green skin. So now we have Little Green Men from Mars, and a moon made of green cheese. But green is the color of gardening – you might even have a green thumb. Green in the garden means leaves, but it also means green flowers. If for nothing other than shock value, growing green blossoms is worth the effort. And green flowers are surprisingly attractive.

Even if the moon is green, the sun is always yellow, and sunflowers are therefore yellow. But there is something new under the sun, Sun-Fill Green, a green sunflower. These fast-growing sunflowers quickly reach five to six feet tall with four-inch-wide, brilliant green, geometric flower heads. The back sides of the flower heads have interesting patterns, and they are often as beautiful as the flower itself. The flowers are pollenless, so they make good cut flowers.

Plant the small seeds directly in the garden after all danger of frost has passed and the soil is warm. Plant the seeds one-half-inch deep in full sun. Regular garden soil is fine; in fact, too much fertilizer can make sunflowers grow too vigorously, warping the flowers into abnormal shapes. Seeds are available from Johnny’s Seeds ( or Burpee (

For more permanent green flowers, nothing is more of a conversation piece than the green rose. Dating back before 1845, this hardy bush is truly everblooming. The green blossoms are streaked in copper and tend to blend in with the foliage. This rose does well in floral arrangements. It can be dried for use as an everlasting. The small blooms are lightly fragrant with a spicy, peppery aroma. Green roses are hardy in USDA zones 6-9 or zone 5 with winter protection.

The green-and-white Green Halo peony has its white petals framed with green ones. It is mildy fragrant and blooms early to mid-season. Green Halo has quickly attracted a cult-like following. And finally, there are Green Star gladiolus. This lime-colored, deer-resistant flower blooms in spikes of big, full, true-green flowers. It is dramatic in the garden or in a vase. Try mixing the green flowers with burgundy, purple or white ones. Plant gladiolus after all danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed. It helps to add compost to the bed before planting. Set the corms with pointed end facing up, four inches deep, three to six inches apart in light, well-drained soil in full sun. You'll have huge, sword-like stalks of Green Star gladiolus in under 90 days.

So give a green light to green flower gardening, and plant flowers that bloom in shades of green. Your friends will be green with envy.

  • Paul Barbano writes about gardening from his home in Rehoboth Beach. Contact him by writing to P. O. Box 213, Lewes, DE 19958.

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