Our 20 Favorite Cut flowers You Can Grow From Seed

I’ve grown a cutting garden for three years. Every year I dream of sitting down on a cold wintry day by the fire with catalogs and a sketchpad to layout my garden plans. Yet somehow, each year, winter comes and goes, and I find myself standing in my local nursery planning in their space instead of my own. This year was different; I was finally able to plan and grow cut flowers from seed.

There is something ironic about putting together a cutting garden. Its purpose is to be constructed and then deconstructed by cutting the flowers in order to create bouquets. Sometimes, to benefit from the assembly, we must disassemble.

A bench in front a a cutting flower garden and a barn
To plan a cut flower garden, start by choosing a sunny location with well-draining soil. Research and select flowers that thrive in your climate and consider their bloom times for continuous blooms throughout the season. Prepare the soil, plant the flowers, and provide regular watering and maintenance for vibrant, long-lasting cut flowers.

How I plan my seed-grown cut flowers garden.

I like to plan my cutting garden with a few goals in mind.  First, it’s about experiencing the amazing alchemy of seed to bloom. Additionally, I want to add to our landscape in the summer and grow flowers to cut for our own home and to share with others. It is a bonus that it gives me something to photograph, too.

Define a Cut Flowers garden color Scheme

With my purpose defined, I am always careful to choose varying heights of flowers and a color scheme.

The catalogs are filled with so many choices, but I pick flowers that I find uniquely interesting and intriguing. If I have set out some guidelines for myself (for example, needing a variation of heights or of certain colors), it is always easier to decide what plants I will try another year.

Once my plan in place, I’m excited to observe this living piece of art molding itself throughout the summer and into early fall.

I’ve been reading about preparing each seed for planting. Some are planted directly in the ground, while others will need to start in pots in April.

I’ve scheduled dates on my calendar to order seeds -it is helpful to add dates to your calendar for garden chores that need future attention. It’s good the buy early – so many varieties sell out fast.

Circle dates on the calendar to plant indoors, as well as the likely time – based on last frost dates – that you will be able to plant outdoors.

I’ll also need to check if I have enough bamboo and twine to create the bamboo trellises. 

The final steps include weeding the beds ahead of planting the seeds or seedlings. This is important to ensure the seeds get a head start. I’m looking forward to reaping the rewards.

This year, I feel more accomplished than I have any other year. In assembling this coming year’s cutting garden, I’ve been able to rely on lessons learned from the last few seasons. It feels good to have some confidence gained from experience, and I hope you find this selection useful.

It is a particularly good list for those of you who live in northern climates.

I know during the cold, dark days of New England’s winter, this garden will keep me looking forward to my favorite season of all – summer, with all that blooms and inspires me.



Plant List for Cut Flowers from Seed

plan a flower cutting garden with cheryl parker
A well-designed cut flower garden plan consists of a carefully selected variety of flowering plants with different bloom times, heights, and colors. Consider incorporating favorites like sunflowers, zinnias, dahlias, and roses for a stunning display throughout the seasons. Ensure proper spacing, lighting, and soil conditions for optimal growth and continuous blooms.

Best cut flowers form seed – Row 1

Mounding Nasturtiums Cherries Jubilee – (Tropaeolum majus). The bright red color is not traditionally seen in Nasturtiums.

Coreopsis Double Sunburst (Coreopsis lanceolate) –  Easy to grow even in poor soils, this plant sports blooms all season and generally has an attractive, sunny disposition.

Parkland Glory Dahlia – A burst of orange sunshine in my garden, I dig up the tubers in the fall, store them for the winter and replant them every spring.

Black Swan Poppy(Papaver somniferum) – This black/burgundy poppy’s fun petals are texturally unusual.

Best Cut flowers to grow from seed – Row 2

Teddy Bear Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) – My favorite sunflower has many, many petals that resemble a very huggable puffball.

Cardinal Climber ((Ipomoea x multifida) – I grow this in memory of my father-in-law because we always think of him when we see a cardinal (bird) – and the hummingbirds are attracted to it.

Rose Ball English Daisy (Bellis perennis) – The pure sweetness of this flower is only part of the reason to love it. The blooms also are among the largest of daisies – growing to as much as 6” in diameter.

Mounding Nasturtiums Cherries Jubilee – (Tropaeolum majus). The bright red color is not traditionally seen in Nasturtiums.

Best Cut flowers to grow from seed – Row 3

Himalayan Poppies – These are considered very difficult to grow – requiring the exacting conditions to germinate and thrive. They are so beautiful that I am willing to give them a try.

Black flowered Siberian Iris – These look like velvet and are the most elegant plant in my selection.

Black-eyed Susan Vine – This is a tropical plant that is often growing as an annual outside of its native region. It will quickly cover a trellis in one season.

Royal White Sweet Pea – Sweet peas have a beautifully delicate fragrance and will also vine through a garden and up a trellis.

Best cutting flowers to grow from seed – Row 4

Rose Ball English Daisy (Bellis perennis) – The pure sweetness of this flower is only part of the reason to love it. The blooms also are among the largest of daisies – growing to as much as 6” in diameter.

Rocky Mountain Blue Columbine (Aquilegia coerulea) – The details of this native Columbine have always intrigued me, and the foliage of this variety resembles a maidenhair fern.

Hollyhock the Watchman (Alcea rosea) –  I love the rich and deep color of this variety of Hollyhocks, and they are a very popular cottage garden plant.

Spider Flower (Cleome hassleriana) – In flowers and in life, I am attracted to whimsical things. Also known as grandfather whiskers, these spindly blooms are eye-catching and unique.

Cut flowers from seed – Row 5

Scarlet Flax (Linum grandiflorum rubrum) – It is a profusion of delicate petals and a brilliant red color. Unfortunately, the blooms only last a day, so it won’t be a great flower for bouquets, but it will enliven my cutting garden.

Black Cat Dahlia – These dark beauties add mystery and excitement to the garden and bouquets.

Love In A Mist (Nigella damascene) – The seed pod is just as interesting as the ethereal blue flowers. Both the flower and pod are great in arrangements.

Deep Red Dahlias (I suggest Dahlia Boom Boom Red for a laciniate petal or Dahlia Barbarosa, a semi-cactus variety) – Mine were a gift from a friend’s garden. I love a deep red color in my arrangements.

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A complete plan for a flower cutting garden with cheryl parker
A cut flower garden layout typically includes a mix of annuals and perennials arranged in rows or blocks for easy harvesting. Planting taller varieties in the back and shorter ones in the front helps create depth and visual appeal. Consider including diverse flowers like zinnias, dahlias, and sunflowers for a vibrant and stunning display.
A complete plan for a flower cutting garden with cheryl parker
How to Plan a Cut Flower Garden is a comprehensive guide on designing and organizing a beautiful garden specifically dedicated to growing flowers from seed for cutting purposes.

Plant Finder:

Seeds can be found at Renee’s Garden, Swallowtail Gardens, Botanical Interests, and Baker Creek Seeds.  Dahlias can be purchased at American Meadows, Longfield Gardens, Holland Bulb Farms, and Big Dahlias.

More PITH + VIGOR stories about Cutting Gardens:

Not sure where to buy your seeds – Check out this post: Really Great Heirloom Seed Companies (USA and Canada)

Images courtesy of Renee’s Garden, Swallowtail Gardens, Botanical Interests, Baker Creek Seeds. American Meadows, Longfield Gardens, Holland Bulb FarmsBig Dahlias.  Morgaine, CC BY – 2.0

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