Choose flowers that offer an assortment of colors, heights and textures. Add filler flowers for fullness or texture in bouquets – foliage plants such as ferns and ornamental grasses can serve as excellent filler plants.
Plant your cut flower garden in wide rows so harvesting stems is effortless, and group together plants with similar growing conditions (annuals vs perennials).
An ideal spot for a cut flower garden is in full sun. As most blooms require full exposure, avoiding any shadow is paramount to its success. A cut flower garden can easily be integrated into existing vegetable or landscape plans while still having easy access to a water source.
Cutting flowers tend to be easier to cultivate than their garden counterparts and are adaptable in most climates. When selecting plants for cutting arrangements, make sure they have strong stems with long vase lives – this will increase chances of success!
Some annuals, like zinnias, can be cut and come again flowers while others such as sunflowers need sturdy supports in order to achieve maximum bloom. Most flower seed packets suggest spacing these annuals 18″ apart while for cutting flowers 9″ is optimal to ensure long stems with minimal tangled branches.
Cut flower gardens should be created on soil that drains well, either separately from other beds and borders, or mixed in seamlessly into existing landscape elements such as mulch. For larger spaces, consider creating long linear beds so you can easily reach all the plants.
Keep in mind that flowers don’t all bloom at once, so stagger their blooming. This will help prevent bare spots when flowers begin to fade while also extending harvest season without waiting until everything is ready for picking.
When creating your planting plan, when using recommended spacing found on plant descriptions or seed packets as a basis for planning, reduce this spacing by 30-35% so as to plant more in smaller spaces. This enables you to make optimal use of available resources.
Cut flower plants require full sunlight in order to bloom at their best, with at least six hours of sun per day ideally. Some annuals, like sweet peas and climbing nasturtiums, benefit from support such as trellises or stakes to ensure tall growth while sunflowers and zinnias require stakes or supports so their heads open freely as their heads unfold.
Keep your cutting garden free of weeds by regularly weeding when the soil is slightly damp; that way you can pull up their roots more easily. Water your cutting garden regularly as well; doing this helps promote strong and healthy growth with longer vase life for cut flowers. Add organic matter such as compost or leaves to enhance water retention in the soil.
Fertile soil will produce the finest flowers. If possible, create raised beds to make gardening simpler, adding compost and organic fertilizers before planting seeds.
Sunflowers are essential elements of any cut flower garden and they’re easy to cultivate. Plant them in wide rows for easier cutting access or use a one-foot grid spacing for bigger blooms that last two weeks in water.
Filler plants add texture, height and color to arrangements while also extending the picking season by covering fading bulbs and annuals. Popular options for filler plants are caladium, euphorbia, heucherella, helenium and petunias; Achillea (yarrow) is another great pollinator-loved choice which self-sows easily, comes in various colors and has great vase life.
When planting a dedicated cut flower garden, choose a site with full sun and rich, well-draining soil. Design linear beds so you can quickly plant, weed and pick across them without walking through them – plus make sure they’re wide enough for reaching in with pails of water or baskets for stems!
Cathy suggests beginning your garden with easy-care annuals such as zinnias and sunflowers before branching out into more challenging perennial flowers over time. Consider adding fragrant varieties like peonies or eucalyptus for bouquets that will truly delight. Some plants, like climbing nasturtiums, may need staking so plan accordingly; regularly prune or pinch any flower that requires branching for bushier blooms.