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Plant List: Flowers for Cutting Gardens

Flowers Suitable for Use as Cut Flowers

  1. Choose repeat-blooming annual plants for cutting gardens because you will get a longer season of bloom than with many perennial plants.
  2. In general, a good cut flower has a stem long enough and sturdy enough to hold the flower in an arrangement
  3. A cut flower should be one that lasts and looks good for several days.
  4. Cut flowers stay fresh longer when cut in the morning before the midday heat stresses plants.


Downloadable PDF of Annuals for Cut Flowers List

Most will be found INSIDE at Ward’s in the LARGE GREENHOUSES
  • Ageratum (Floss Flower) Tight clusters of purple / blue flowers. Low grower.
  • Amaranthus caudatus (Love Lies Bleeding) Hanging ropes of magenta blossoms with the texture of chenille.
  • Amaranthus hybrids * Spiky blooms in shades from bronze to red.
  • Ammi majus (Bishop’s Flower, False Queen Anne’s Lace, White Dill) The names sum it up.
  • Anemone (Anemone sylvestris) Delicate white cups with yellow centers.
  • Bells of Ireland (Moluccella laevis)* Green, bell shaped flowers line tall spikes.
  • Blue Lace Flower (Trachymene coerulea) A smaller, blue version of Queen Anne’s Lace.
  • Calendula (Calendula officinalis) Daisy like flowers in hot hues of orange an yellow.
  • Callistephus chinesis (China Aster) Spidery pom-poms in assorted colors.
  • Castor Bean (Ricinus communis) Panicles of small, fluffy red flowers are followed by reddish-row seed pods. (Beware-seeds are poisonous.)
  • Celosia, cristata (Cockscomb)* Cauliflower shaped flower heads in brilliant colors.
  • Celosia, plumosa (Feather)* Plumes in similar shades to C. Cristata.
  • Celosia, spicata (Wheat)* Fluffy flower spikes.
  • Centaurea (Bachelors’ Button) Periwinkle blue daisy-like flowers
  • Cleome (Spider Flower) Gangly plants with spidery explosions of flower buds in pink, purple and white.
  • Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) Profuse bloomer in a wide assortment of colors and flower shapes.
  • Dill Flat umbels of yellow flowers.
  • Drumstick Flower (Craspedia globosa)* One-inch yellow globes on tall, stiff stems.
  • Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis sylvatica) Profuse bloomer in a rare true blue
  • Gomphrena (Globe Amaranth)* Small clover-like globe shaped flowers in many colors, on long stems.
  • Helichrysum (Strawflower) Papery daisy-like flowers in autumn colors
  • Heliotrope Dense purple flower heads with a light, vanilla scent.
  • Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate (Polygonum orientale) Long, drooping, reddish flower spikes.
  • Larkspur (Consolida ambigua)* Considered an ‘annual delphinium’, with similar flower spikes and colors.
  • Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum) Flowers could easily be mistaken for a rose, in white, pinks and deep purples.
  • Marigold (Tagetes erecta) Pom-poms held on tall stems, in shades from soft yellow to deep gold.
  • Nigella damascena (Love In A Mist)* Balloon shaped buds and star-shaped blooms are cloaked in delicate netting. Blue, pinks, purple and white.
  • Reseda Odorata (Mignonette) The spikes cream-colored flowers aren’t showy, but they are heavily scented and wonderful in arrangements.
  • Salpiglossis (Painted Tongue) Soft, velvety trumpet-shaped flowers in a range of colors.
  • Salvia coccinea (Lady in Red) Spikes of tubular, scarlet red flowers
  • Salvia farinacea Thin, but sturdy spikes of delicate flowers in shades of blue and white
  • Statice (Limonium sinuatum)* Sprays of dense, tiny pastel blossoms on very sturdy stems.
  • Strawflower (Bracteantha bracteata)* Another daisy-like flower from the Astor family, but these have a dry, papery feel even when fresh. Comes in colors fro pastels to hots.
  • Stock (Matthiola) Dense flower spikes with a spicy scent. Comes in pastels and jewel tones.
  • Sunflower * Short or giant, sunflowers make long lasting cut flowers.
  • Sweet Annie (Artemisia annua)* Grown for its fern-like, dark green foliage. Also has delicate, sweet scented white blooms.
  • Sweet Pea Old fashioned, tall growing sweet peas have pea like blossoms and deceptively strong stems and come in a wide variety of colors and spicy scents.
  • Verbena bonariensis Small clusters of purple flowers top long (4′) stems that waft in the breeze and intermingle with other plants.
  • Zinnia elegans Pom-poms with dense petals and contrasting centers. Profuse bloomer.
* Also good for drying.
Many of the above were selected from “Top Choices for Cut Flowers: Choosing Flowers for Your Cutting Garden”– Annuals by Marie Iannotti, Guide, May 8, 2012.


Downloadable PDF of Perennials for Cut Flowers List

  1. Consider long blooming perennials for cutting such as Heuchera or Fringed Bleeding-heart (Dicentra eximia) that produce flowers all season, especially if they are regularly picked.
  2. Long and sturdy-stemmed flowers are the most useful.
  3. Some, such as Echinacea and Rudbeckia produce bold, bristly seedheads that are ideal for floral crafts and drying.
  4. Perennials can be depended upon to bloom next season – no need to replant that part of the cutting garden.
  5. If you are cutting poppies (Papaver) or other flowers that leak sap, you will need to seal the stem to prevent them from wilting. Immediately after cutting the flower, sear the cut end of the stem with a flame. A barbecue lighter sold in grocery stores is inexpensive and easy to use. Don’t cut off the seared end before putting in your vase.
Most can be found outside in our Perennial Yard


  • Achillea
  • Alcea
  • Alchemilla
  • Allium
  • Amsonia
  • Aquilegia
  • Asclepias
  • Aster
  • Astilbe
  • Baptisia
  • Bergenia
  • Campanula
  • Centaurea
  • Chrysanthemum (Shasta Daisy & others)
  • Convallaria
  • Coreopsis verticillata
  • Corydalis
  • Crambe
  • Delphinium
  • Dianthus
  • Dicentra
  • Digitalis
  • Doronicum
  • Echinacea
  • Echinops
  • Gypsophila
  • Helleborus
  • Helenium
  • Heuchera
  • Hosta
  • Hyssopus
  • Iris
  • Knautia
  • Kniphofia
  • Lavendula
  • Lobelia
  • Lupine
  • Lysimachia
  • Macleaya
  • Monarda
  • Nicotiana
  • Paeonia
  • Papaver, Shirley & Iceland – Sear stem tips immediately after cutting
  • Penstemon
  • Perovskia
  • Phlox
  • Physostegia
  • Platycodon
  • Polemonium
  • Porteranthus
  • Primula
  • Rudbeckia
  • Salvia
  • Scabiosa
  • Sedum
  • Sidalcea
  • Stokesia
  • Thermopsis
  • Thalictrum
  • Tricyrtis
  • Trollius
  • Veronica

Annual & Perennial Foliage

Foliage plants contribute texture and color to both fresh and dried arrangements. Silver-leafed artemisia varieties, lamb’s ears and herbs such as lavender contribute grayish-silver foliage that is both handsome and aromatic

  • Asparagus, densiflorus
  • Asparagus, sprengeri
  • Coleus
  • Dusty Miller
  • Eucalyptus
  • Euphorbia (Snow on the Mountain)
  • Ferns
  • Flowering Cabbage
  • Flowering Kale
  • Hosta leaves
  • Sage, Tri-color

Spring & Summer-Flowering Bulbs

Spring-flowering bulbs that have naturalized will push up multiple stems of flowers especially Chionodoxa, Narcissus and Muscari. Tulips and Hyacinth in spring and large Allium and Gladiolus in early summer send up only one stem per bulb/corm!

Summer-flowering bulbs of Dahlia, that grow 3 feet tall or more, will bloom until frost.

Plan accordingly.

Many selected from “Flower Gardening – Consider A Cutting Garden” the National Garden Bureau, Liz Ball Author, Guide, May 8, 2012

Our Summer Garden Advice

By mid-summer, perennial gardens can start to look overgrown, annual flowers begin to fade, and bugs may be munching on your vegetables.

Summer Articles

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