Any garden, but especially a cutting garden, can benefit from having some cut and come again flowers planted in it. Fortunately, there are enough options that any gardener can find just the right selection of plants to fit in their space.
Cut and come again flowers are productive flowers that respond to being cut by growing new flowers. Flowers such as cosmos and zinnias are popular cut and come again flowers, and they can produce dozens of blooms on one plant as they continually produce new flowers.
If you’re new to cut and come again flowers, get even more details in this article, Cut And Come Again Flowers: What Are They And Which Should You Grow, then read more here to decide which to grow in your garden this year.
All but one of the flowers on this list are annuals, and you can start all from seed. Some benefit from being started indoors, about six weeks before they can be planted in the garden, while others can be directly sown.
All the flowers on this list are also fantastic for the vase, so as you’re cutting stems to keep up flower production, make sure you pop some of them in a vase or jar to enjoy inside. For a chart to reference each flower’s vase life (and plenty of others, too, bookmark this article: How Long Do Cut Flowers Last? (Find Out Their Vase Life).
If you’re working with a small space for your cut flower garden, these flowers will be especially beneficial for you.
Abundant flowers in a sea of ferny foliage make cosmos one of the most popular garden flowers to grow. Cosmos give any garden a romantic farmhouse or cottage feel, and you’ll never be short of blooms with this workhorse.
Not only is it highly productive, but cosmos perform better when grown with a bit of neglect, making them an excellent option for busy gardeners. They prefer average to poor soil, as too much fertility will result in the overproduction of leaves and fewer blooms.
They also don’t need a lot of water and are susceptible to root rot if they’re grown in boggy or overwatered soil. If you live in a warm climate or an area of water restriction, cosmos are the perfect flower with low maintenance needs and a profusion of blooms.
Direct sow the seeds in spring once all threat of frost has passed, and you will get flowers about three months after planting. Keep your cosmos deadheaded by removing the fading blooms; the plants will keep growing new buds to replace the flowers you pick.
Flowers will last 5-7 days in the vase, which isn’t an exceptionally long vase life, but there will always be more blooms to replace the old ones.
You will probably see butterflies visiting your plants, too, since they are attracted to the disk bloom shape and the pink shade of many varieties. Bumblebees also use the flowers as a landing pad, setting the bloom to sway under their feet.
There’s a reason zinnias are at the top of this list. They’re probably the most well-known type of cut and come again flower. There’s even a variety of zinnia named Cut and Come Again. As you cut long stems deep into the plant, new branches will develop at the next set of leaves, and in a couple of short weeks (or less!), a new flower bud will replace it.
Zinnias may produce more flowers than you need for bouquets (is that possible?), so make sure you deadhead any flowers that are starting to fade to keep production high. Leaving spent blooms on the plant will trigger it to slow down flowering and focus on making seeds, which you don’t want in a cut and come again flower.
Flowers cut for bouquets will last about a week in the vase, possibly more if you change the water frequently.
If you need more incentive to include zinnias in your garden this year, then let the butterflies and beneficial insects that will visit the flowers win you over. Pollinators, especially butterflies, swarm to zinnia flowers to collect nectar.
Gomphrena is at the top of the list for productive flowers in the cutting garden, with gumdrop-shaped blooms and a workhorse work ethic. As another gardener put it, “Nothing kills gomphrena,” so if you want a stalwart friend in the garden that won’t slow down until killing frosts arrive, then put gomphrena on your list.
To grow it, plant gomphrena in full sun and average, well-draining soil. Once established, it will perform through drought and heat, and even humidity won’t faze this flower. If you get more blooms than you can use for bouquets, be sure to deadhead the plant regularly to keep it flowering.
Choose from shades such as the popular red Strawberry Fields or the new Raspberry Cream at Johnny’s Seeds. I have orange and pink varieties lined up for my garden this year. The orange will look particularly good as a dried flower for fall arrangements.
Their everlasting nature gives them exceptional vase life, with flowers often lasting up to two weeks. They’ll probably outlive the other flowers in the bouquet, so remove those as they fade and enjoy your gomphrena as long as it lasts.
4. Black-eyed Susan
Black-eyed Susan, also known as rudbeckia, is available as both a biennial and a perennial. Both types of flowers can be started from seed, either with fall sowing or by planting them early in the spring. Once black-eyed Susans start blooming, they don’t stop until a hard freeze knocks them out.
Black-eyed Susan grows in large clumps. Fuzzy, oblong leaves form the base, and long stems support golden-yellow blooms. Some varieties, such as Indian Summer, have blooms 6-9 inches in diameter. Other types, such as the perennial Goldstrum, have smaller flowers with petals that point downward away from the center cone of the flower.
No matter which variety you grow, black-eyed Susan is an excellent cut and come again flower, especially if you’re looking for something low-maintenance. Average, well-draining soil and full sun are all this flower asks for. In return, you’ll get stem after stem of cheerful flowers that the bees and butterflies love to visit.
Flowers will last a solid week in the vase, and they especially love fresh water every day or two to stay perky as long as possible.
At the end of the season, leave a few flower heads to go to see and watch the birds come and pull out each seed for a snack.
Foxgloves are wonderfully tall flowers that give any flower garden a woodland or cottage garden feel. They grow from one to three feet tall and produce tall spikes of blossoms that are a favorite of bumblebees.
I used to put the blossoms on my fingers like little hats when I was a kid. If you try it, don’t forget to check for any bees hiding inside the flower first!
Foxgloves used to only be available as perennials and biennials, meaning you had to wait until the second year to get any blooms. However, the development of the Dalmatian and Camelot series took care of that problem, and you can now get foxglove flowers in the first year.
You’ll get the most vigorous blooms if you plant your foxgloves in rich soil with plenty of moisture, but average soil will also work. Cut the first stem for your first harvest of blooms, and you’ll get new stems growing up to replace it. Any stalks that aren’t cut for bouquets should be deadheaded to keep the flower in bloom.
Change the vase water daily for the longest vase life, and you’ll get up to a week to enjoy your foxgloves.
Don’t forget that foxgloves are not edible, and every part of the plant is toxic if eaten.
Snapdragons are one of the go-to cut flowers when gardeners want a “spike” element to add to their gardens and bouquets. The plants aren’t shy about sending up a tall spire of blossoms early in the season, followed by multiple smaller spikes once that central flower is cut.
If you want to focus on getting more stems per plant throughout the season, you can pinch your snapdragon seedlings before they produce their first flower. Let the seedlings grow until they’re 8-10 inches tall, then snip off the top third of the plant at a leaf junction.
The result will be more lateral stems that produce flowers throughout the spring and early summer. Keep in mind that the first blooms will be the strongest, and production will slow down considerably in the heat of summer.
To keep your snapdragons alive until fall so they can bloom again in the cool weather, cut the plants back significantly and keep them watered throughout the summer. Once the weather cools off in fall, the snapdragons will send up new stems for the second round of flowers.
In spring and fall, snapdragons add height, texture, and movement to make a gorgeous and rustic-looking bouquet, lasting about a week in the vase.
If you’re used to growing single stem sunflowers like the Mammoth Giant you planted as a kid (just me?), then you’re in for a treat with branching sunflowers. This type of sunflower produces many blooms over two to three weeks, and keeping the flowers picked will encourage the maximum number of flowers over that time frame.
Have a look at your favorite seed catalog to see the various colors and sizes available. Branching sunflowers have much more diversity than single-stem sunflowers. Some varieties have two-tone or ombre petals, while others have deep ruby petals or fuzzy, double blooms.
I like to grow Autumn Beauty for its beautiful bronze and orange petals. Johnny’s is a great place to get sunflower seeds, plus any other flower seeds you need.
Rich soil and regular water will keep your sunflowers growing quickly and evenly, and about three months after planting, your flowers will begin to bloom.
Cut them for bouquets just as the petals are starting to lift off the center disk, and they’ll last for 5-7 days in the vase. If you can, leave the last round of flowers on the plants to share with the birds, who love to pick out the seeds.
Strawflowers are a different type of flower but no less qualified as a cut and come again flower. The blooms don’t have petals like so many other flowers. Instead, the flowers are made up of bracts, which are papery leaves. It’s what makes a strawflower bloom squeak when you squeeze it.
Strawflowers are warm-season annuals that thrive in summer heat until a frost. Once established, they’re also a great drought-tolerant flower, so they don’t require a lot of water. Strawflowers can grow in moderate climates with cooler summers, but they may not be as productive.
The seeds are easy to sow directly in the garden, or like many other warm-season flowers, you can start them indoors to give your plants a head start.
Once you pick a strawflower for the vase, be prepared to enjoy the blooms for at least a couple of weeks, as they’re incredibly long-lasting when cut. You can even pick stems specifically to dry, as the flowers make fabulous seasonal decor for the fall and winter.
With two flower types, celosia is sure to appeal to everyone. Add in the fact that it will bloom over many weeks and provide you with several cuttings, and you’ve got a winner for the garden.
Celosia, also known as cockscomb, is available in either feathery, plume-shaped blooms or crinkled, crest-shaped blooms. I love the plume celosia since it adds movement and a bit of flair to any bouquet. I’ve got Flamingo Feather on my list for this year, and I plan to pair it with my cosmos for a romantic-looking bouquet.
Celosia loves to grow in the heat of summer, and it will start pumping out the blooms in just under three months. Fresh flowers last about 5-7 days in the vase.
As you start cutting flowers, be sure to set some aside to dry by hanging them upside down in a cool, dark space. Dried celosia looks beautiful as dried flowers, and you can even mix them with other dried flowers like strawflowers or statice for seasonal decor.
Calendulas are one of the easiest flowers to grow and prolific bloomers summer long. They only need about two months from seed to bloom, and once they get going, you’ll never have a lack of flowers. Cut the flower stems at a leaf junction in the desired height, and in a week or two, you’ll see a new stem and flower bud ready to bloom.
Remove any old flowers as they fade with deadheading. If any flowers go to seed and drop, you will almost certainly find new calendula plants sprouting at the base of the plant, even during the same season.
If you can, let those volunteer plants grow. Calendulas are cold-hardy and can survive light frosts, making them a great option to extend your growing season as long as possible.
Calendulas are available in single and double flower varieties in orange, yellow, rust, and apricot shades. I have Pacific Beauty in my garden right now, overwintered from last year. Its blooms start in a buttery yellow, then fade to cream as they age. Flashback Mix from Swallowtail Seeds is on my list for this coming year for a bit of variety.
There are so many aspects to learn about growing your own cut flowers, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Here are a few more articles to keep your learning process easy and inspire your next garden.