If you’ve been reading this blog or following me on Instagram for awhile, you might have noticed that #ihavethisthingwithflowers. I am obsessed. To feed my obsession I need a garden filled with cut flowers that will hold up well in my various arrangements.
Here are my favourite plants to keep me in floral arrangements from June to September. Pick at least three from each section to plant in your garden so that you can have cut flowers all season long too.
Disclaimer: I am writing from USDA Hardiness zone 2-3, so all plants listed will grow in this location. The good news is that if you live almost anywhere else, you should be able to grow these flowers. The bad news is your success with these flowers can vary depending on your area’s growing and soil conditions.
Annuals vs. Perennials
A cut flower garden should have a nice mix of annuals and perennials to help ensure that there will be something to cut all season. Annual flowers will not come back again the following year they are planted, but generally provide blooms all season long. Perennials will come back every year once they are planted, but usually have a much shorter bloom time.
Annual flowers are cheaper to purchase, but you have to purchase them every year. Perennial flowers are more expensive to purchase, but you usually only have to purchase them once.
A good portion of annual flowers meant for cutting will also need to be seed started anywhere from 4-10 weeks before you plant them outdoors. I go into more detail about the easiest annual flowers for beginners to grow here, and provide detailed growing information in my cut flower e-book.
With that out of the way, let’s get on to my favourite cut flowers!
Want to know how to start your own cutting garden on the cheap and what a professional flower farmer grows? Click here to learn more!
All Season Cut Flowers
Daisies are beautiful, simple, and look good on their own or with any colour flower. They can have a spreading habit, so be ready to divide them up and pass them on to a friend or neighbour.
More commonly known as Baby’s breath. They make a beautiful filler in any arrangement.
Larger varieties like the Mary Helen or Crackerjack varieties look better in floral arrangements.
Even thought some sedums flower only in one part of the year, or even not at all, I love using them all year round for their interesting shapes and textures.
P.S. Once you’re done reading about the right flowers to plant, come back and see how to make the best bouquets.
Spring and Early Summer Cut Flowers
These grape hyacinths are the ones most commonly grown in zone 3. I love them in a small teacup arrangement. Warmer zones can grow many more and larger varieties of hyacinths.
Need help planning your backyard flower bed and more? These printables will give you a place to organize your thoughts and plan your projects. Click here for more information.
You’ll most commonly see irises in purple, but yellow (like these) or even blue are an unexpected choice.
Lilacs are actually a shrub, and not a perennial. However, I just had to include them, as spring wouldn’t be the same without a large bouquet of them sitting on my kitchen table.
10. Lily of the Valley
Lily of the Valley is fragrant and beautiful, but it spreads if left unchecked. Worried about planting something you might regret later? Check out my list of 28 perennials you’ll regret planting.
I am obsessed with peonies! We have 8 bushes of them and I can’t bear to give any of them away. . . although I probably should. Did you know that when you get a new peony plant it won’t bloom for 3 years!?!? Learn what you need to know about taking care of peonies here.
To me, tulips are the ultimate floral expression of spring. I loved our simple yellow and red ones growing up.
Summer Cut Flowers
13. Asiatic Lilies
Asiatic lilies are so easy to grow and come in an endless variety of colours.
14. Bee Balm
Makes a gorgeous filler plant and are great for attracting bees to your garden.
Blanketflowers are a great choice on the prairies, as they’re a native plant and don’t require much water or care once established. Want to grow more native plants? Here’s some of my favourites!
16. Blazing Star Liatrus
Another gorgeous, easy to grow native plant. The varieties you buy in stores are likely naturalized ones, so to get a truly native plant, you’ll need to order from a specialty seed shop like Prairie Originals.
17. Clustered Bellflower
Shopping for a bellflower plant? Make sure to get the clustered variety and not the regular bellflower. The regular kind is more weed than flower and can easily take over your flower bed in a few years.
Related: 28 Perennials You’ll Regret Planting
18. Coral Bells
Coral bells can tolerate a bit of shade and make a stunning filler.
So many dahlias, so little time. Dahlias come in practically every colour of the rainbow, and the sizes can range from 1 inch to the size of a dinner plate. They’re a must have for the garden, although the bulbs must be dug out every fall and replanted in the spring. I’ve included everything you need to know about removing and storing dahlia tubers here.
An old fashioned favourite that’s easy to grow. I have found in my garden that they seem to need 5 years to really establish, although you’ll get blooms every year. Make sure you stake them, because they will be the first thing to break in a summer storm!
Glads are a staple of late summer floral arrangements. In colder climates you’ll need to dig the bulbs out every fall and replant in the winter.
Gardening Newbie? Here’s how to create a beautiful cut flower garden with ease–no fancy skills required!
Be careful of what you purchase in zone 2 or zone 3! Often the hydrangeas in the big box store will not be hardy enough for these climates. Check on the tag that the plant is hardy to at least -30 degrees celsius.
24. Lady’s Mantle
Some of my favourite coneflowers are echinacea and rudbeckia. They don’t only have to be yellow either! You can find many lovely shades of pinks and reds too.
There are many type of coneflowers and all of them are good candidates for your next cut flower arrangement. Check for black eyed susan’s in ditches along the road.
27. Sweet Pea
Fall Cut Flower
Asters come in both perennial and annual varieties. This year I’m experimenting with the much larger annual varieties. The ones pictured here would work better as a filler flower.
31. Annual Sunflowers
Sunflowers come in so many different heights, and even in shades or orange, red, plum, brown, and almost white. Plant at least one every spring for the children in your life.
32. Brown Eyed Susan
See coneflower above.
33. Chinese Lantern
Chinese lanterns can be invasive, depending on your soil. I have a problem with mine running wild, so this year I’m trying to grow Pumpkin On A Stick as an annual alternative.
You know it’s fall when the pots of mums appear at the big box stores.
See dahlia above in the summer section.
Golden rod grows wild where I live. Hurray for free cut flowers!!
Strawflower is one of my new favourite flowers. Light as air and super pretty! They last forever in and out of the vase and are very easy to collect seeds from.
Zinnas hold a special place in my heart and I go a little crazy each year planting them. So worth it once they bloom!
Want to see a bit of how to put it all together? Here’s my small space, backyard cut flower garden plus a few tips on how to design your own…
What is your favourite cut flower? Let me know what I’ve missed!
Ready to grow your own beautiful cut flower garden, without the hassel?
I’ve taken all the guesswork out of creating a cut flower garden with my e-book, Cut Flowers Made Simple. It’s the perfect way for beginner and intermediate gardeners to start their own cut flower garden with or without seed starting, growing annual flowers.
Click on the picture to find out more or get your copy.
Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots. She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden. She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.