8 Best Flowers for Your Cutting Garden
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8 Best Flowers for Your Cutting Garden

If you’re a person who loves having a vase of freshly cut flowers in their home, growing a cutting garden might be the right path for you. Include some of your favorite flowers in a cutting garden, as well as plants that regenerate quickly to ensure you’ve always got something to cut and put into a vase.

Roses, dahlias, and daffodils are classic additions to cutting gardens, but what other blooms belong there? Learn about eight flowers for your cutting garden!

Roses

Pink roses on a bush
Image credits: cocoparisienne via Pixabay

What is a cutting garden without roses? Roses fill out any bouquet or arrangement beautifully. They’re incredibly hardy when cutting and pruning, so you’ll be able to gather roses from your garden for years and years to come. Some rose varieties are also hardy in growing zones as cold as zone 1, especially if you winterize them.

Plant your roses in an area that gets a full day of direct sunlight, at least six to eight hours daily. Morning sun can be especially helpful for roses because it dries overnight rain and morning dew on the leaves, helping prevent diseases. Use well-draining, aerated soil with lots of organic matter mixed in. 

Roses also need a bit of airflow and at least 3 feet of space around them to grow as the plant matures. You don’t want your plant competing for root space! Some varieties need more space, so double-check before planting to ensure you’re giving them adequate room. 

Water young shrubs frequently and fertilize them with dry fertilizer formulated for flowers. Follow the instructions on the package.

Pro Tip: Roses also grow well in containers if you’ve planted them in a big enough pot.

Sunflowers

Yellow sunflowers outdoors
Image credits: Uschi_Du via Pixabay

These massive blooms take up there fair share of space and can easily brighten your room, so it makes sense to include them in your cutting garden. Grow them in a garden bed or a container, and if you have extra flowers, use some to harvest sunflower seeds!

You can grow sunflowers from seeds — either germinated inside before planting or sown directly into the ground. Or, you can grab a starter plant or two from your local garden center. As their name implies, these giant beauties need a full day of direct sunlight (eight hours) for optimal growth.

They grow best in well-draining, sandy loam soil but can tolerate clay or silty clay loam soils.

During germination your plant should be getting 1 to 2 inches of water per week. As they mature water your sunflowers deeply and frequently, 1 inch a week, for three weeks before and three weeks after flowering for the best growth. After that, you can taper off and water your flowers more occasionally as they can endure some drought. 

Lastly, use an all-purpose slow-release fertilizer for bigger, brighter flowers.

Black-Eyed Susans

Black-Eyed Susans
Image credits: Joanna Swan via Unsplash

Unlike the previous two flowers, black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) can tolerate some shade. They do best with more sunlight but will still grow and bloom in partial shade.

These are perennial, which take a little bit of the re-planting burden off of your shoulders in the springtime. They will grow best in an area where they a wide space to spread and grow as they like. If you let them spread out, that only means more flowers for you to cut! If you prefer they don’t wander as much, plant them in a container.

Water them well at the base when the top inch of soil is dry, and ensure no water sits on their leaves — This can lead to disease.

Daffodils

Bunches of Yellow Daffodils
Image credits: Julian Majer via Pexels

Plant these bulbs in a sunny spot in the fall two to four weeks before the ground freezes, and let them cultivate over the winter months. They are perennials and will reliably come back each spring, so you should have some flowers to cut and use in arrangements early on in the year.

Most soil compositions are fine for daffodils, but they prefer it slightly acidic with some organic compost. The most important detail is that the soil is very well-draining. Bulbs can rot and die if they are in standing water. In many areas, there is enough rain in spring for your daffodils to be fine without being watered by you. But if you don’t live somewhere with a wet spring, give them enough water to keep the soil damp through their growing season. Check on your plant babies frequently.

When you cut your flowers to put in a vase, don’t cut all of the stalks from one plant. Cutting all of the flowers coming from one bulb can kill the plant, whereas leaving some uncut can encourage growth. Once the stalks or leaves start to yellow out and die, then they can be removed without doing any harm to the plant.

Irises

Algerian Iris
Image credits: Graeme L Scott via Shutterstock

Irises are perennials with long lives (about three to five years), so after they’re planted, you’ll have flowers to cut for years to come.

They need a six to eight hours of direct sunlight, and many varieties need well-draining soil to thrive. However, if you live in a very hot climate, some afternoon shade might help prevent the flowers from fading in the heat.

Water them thoroughly and consistently — the soil shouldn’t dry out, but it should also not be soggy. Standing water can rot the rhizomes and kill them.

Irises can handle a little more cutting than daffodils. Cutting flowers can encourage new growth, especially if the blooms are older.

Tulips

tulip un bloom
Image credits: Ryan Wallace via unsplash

Tulips will grow best in a spot in your garden with organically rich, well-draining soil and a lot of sunshine.

Give them about ⅔ of an inch of water once a week for the first month after planting. If you get rainy springs, you probably won’t have to worry about giving them extra water.

Cut them when the flower has formed but not fully opened for the longest vase life.

Dahlias

Close up of three pink and white Dahlia flowers in sunlight, with other colorful flowers in the soft background
Image credits: Magnus Binnerstam via Shutterstock

Dahlias are tender perennials that are frequently grown as annuals. If you live in a growing zone colder than zone 8, you’ll need to winterize or overwinter your plants inside. They can be grown in pots too, so you can easily bring them inside when winter sets in.

Over the summers, plant your dahlias in well-draining, nutrient-rich soil for the best blooms. Put them in an area of your yard that will see a full eight hours of sunshine. You may need to give dahlias some support on their stalks so that they don’t buckle under the weight of the heavy flowers.

Water them frequently to keep the soil wet, but don’t overwater them o the point where the ground is soggy or that there’s standing water. Use a nitrogen-forward fertilizer in the spring and a potassium-rich fertilizer over the summer to encourage bigger and brighter blooms.

These are a “cut and come again” flower, so the more you cut the more you’ll get out of the plant — a very nice feature to have in a cutting garden.

Ranunculus

Orange Ranunculus Bloom
Image credits: Jeno Szabo via Pixabay

These flowers have a long vase life if you cut them at the right time. If you remove the bloom from the plant before the flower opens, ranunculus can last nearly two weeks in a vase.

They can grow in full sun to partial shade. They need sun to grow but can fade and wilt if it gets too hot, so shady breaks are beneficial.

Soggy soil can cause root rot, so plant them in a well-draining soil mix. Water them thoroughly and allow the soil to dry out between waterings. A liquid or water-based fertilizer can help the plant create more blooms more frequently.

A Cut Above the Rest

There are many kinds of flowers that can round out your cutting garden and your floral arrangements.

And with some strategic planting and proper watering, you will have a beautiful, thriving cutting garden in no time.

Do you have any other flowers you include in your cutting garden? Share your favorites in the comments.

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