Essential Cutting Garden Perennials

  • 1.

    About Cutting Gardens

    A Cutting Garden is simply a garden with a majority of plants that are useful in cut flower arrangements. Plants in these gardens tend to be long blooming or fragrant, though these are not requirements. Not every blooming plant makes a good cut flower (or at least not for very long). Nor does a plant that makes an excellent cut flower have to be used for such. Cutting Gardens can be appreciated merely for their bounty of blooming plants!

    If you're worried about overhauling an entire garden bed to put in a cutting garden, know that many popular perennials are also good cut flowers and may already be in your backyard. Who knows? You may be closer to a Cutting Garden than you think!

  • 2.

    Lavender (Lavandula)

    One of the all time favorites for the cutting garden, Lavender offers fragrant flowers and a multitude of them. If you've missed the beautiful purple blooms in summer, the seed heads can be used in fall arrangements.

    Bloomtime: Early - Late Summer

    Variety Pictured: Lavandula a. SWEET ROMANCE®

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  • 3.

    Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum superbum)

    Another classic for the cutting garden. Shasta Daisies will benefit from being regularly pruned and deadheaded as this will cause them to send up additional flowers. With new cultivars displaying even larger, fuller flowers, this is a perennial that deserves a place in every cutting garden!

    Bloomtime: Early - Late Summer

    Variety Pictured: Leucanthemum s. DAISY MAY®

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  • 4.

    Ornamental Onion (Allium)

    It is called "Ornamental Onion" and you might sense a mild onion smell with this plant, but the profusely appearing globe shaped flowers are worth it! This plant is also useful in fall arrangements thanks to its equally decorative seed heads.

    Bloomtime: Late Summer - Early Fall

    Variety Pictured: Allium 'Medusa'

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  • 5.


    Another favorite cut flower thanks to beautiful tall flower spikes, Delphiniums have long been enjoyed by cut flower gardeners and require only a little water and care.

    Bloomtime: Early Summer - Early Fall

    Variety Pictured: Delphinium 'Million Dollar Blue'

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  • 6.

    Garden Peony (Paeonia)

    Huge scented blooms make Peonies another favorite for cut flowers. Be sure to cut them just as the bud opens to enjoy the longest lasting flower!

    Bloomtime: Late Spring

    Variety Pictured: Paeonia 'Paula Fay'

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  • 7.

    Lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus)

    Lupines are a native favorite for a cutting garden. Just make sure you don't cut the whole stem, or you will miss the flush of secondary blooms that will fill out and cover the plant.

    Bloomtime: Early Summer

    Variety Pictured: Lupinus p. MINI GALLERY™ Red

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  • 8.

    Peruvian Lily (Alstroemeria)

    Peruvian Lilies are extremely long lasting after they are cut. Even though the flowers are small, they bloom in clusters and have excellent presence.

    Bloomtime: Mid - Late Summer

    Variety Pictured: Alstroemeria INCA ICE™

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  • 9.

    Baby's Breath (Gypsophila paniculata)

    One of the best perennials to be used as a filler in cut flower arrangements. Baby's breath combines numerous tiny white blooms with delicate, thin foliage.

    Bloomtime: Late Spring - Early Fall

    Variety Pictured: Gypsophila p. FESTIVAL STAR®

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  • 10.

    Yarrow (Achillea ptarmica)

    An excellent native alternative to Baby's Breath. A. ptarmica is a species of Yarrow that looks quite different from the more common A. millefolium hybrids, but behaves much the same in the landscape.

    Bloomtime: Early Summer - Early Fall

    Variety Pictured: Achillea p. 'Peter Cottontail'

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  • 11.

    Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

    The A. millefolium types make an excellent cut flower as well. Attractive fern-like foliage and decorative seed heads give this plant extended uses beyond when it is in bloom.

    Bloomtime: Early - Late Summer

    Variety Pictured: Achillea 'Sassy Summer Silver'

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  • 12.


    A perfect cut flower for Autumn, Anemones will produce a profusion of soft pink flowers after many other flowers have finished.

    Bloomtime: Late Summer - Early Fall

    Variety Pictured: Anemone 'Curtain Call Pink'

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  • 13.

    Catmint (Nepeta faassenii)

    Lightly fragrant, long blue flower spikes bloom in early summer. If cut back, a second flush of blooms will appear in late summer to early fall.

    Bloomtime: Early - Midsummer, Rebloom in Fall

    Variety Pictured: Nepeta f. 'Cat's Meow'

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  • 14.

    Coneflower (Echinacea)

    LAKOTA™ Fire is an exceptionally long blooming coneflower with sturdy stems and blooms that will hold up for a long time after cutting. Deadheading will extend bloom with flowers appearing into fall.

    Bloomtime: Early Summer - Early Fall

    Variety Pictured: Echinacea LAKOTA™ Fire

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  • 15.


    Tall, bright flower spikes are rigidly upright and a perfect cut flower. If you missed them while in bloom, the flowers dry on the stem and the spikes can be used in fall arrangements.

    Bloomtime: Midsummer

    Variety Pictured: Astilbe 'Visions'

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  • 16.

    Bush Clematis

    Not one of the most popular perennials for cut flower, but a great option! Long blue flowers are an excellent accent or a head turner when used en masse. Wispy white seed heads remain after the flowers have finished and have value in arrangements as well.

    Bloomtime: Late Spring - Midsummer

    Variety Pictured: Clematis 'Stand By Me'

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  • 17.


    Hostas have flowers? Is the reaction of many gardeners as these perennials are thought of almost exclusively for their foliage. You might be thinking of the generic white flowers which are common on many popular varieties, but some cultivars have shades of lavender, purple, streaking, and fragrance!

    Bloomtime: Early - Midsummer

    Variety Pictured: Hosta 'Munchkin Fire'

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  • 18.

    False Sunflower (Heliopsis heliathoides)

    Another excellent long bloomer and a native to boot! False sunflowers offer a multitude of yellow, daisy-like flowers. These perennials are also half the work of a Shasta Daisy with better drought tolerance and less required deadheading.

    Bloomtime: Mid - Late Summer

    Variety Pictured: Heliopsis h. TUSCAN GOLD™

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  • 19.

    Spike Speedwell (Veronica)

    Spike Speedwell are a common cut flower and 'White Wands' is one of the best. Although it may be less colorful than the blues, pinks, and purples, it transcends with a long blooming time and exceptional reblooming performance. The stems are also self cleaning and won't require the extra work of removing spent flowers.

    Bloomtime: Early - Midsummer, Rebloomer

    Variety Pictured: Veronica MAGIC SHOW® 'White Wands'

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  • 20.

    Perennial Salvia

    Long, lightly fragrant flower spikes are mildly fragrant and an excellent accent in arrangements.

    Bloomtime: Late Spring - Early Summer

    Variety Pictured: Salvia n. COLOR SPIRES® 'Crystal Blue'

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  • 21.

    Tall Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata)

    Vibrant pink flowers can't be missed when in bloom. It's not just the flower color that makes 'Glamour Girl' stand apart, but the healthy, powdery mildew resistant foliage that keeps everything below the flower looking nice a green through the season.

    Bloomtime: Mid - Late Summer, Rebloomer

    Variety Pictured: Phlox p. 'Glamour Girl'

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  • 22.

    Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)

    An ideal combination of color, foliage, and fragrance. Russian Sage may shed a few flowers when cut, but their matching blue calyxes will keep color on the stem for a long period of time.

    Bloomtime: Midsummer - Mid Fall

    Variety Pictured: Perovskia a. 'Denim 'n Lace'

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  • 23.

    Pineapple Lily (Eucomis)

    With flower spikes over a foot long, these perennials offer a big color option.

    Bloomtime: Late Summer - Early Fall

    Variety Pictured: Eucomis 'Safari Adventure'

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  • 24.

    Beardtongue (Penstemon)

    Another great perennial for foliage and flowers, 'Midnight Masquerade' combines dark foliage with bright flower clusters and a full, refined habit to cut from.

    Bloomtime: Early - Midsummer

    Variety Pictured: Penstemon 'Midnight Masquerade'

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  • 25.

    Bee Balm (Monarda)

    Bee Balm are a favorite of pollinators and a favorite of ours as well. These brightly colored plants come in shades of pink, red, purple, and have noticeably fragrant foliage.

    Bloomtime: Mid - Late Summer

    Variety Pictured: Monarda 'Electric Neon Pink'

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  • 26.

    Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia)

    Tall flower spikes have long lasting color and great presence when cut.

    Bloomtime: Early - Late Summer

    Variety Pictured: Kniphofia PYROMANIA™ 'Rocket's Red Glare'

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  • 27.

    Tall Bearded Iris

    A great option for color and big blooms early in the year, Irises have the advantage of also being extremely easy to care for in the landscape.

    Bloomtime: Late Spring

    Variety Pictured: Iris 'Earl of Essex'

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Varieties Mentioned in this Article