Best Cutting Flowers

Although the best flowers for your cutting garden can be whatever you love in a vase, some flowers are ideal for cut arrangements

Cutting sunflowers by Midwest Gardening.jpg

And don't limit yourself to just flowers!  There are probably many things in your general landscape that can beautifully compliment the flowers you grow for arrangements.  Branches from flowering shrubs and trees can help to create a striking arrangement.  Spring, summer and fall changes in the branches provides wonderful seasonal touches to an arrangement.

But here we will focus on some of the best annuals and perennials to grow in a cutting garden.  My personal preference is to grow plenty of annuals in the cutting garden and use some of the many perennials already established in my gardens.  I find direct sown annuals and self seeding annuals and biennials ideal for a cutting garden.

Annuals:

Cosmos by Sally.jpg
  • Cleome - Great for a large vase with huge blooms and full foliage
  • Cosmos - cosmos stems are typically very tall with good open branching.
  • Dianthus - tall annual varieties have fully round bloom clusters
  • Gypsophila - Baby's Breath is a classic vase filler that pairs well just about anything
  • Marigold - free flowering marigolds gives you bright accents to your arrangements all season
  • Phlox - light sweet fragrance from full round bloom clusters
  • Snapdragon - long lasting tall spikes of blooms
  • Sunflower - Especially a dwarf, multi stemmed variety can fill a vase with one well branched cutting
  • Zinnia - strong straight stems and large colorful blooms

Perennials:

Rudbeckia fulgida 'Early Bird Gold' by Midwest Gardening.jpg
  • Achillea - flat clusters of blooms for great texture and interest
  • Aster - strong stems producing more than enough flowers for cutting
  • Carnation - one of the longest lasting flowers in a vase, as long s 2 or 3 weeks
  • Chrysanthemum - large full blooms for traditional bouquets
  • Dahlia - although Dahlia is a tender bulb, many gardeners store the bulbs over winter.  Dahlia is near perfect for cutting flowers with strong stems, long lasting and striking blooms and full beautiful foliage.
  • Delphinium - tall dramatic spikes
  • Dianthus - not just carnations, the pinks also make wonderful, fragrant and extra long lasting cut flowers.
  • Echinacea - Coneflowers have strong straight stems with long lasting flowers
  • Feverfew - this carefree perennial is an excellent filler in a vase.  Delicate branching and tiny white blooms spread through your arrangement.
  • Lavender - a natural for fragrance, tall spiked structure, and it dries well
  • Lupine - the more you cut the more they bloom.  Striking spikes of bright blooms
  • Peony - huge bold blooms
  • Rudbeckia - as reliable as zinnia and sunflower for producing cut flowers
  • Veronica - showy spikes, cutting encourages rebloom

Filler Foliage:

  • Dusty Miller - frosty sage greenery is a classic delicate green for a vase
  • Eucalyptus - a favorite branchy accent fresh or dried, very long lasting and fragrant
  • Ferns - finely cut favorite for delicate green filler
  • Flowering cabbage - and flowering kale are big bold stars in large arrangements
  • Sage - soft grayed green texture, before or after blooming

Just about anything you can cut from your landscape will make a nice addition to a cut arrangement.  

Sharon Dwyer