19 Pretty Flowers for a Cutting Garden
Do you have indoor bouquets in mind? Here are our top picks for cut garden flowers, including roses, dahlias, zinnias and more.
I recently became accustomed to having fresh flowers on my dining room table. It started off as a little treat now and then, but I kept feeling as if something was missing whenever my favorite green vase was bare. Ten dollars at the farmers market here and $14 at the grocery store there can really add up. My solution for a constant (and expensive!) desire for fresh blossoms indoors? Growing flowers for a cut garden! It’s so obvious now that I’m kicking myself for not thinking of it sooner. I chose my favorites to complete this list, but grow what you like and enjoy fresh bouquets in your house all summer.
(Veronica spp., Zones 3 to 9)
If you want to make a big impact, put several spikes of Veronica speedwell together right in the middle of your flower arrangement. They’ll add height and interest. Look for long-blooming varieties.
Why we love it: I’m a sucker for the drama of Veronica speedwell. Those beautiful spikes are major eye-catchers that come in white, purple, pink or blue. They’ll bloom for a long time both inside and outside, but trust me: You’ll want to bring them in.
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Also called garden stock and gillyflower, the blooms of stock grow tall and as a tight cluster. The flower clusters might make the plant a little heavy, so you may need to stake it in the garden. Cut stock when about two-thirds of the blooms are open and it should do well in a vase.
Why we love it: The best part about including stock in your flowers for a cutting garden is the sweet and spicy scent. Some say it smells like cloves.
Check out the 10 prettiest pink perennial flowers to grow.
(Centaurea cyanus, annual)
You might know this beauty as cornflower. And if you’re familiar with it, you probably love how easy it is to grow. They are prolific growers that require very little care but offer many rewards. Bachelor’s buttons make pretty dried flowers, too!
Why we love it: Bachelor’s buttons are beautiful and long-lasting as flowers for a cut garden. Their large variety of lively colors will add brightness to any arrangement. Look for them in blue, pink, red, white and purple.
Besides cornflower, you’ll love these pretty blue flowers for every garden.
ROSEMARY CALVERT/GETTY IMAGES
(Cosmos spp., annual)
This annual flower is a garden favorite that is known to attract birds and butterflies, but you don’t want to give cosmos completely to your winged friends. Cut cosmos and take it inside and enjoy it yourself.
Why we love it: If it’s versatility you’re after, cosmos is it. Tons of varieties and colors are available. Find one that will complement the rest of the blooms in your cutting garden. Plus, cosmos flowers are known for their resilience.
Photo courtesy of Proven Winners, www.provenwinners.com
(Leucanthemum x superbum, Zones 4 to 9)
You can’t beat the classic daisy look of a Shasta daisy! It’s a strong grower with sturdy stems and a long vase life, making it an ideal pick for flowers for a cutting garden. It’ll also look delightful in containers or flower beds. Northern gardeners should divide Shasta daisies every year or so for the longevity of the plant.
Why we love it: I love floral arrangements that include Shasta daisies because the white flowers provide a calm among all the crazy colors of the other blooms I enjoy. Plus, it’ll probably be one of the last standing in your bouquet.
Courtesy Monica Slack
(Gomphrena globosa, annual)
It’s hard not to like globe amaranth. It’s a prolific bloomer that will last until frost. And in general, this plant isn’t fussy. It’ll tolerate various soils and moisture levels—basically a gardener’s dream.
Why we love it: The round blooms of globe amaranth add that fun element to an arrangement that not many flowers can. I personally love the globe look and the bright colors! Look for it in pink, purple and white.
Check out the top 10 biggest blooms for your flower garden.
Courtesy Jessica Larry
(Paeonia, Zones 3 to 9)
They say it’s best to cut peonies in the morning. You’ll get a better vase life out of them if you cut them when they’re not fully open. But before you bring them in, beware of little bugs or ants that might be hiding in the blossoms.
Why we love it: I love peonies for their large, full blooms. Peonies have a small window in spring when they can be used as a cut flower, so even just a few peonies alone can make a gorgeous small bouquet.
Courtesy Ashton Cillo
(Astilbe spp., Zones 4 to 9)
A shade favorite, astilbe offers a vertical softness to the garden, and the leaves have a fernlike appearance. After harvesting, put astilbe in water right away. Letting the stems dry out for even a short time will drastically reduce its life as a cut flower.
Why we love it: I love different heights and textures in my bouquets, so that’s why astilbe is on my list. Cut them just before you’re going to prepare your bouquet and when the blooms are half open.
Courtesy Rita Goldthwaite
(Helianthus annuus, annual)
Don’t worry; you don’t need to bring a sunflower the size of your head indoors. There are dwarf varieties that work perfectly as flowers for a cutting garden. Harvest sunflowers once their petals have arched upward. Make sure there’s water close—you’ll want to stick the stems in water right away.
Why we love it: The best feature of sunflowers is the many varieties available. Each one will add something distinct to both your bouquet and outdoor garden by way of different sizes and colors.
W Atlee Burpee and Co.
Bells of Ireland
(Moluccella laevis, annual)
I’m new to bells of Ireland, but I can’t get enough. This heirloom has pale-lime leaves, which accent the green whorls that look like blooms. The flowers for a cutting garden are actually inside the cuplike whorls. Bells of Ireland are easy to grow from seed and you can effortlessly transport them to a vase.
Why we love it: My reason for loving this is simple: It’s just a cool-looking plant. It’ll add some green pizzazz to a cut flower arrangement.
OLGA NIEKRASOVA/GETTY IMAGES
(Gladiolus spp., Zones 8 to 11)
This stately ﬂower reaches 2 to 5 feet tall and grows from a corm that can be overwintered in cold climates and replanted each spring. Eye-catching tubular ﬂowers come in many colors, such as yellow, pink, white, purple and more, and sit on elegant spires. To ensure a longer blooming season, sow successive batches of corms 10 to 14 days apart.
Why we love it: A stalk of gladiolus looks majestic in the garden and adds height to bouquets.
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(Allium spp., Zones 4 to 9)
A garden with alliums, particularly a large cultivar such as the Globemaster, has instant, whimsical appeal. The showstopping ﬂowers for a cut garden are a beautiful sight at peak bloom, then hold their shape to become pretty dried ﬂowers. Some gardeners even spray-paint the dried ﬂower heads to give them a lasting color.
Why we love it: The one-of-a-kind blooms pop in a variety of shades, including burgundy, purple, yellow and white.
Discover 8 super fragrant flowers that pollinators love.
(Ranunculus spp., Zones 8 to 11)
Also known as Persian buttercup, ranunculus ﬂowers during the cool months of spring. Its blooms feature a wide range of colors, including apricot, yellow, orange, burgundy, white and romantic pastels. The sturdy stems and light fragrance makes it a ﬂorist’s favorite.
Why we love it: The roselike blooms are tightly packed with gorgeous tissue-thin petals.
NATTAWUT LAKJIT/EYEEM/GETTY IMAGES
(Dahlia spp., Zones 8 to 11)
This the best cut garden ﬂower for those who like variety. Not only does it come in a wide range of colors, but this tuberous root also boasts an assortment of ﬂower forms, including pompoms, cactus and peony. A type called the dinnerplate dahlia has ﬂowers up to 15 inches in diameter. Compact dahlias grow only 18 inches tall, while others reach 5 feet or higher.
Here’s everything you need to know about planting and growing dahlias.
Why we love it: No two types of dahlias are the same, so a cultivar exists for everybody’s taste.
(Tithonia rotundifolia, annual)
Although the species can reach 6 feet tall and may require support, shorter cultivars bred from this Mexican native ﬂower are much more manageable at 2 to 3 feet in height. The zinnialike blooms, which draw butterﬂies, are usually bright orange with a golden center, but some cultivars sport other warm hues.
Why we love it: Enjoy bright bursts of orange in a vase with some added wire support.
(Celosia spp., annual)
Depending on the species, celosia ﬂowers take different shapes, such as the plumes above. Colors include maroon, red, purple, orange, chartreuse and white. The mature height is between 8 and 36 inches. Grow in the front or back of borders, based on the height of the plant.
Why we love it: Celosia is easy to grow and lasts two to three weeks as cut garden ﬂowers. The ﬂowers also look great dried. Just hang in a cool, dry place for a few weeks.
W. Atlee Burpee & Co.
(Rudbeckia hirta, Zones 3 to 8)
This short-lived perennial or biennial is related to the garden classic, black-eyed Susans. Gloriosa daisy grows 1 to 3 feet tall and blooms in summer and fall. This wildlife-friendly plant welcomes bees, butterﬂies and birds, such as ﬁnches, that pick at the seeds.
Why we love it: This tough, brightly petaled prairie plant reseeds readily and blooms for months.
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(Zinnia elegans, annual)
A cheerful annual for sunny gardens, zinnia offers a smorgasbord of colors. Zinnias go from seed to bloom in just two to three months, offering long-lasting ﬂowers for a cutting garden from summer till frost. Butterﬂies adore them, so plant zinnias in drifts for the best effect.
Why we love it: Newer zinnia cultivars are a perfect option for gardeners who have previously lost zinnias to powdery mildew.
(Rosa spp., Zones 2 to 9)
The king of ﬂowers for a cut garden or in a bouquet, roses earn their title with a mix of colors, shapes and fragrances. Fortunately, some varieties need less care than others, particularly hardy shrub roses. Here’s how to choose the best roses for your garden.
Why we love it: A dozen roses from the ﬂorist is an expensive treat, but homegrown roses are less pricey and can last two weeks or more in a vase.
Next, discover three easy ways to dry flowers.