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Consider a Cutting Garden

Choosing Plants and Flowers for Your Cutting Garden


Plants for the cutting garden

Lots of different kinds of flowering plants are suitable for a cutting garden. Long-stemmed annuals or perennials are most useful. Typically, colorful annual flowers dominate these gardens, because they are such enthusiastic bloomers. Cutting their blossoms only encourages them to produce more. All kinds of daisies are enormously popular and combine well with lots of other flowers.

Long blooming perennials have a place in the cutting garden as well as in the more formal flower border. Plants such as coral bells and fringed bleeding heart will produce flowers all season, especially if they are regularly picked. Some, such as purple coneflowers and black-eyed Susans produce bold, bristly seedheads that are ideal for floral crafts. Of course perennials can be depended upon to bloom next season - no need to replant that part of the cutting garden.

Don't forget foliage plants that 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.

The following is a list of suggested annuals, perennials, and foliage plants. This list is just a beginning. There are certainly more cut flowers available.

Annuals for a cutting garden

[* indicates good for drying also]
  • Ageratum (FlossFlower)
  • Amaranthus caudatus (Love Lies Bleeding)
  • Ammi majus (Bishop's Flower)
  • Anemone
  • Bells of Ireland
  • Calendula
  • Callistephus chinesis (China Aster)
  • Campanula
  • Celosia, cristata (Cockscomb)*
  • Celosia, plumosa (Feather)*
  • Celosia, spicata (Wheat)*
  • Centaurea (Bachelors' Button)
  • Cleome (Spider Flower)
  • Cosmos
  • Dianthus
  • Dill
  • Dimorphoteca sinuata (Cape Marigold)
  • Eustoma (Lisianthus)
  • Geranium
  • Gomphrena (Globe Amaranth)*
  • Gypsophila (Baby's Breath)*
  • Helichrysum (Strawflower)
  • Helipterium (Everlasting)
  • Marigold
  • Matthiola (Stock)
  • Nicotiana (Flowering Tobacco)
  • Nigella damascena (Love
  • In
  • A Mist)
  • Pansy
  • Petunia
  • Phlox
  • Reseda Odorata (Mignonette)
  • Salpiglossis
  • Salvia farinacea
  • Scabiosa (Pincushion flower)
  • Snapdragon
  • Statice*
  • Sunflower*
  • Sweet Pea
  • Verbena bonariensis
  • Zinnia

Perennials for a cutting garden

Foliage for a cutting garden

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

Getting your cutting garden started

Keep your cutting garden in bloom

Written by Liz Ball for National Garden Bureau

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