Growing Cutting Gardens – How To Create A Cutting Flower Garden

Image by Dwight Sipler

By Susan Patterson, Master Gardener

Growing cutting gardens is a worthwhile experience for anyone who wants a vast array of beautiful flowers to adorn their garden and home. You do not need to be an expert gardener in order to create an attractive, thriving cutting garden. There is no one-size fit all plan to growing a cutting garden either. Some gardeners prefer to grow their flower cutting garden in rows and in a very organized fashion, while others simply scatter them throughout their landscape.

How to Create a Cutting Flower Garden

The first step in planning a cutting garden is to find a sunny spot that has well-drained soil. If your soil has a high percentage of clay, it is best to amend it with some peat moss before planting.

Although there are some cutting flowers that are happy in the shade, most enjoy full to part sun. If you want to get creative, you can even include some cutting flowers in your vegetable garden. This provides color and many flowers act as a barrier against unwanted pests in the garden.

Adding organic material, such as aged-manure or household compost, to the planting spot will provide additional nutrients to the flowers. A top layer 2-3 inches thick of mulch will help retain moisture and provide protection for cutting flowers.

Keep your cutting garden well watered and provide a scattering of bone meal to provide extra nutrients in your cutting garden plants.

Choosing Cutting Garden Plants

Choosing flowers for a cutting garden can be a bit overwhelming as there are so many to choose from. To make your job easier, you may decide on a color theme or perhaps you have a few particular favorites that you really want to grow.

The best thing to do when planning your flower-cutting garden is to collect a few seed catalogues and find the flowers that best suit your taste and growing conditions. One suggestion is to pick flowers that bloom at different times so that you always have some color in your garden.


Perennials will bloom year after year and provide a strong foundation in a cutting garden. Some favorite perennials for a flower cutting garden include:

Woody plants are also beautiful in vases and include fragrant lilacs and roses.


Annuals will bloom for one season; however, many annuals will self-seed and pop up again the next year. Favorite annual cutting garden flowers include:


Bulbs can also make a pleasant addition to any formal or informal cutting garden. Common bulbs to use when growing cutting gardens include:

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