How to Plant a Cutting Garden

How to Plant a Cutting Garden
How to Plant a Cutting Garden
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From the blogger: "Is there anything better than a vase of freshly cut flowers in your home? You can always pick up a bunch of flowers in most grocery stores …which is a good and wonderful thing. But if you can just pop out to your garden and cut your bouquet…well, that is just a ‘gooder’ and more ‘wonderfuller’ thing! Right? I am smack in the midst of planting my cutting garden so that I’ll have flowers to cut for arrangements for the rest of the summer."

Estimated Cost$21-$30

Time to CompleteWeekend project

Primary TechniqueGardening



Materials List

  • Plants of your choice for cutting (Examples below)
  • Long-Stemmed Dahlias are perfect for cut flower arrangements. This perennial will produce flowers all growing season like an annual, but its tubers will produce again the following if not too cold. In cold climates, it’s best to dig the tubers up and winter them over in your garage or unheated basement.When properly treated after they’ve been cut they will last longer than many other flowers and grow in just about every color and shape. I put the stems of my dahlias into hot, but not boiling water, right after I cut them. While I’m not sure of the ‘why this works’ of this practice, I do know that it helps the blooms last several days longer than if it isn’t done.
  • Zinnias are some of my all time favorites for cut flower arrangements. There is something quaint about the simple but very colorful flower. Plant your zinnias from seed as they don’t tend to do well if transplanted.
  • Avens are a flower that I recently stumbled upon but love it for long-lasting blooms (late spring through mid-summer), poppy like flowers and rich colors.
  • The gray-green leaves of Yarrow provide lovely contrast in most flower arrangements, in addition to the subtle pops of color provided by the blooms.
  • Not only a great plant for pollinators, but coneflowers are a long lasting staple of the summer garden. They bloom from June through September in a variety of colors. Many floral arrangers also use the cones after the petals have fallen in their arrangements
  • Nothing says ‘summer bouquet’ like Sunflowers, which come in a variety of sizes and shades of yellow.
  • I love the bright playful colors of the Gerber Daisies, but don’t often mix them with other flowers as they don’t do well when their hollow stems are submerged as much as other flowers in an arrangement.
  • It’s hard to beat the workhorse Shasta Daisy in your summer floral arrangements. They play so well with others.
  • Globe-y flowers like gomphrena or allium add a little fun and whimsy to arrangements.
  • You can use greenery from your garden and houseplants to soften and fill arrangements.


DIY Instructions from the Blogger

  1. Cut your flowers first thing in the morning, before the heat of the day has sapped their water and strength.

  2. Cut your stems at a 45° angle, which allows more surface area for water uptake

  3. Have a jar of water to promptly place them in while you are cutting. You will remove them from this water when you snip them and place them in their permanent vase.

  4. Make sure your vases and scissors are clean

  5. Remove any leaves/buds that will be below the water level as they will rot

  6. Snip a bit (1/2″ to 1″) off of the end of your stems daily

  7. Refresh your water daily.

  8. Click on the link above that says "Click Here for DIY Project" to find a homemade floral preservative recipe!

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This project read my mind! We have planted almost all of these flower varieties over the years for beautiful color outside and of course lots of cut flowers! We have used railroad ties to make a raised bed that surrounds out patio and have planted these seeds among bulbs that bloom first, and once they are over their season, the seeded flowers come through, so they are in stages for flowers and blooms the whole season long! Great project and information!

Love love love fresh cut flowers! We're currently sketching out plans for a garden at our little cottage by the lake and a cutting garden is definitely on that sketch! I love the thought of waking up early while dew is still wet on the grass and choosing which blooms to cut for the day. Sounds so lovely, right? I'd definitely plant some gerber daisies-they're one of my fave flowers. Happy cutting!


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