Learn about some of the best perennials for cut flowers that you can easily grow in your garden to enjoy year after year. These easy-to-grow plants will bring you months of lovely flowers to create beautiful flower arrangements for your home or to give to someone special.
Many perennials make beautiful floral arrangements in the home. I love cutting some and placing them in vases around the house, especially when we have a party. So today I'm sharing some of my favorites.
All of these plants are perennials which means they will come back year after year, and all are easy to grow. However, since I live in USDA Zone 6 I need to grow hardy perennials that can withstand colder climates. This entire group is hardy to Zone 4, some as low as Zone 3. Most prefer a spot with full sun though some can grow well in part shade.
Best Perennials for Cut Flower Gardens
If someone held a gun to my head and made me choose my favorite flower, it would probably be the peony. They are so beautiful and easy to grow. There are many to choose from, and many are very fragrant. You can read more about peonies in my post, Praiseworthy Peony. My only complaint is that they don't bloom all season long.
Also known as Echinacea, this common form is the purple coneflower. It seems like the growers come out with 3 or 4 new varieties every year of this pretty perennial. Bright daisy-like flowers in shades of yellow, warm reds, pretty pinks, and even white, with many different shapes and sizes, make this perennial a collector's dream. And, I recently learned that some forms of Echinacea are now considered threatened or endangered. A great reason to grow this lovely long blooming plant.
Similar to Echinacea, Black-Eyed Susan flowers are from the genus Rudbeckia. However, both plants come from the same flower family, Asteraceae. Black-Eyed Susan perennials are mostly golden flowers with black or brown centers. However, there are many hybrids that offer shades of orange and bronze.
A third pretty daisy-like perennial plant is Shasta Daisy. Bright and cheerful this lovely flower will bloom from early summer into the fall giving you lots of time to use them in flower arrangements.
Another long bloomer is Lychnis coronaria, commonly known as Rose Campion. I particularly love this one because of its pretty gray foliage that works well as a filler in flower arrangements. This easy perennial cut flower readily self-seeds giving you more in the garden. Don't worry, they are easy to pull up if a volunteer shows up in an unwanted space.
The scientific name for this flower is Monarda. The image above is a variety called 'Blue Stocking.' The common name is bee balm because the bees love it. This plant comes in a variety of colors and sizes and grows quickly by sending out runners just under the ground. Another name for this pretty perennial is bergamot because the leaves smell like the bergamot citrus fruit. The American Indians used this fragrant plant to make tea. It actually smells a lot like Earl Grey tea.
Anemone September Charm
As the variety name states, this pretty perennial blooms later in the season in September, though often in August, and lasts through most of the fall. It's a Japanese Anemone plant and I love the cottage feel it gives to the garden. Beware, this one is a rapid grower and will easily fill in a space once it's established.
Perennial Sages or Salvia make great cut flowers and they are fragrant. The one shown above is the variety 'May Night' and was named the Perennial of the Year in 1997. It's a beautiful dark purple but you can find other varieties in colors of white and pink.
Next on the list of perennial flowers is the bearded Iris. It mainly blooms in the spring in May and June, but there are a few varieties that will bloom twice. You may see them listed as "remontant" which means to rebloom twice in a season. Did you know that the root from the Iris, also called Orris Root, has been used as a fixture for potpourri?
There are many different types of bellflowers but this one, Campanula glomerata, or clustered Bellflower, is my favorite. It's a really deep pretty shade of purple and has flowers blooming up and down the stem. Adored by hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees but deer and rabbits tend to avoid it.
Daylilies are so beautiful and come in a myriad of colors that work wonderfully in bouquets and other cut flower arrangements. They are easy to grow however they are a favorite food of the deer population so keep that in mind.
This variety called 'Pretty Woman' is just one of the many color options available for yarrow flowers. It's a great cut flower perennial that also dries well. Its scientific name is Achillea millefolium, named after Achilles, who used plant extracts to treat soldiers’ wounds in the Battle of Troy.
Here it is in a more common white color. Though we all love color, a little white can really help create a nice balance in your floral designs. This common white variety is extremely hardy and seems to grow anywhere in my garden.
For a great vase filler try these pretty clumps of chartreuse flowers from Lady's Mantle or Alchemilla mollis. This is a nice low growing perennial that you can plant in the front of the garden border as it only reaches 6-12 inches in height. It's called Lady's Mantle because the scalloped leaves resemble the Virgin Mary's Mantle or cloak.
Though it's not a great filler or a large showy flower, lavender is long lasting and a great addition to flower arrangements. It also dries well, and of course, the fragrance is fabulous. This pretty perennial herb comes in different shades of purple and some are also white. It's also drought tolerant making this a very low maintenance plant.
Here's another good white option called Penstemon. This pretty perennial comes in a variety of colors and has a pretty delicate beauty which is great for filling your vase and adding a little airiness.
Here is the same plant with beautiful dark foliage, called Penstemon 'Huskers Red.' It looks great in arrangements, and in the garden all season long. The tall sturdy stems are filled with pretty flower spikes adding a nice height to any arrangement. Another self-seeder, I often find a few new volunteers in the garden come spring but they are easily dug up and moved.
Last but not least, is a perennial Bachelor's Button. Some say this is a nuisance plant because it does reseed freely, but I love the blue color. This particular variety is Centaurea 'Montana Blue.' It comes in a few different colors such as white, pink, and purple. They even have developed a couple of deep-colored ones like Centaurea 'Jordy,' and 'Black Sprite.'
Other Perennial Cut Flowers to Try
- Liatris - aka Blazing Star
- Garden Phlox
- Coral Bells
- Blanket Flower
- Sea Holly
There you have it. A nice list of easy-to-grow cut flower garden perennials. So many to enjoy and create beautiful flower arrangements all season long.