Cut Flower Gardening

Nothing instantly beautifies a space like a colorful bouquet of flowers. The only real problem is they’re a little costly to have around all the time. So what if I told you that those fresh flowers don’t have to come from the florist or grocery store? That you could have a wide variety of them in your very own landscape?

Cut flower gardening generally involves growing plants that have attractive blooms and foliage that will also last for a few days in a vase — it’s as simple as that! You can be as creative as you like. In fact, many of our favorite native and adapted plants — see a large comprehensive list here — have just those characteristics.


Zinnias, bachelor buttons, sunflowers and our native beebalm not only grow well in heat and droughty conditions, but they also tend to last several days once they’ve been cut and arranged. These are also some of my personal favorites for preserving, making them show-worthy for months or even years.


Roses are, of course, the quintessential cut flower. But others such as mint, Turk’s cap, and shrimp plant work well, too. I love to mix the bright yellow blooms of Jerusalem sage with the fuzzy, purple blooms of Mexican bush sage — this bloom combo lasts about a week!


Balance any natural bouquet with some foliage including ferns, basil, gingers, Eleagnus, Artemisia and cast iron plants. They’re great, long-lasting additions to any arrangement.

When cutting flowers and foliage use clean, sharp scissors to optimize the plant’s water intake and longevity after cutting.

Picture of Erin Conant
Erin Conant
Erin Conant has a passion for all things related to plants. Our former SAWS conservation consultant is now at home with her family passionately establishing their own urban farm and spreading the word of water conservation.
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