Cut Flower Recommendations

Handout-Cut Flower Recommendations

Cut Flower Recommendations


  • Plant bulbs in fall
  • Cut or pull it at the “gooseneck state” when it is showing color and the neck is bent
  • Can be placed with other flower but need to change water to avoid daffodil ‘slime’


  • Plant in November as an annual
  • Pull up the bulbs so you have a longer stem for arranging
  • Can be planted in soil-filled milk crates outside

Violas & Pansies

  • Grow from transplants as soon as harsh winter weather is gone
  • Grow in full sun to partial shade
  • Cut at base and remove entire spray containing several flowers
  • Press nicely and good as an edible flower in salads

Corn Flower

  • Mostly blue, but whites, pinks, and dark almost black
  • Direct seed in fall or early spring; will reseed
  • Fizzles in heat, cut down once seeds form and it will reseed
  • Cut at the base of plant


  • Fall or spring planted; transplants recommended.
  • In spring, start the seeds indoors in March to plant out in April
  • Cut stem at base of plant, right above branching stem just as a couple of bottom flowers have started to open

Nigella (Love in a Mist)

  • Direct seed in late winter, or early spring
  • Flowers in May and June, flowers aren’t long-lasting
  • Grown for the seed pods and feathery foliage
  • Yank up entire plants when seed pods start to form and place in a vase or hang up to dry
  • Reseeds easily

Bells of Ireland

  • Direct seed in fall or late winter; seeds needs to be stratified with cold
  • Flowers in May and June and has wonderful foliage
  • Long vase life and can be dried
  • But at the base of the stems; reseeds


  • Direct seed in late winter or fall
  • Needs some support
  • Long lasting in vase and dries well
  • Doesn’t like heat and excellent reseeder 

Feverfew (matricaria)

  • Direct seed or transplant in fall or early spring
  • No support needed
  • Flowers in June, and fades with heat
  • Long lasting in vase
  • Cut when flowers are developed and open at the base
  • Great filler


  • Annual or perennial
  • Direct seed or transplant in fall
  • Flowers in June
  • Long lasting in vase
  • Cut at low branching stem when flowers are open
  • Great filler
  • Varieties suggested: Colorado Mix, Colorado Sunset


  • Direct seed or use transplants in spring
  • Flowers June until frost
  • Long last in vase of at least a week
  • Cut at base just as petals start to open
  • Suggested Varieties: ‘Indian Summer’, ‘Cherry Brandy’, ‘Cherokee Sunset’


  • Direct seed or use transplant in early spring
  • Support netting helpful
  • Flowers June until frost
  • Long lasting in vase and dries nicely by hanging upside-down
  • Cut at base as soon as the yellow centers appear


  • Direct seed or use small transplants; watch for rabbits!
  • Single stem varieties should be planted every two weeks to have a constant supply
  • Use support!! These can get tall and heavy
  • Flowers start in June and continue until frost
  • Cut when the petals start to unfurl from central disk for longest vase life
  • Suggested single stem varieties: Procut series, Sun-Fill, Sunrich, Sunbright
  • Suggested branching varieties: Lemonade, Moulin Rouge, Italian White, Strawberry Blonde

Clary Sage (Salvia hormium) 

  • Direct seed after frost or start plants inside 4 weeks before frost date
  • Harvest when tips of stems are fully colored. Fresh flowers have a 7-10 day vase life
  • To dry, hang upside down in a warm, dark spot for 4-6 weeks 


  • Direct seed or transplant after frost
  • Flowers all summer until frost
  • Cut when flowers are open and the more cuts made, the more it flowers
  • Provide support
  • Long lasting in vase
  • Suggested varieties: Oklahoma, Queen Lime, Senora and Cactus Flowers, Benary’s Giant


  • Direct seed or use transplants after frost
  • Cut often for more blooms
  • Provide support and pinch when a foot tall
  • Cut for both foliage and flowers
  • Cut just as the buds swell and at base of plant
  • Delicate stems can be brittle and fragile; handle with care


  • Direct seed or transplant after frost
  • Crested and feather types are great cuts
  • Heat lovers -needs full sun
  • Cut when heads are fully developed but before seeds form
  • Long vase life and dried beautifully


  • Direct seed or transplant after frost
  • Great filler (tall varieties)
  • Heat lovers, will flower until frost and can take some cold
  • Cut at the base where the plant branches
  • Suggested varieties: Blue Planet, Blue Horizon


  • Start from seed in March and transplant when warm
  • Cut when the yellow center starts to show at base
  • Long vase life and dried nicely


  • Grown from tubers
  • Start in warm soil in full sun and don’t water until the plant sprouts
  • Pinch in July to force branching
  • Provide support
  • Cut when the flower starts to open
  • Ball varieties last the longest in vase
  • Dig up tubers in late fall and store in dark cool space for next spring
  • Lasts 1-2 weeks in a vase
  • Grows tall (3-4’) and needs support


  • Grow from transplants and set out when danger of frost is over
  • Needs full sun and support
  • Pick when the flowers just start to open
  • Long vase life of a week+

Globe Amaranth

  • Start from seed when warm or plant out transplants
  • Likes heat and full sun
  • Needs support
  • Cut at the base of the branching flower
  • Long vase life and dries beautifully


  • Plant in Fall from tubers; soak first before planting
  • Plant in soil filled crates and place outside under plastic tunnels
  • Grows all winter, just be sure they don’t freeze
  • Blooms in early spring, cut at base
  • Long vase life of a week

Book Resources

Starting & Saving Seeds by JulieThompson-Adolf

Cool Flowers by Lisa Mason Ziegler

Cut Flower Garden by Erin Benzakein

Floret Farm’s A Year In Flower by Erin Benzakein

From Seed to Boom by Eileen Powell

Seed/Bulb Catalogs

Johnny’s Selected Seeds

Harris Seeds

Burpee Seeds

Swan Island Dahlias

Sunflower Selections

Brent & Becky’s Bulbs

West Coast Seed

Park Seeds

The Gardener’s Workshop- free videos

Botanical Interests

Renee’s Garden Seeds

Transplants in Baltimore Area

Susan Iglehart’s Flowers

Valley View Farms Nursery

White House Nursery

Blooming Hill Nursery