A cut-flower garden or “cutting garden” allows you to bring the beauty of your garden into your home. Fresh flowers make a room feel alive and bring true joy and connectedness when given as a gift.
Here are some annuals that can be sown directly in the garden bed, bloom throughout the growing season, and make great cut flowers.
Full Sun, 65–75 days to bloom, self-sows Deep maroon, sky blue, pink, and white edible blooms atop 2'–3' stems (except Dwarf Blend). Ruffled 1" flowers add a soft texture to bouquets.
2. Bishop's Flower
Full Sun, 65–75 days to bloom A favorite in the cut flower trade, Bishop’s Flowers 6" pure white blossoms float above 2'–3' stems and add a soft filler to bouquets. Also known as False Queen Anne’s Lace because the flowers are similar, although this plant has none of the pesky, invasive qualities. Successively sow every 2 to 3 weeks for continual bloom.
Full Sun, 75–90 days to bloom, self-sows Multitudes of orange and yellow 2"–3" flowers on prolific plants with fragrant stems and leaves. Shorter 8"–2' stems are great for short bouquets or vases. Calendula flowers are not only sunny in a vase but the petals also are edible, used in natural dyes, and have medicinal qualities.
Full Sun, 75–90 days to bloom, self-sows Orange, fuchsia, pink, and white blooms sway above tall, graceful 3'–6' stems. Cosmos leaves are wispy and light, making beautiful bouquet filler.
Full Sun, 80–90 days to bloom Spires of flowers in peach, cream, blue, and shades of pink top 3'–5' stems. The spires are massed with blooms, bringing strength and height to arrangements or the garden bed. In mild climates, refrigerating seeds for a couple weeks before sowing improves germination.
Full Sun, 60–85 days to bloom, self-sows Green whorls surrounded by petals in shades of blue to white and an occasional pink form interesting and beautiful flowers that seem to float above a mist of airy, lacy foliage. If not clipped for bouquets, the unique, rosy-colored seedpods that form add another element of interest to bouquets and arrangements. Successively sow monthly for continual bloom.
Full Sun, 65–75 days to bloom Long ropes of pink to crimson flowers cascade down a vase for a dramatic effect providing a pleasant contrast to other flower shapes. Flowers are long lasting on sturdy, red stems.
Full Sun, 60–90 days to bloom, may self-sow Sunny orange, yellow, burgundy, and bicolor flowers add warm colors and a spicy scent to bouquets. Taller varieties take a little longer to bloom than shorter types, but it’s worth the wait for the big blossoms on long stems.
Full Sun to Part Shade, 65–75 days to bloom, self-sows White, 3"–5" flowers float above lacy leaves on 2' stems. Orlaya is much more delicate looking than Queen Anne’s Lace and is not one bit invasive. Successively sow 2 to 3 weeks apart to keep blooms coming. Even once blooms have faded, the green, fuzzy seed heads make an attractive addition to arrangements.
Full Sun, 65–85 days to bloom, may self-sow Yellow, near white, and rich maroon flowers on stems from 2'-10' tall! Plants may be either branching (with many flowers all season), or single-stemmed (one, usually large flower). If you want to have the extra large, 1', single blooms for bouquets, successively sow them 2 weeks apart to keep the blooms coming. See our Tips for Growing Tall Sunflowers.
Zinnias come in every color of the rainbow, except blue. Sturdy, multicolored, single and pom-pom flowers stand tall on 2'–3' stems. Cut the growing stem after it has three sets of leaves to encourage branching. The more you cut, the more they bloom!
Once you are ready to create your first beautiful bouquet, see our article for Making Cut Flowers Last Longer.