4 Tips You Need To Help Your Flowers Bloom After Being Cut

bouquet of scabiosa, cosmos, snapdragon, salvia, aster

When you see your flowers break into bloom in your garden, it’s only natural that your first thought would be, “There’s no way I’m cutting those!” But what if I told you that you could keep your flowers bloom by doing just that?

Many flowers can still bloom after you’ve cut them. Certain flowers, known as cut and come again flowers, will send out new stalks and flower buds to replace the ones that were missed. Individual flowers will often continue to open and bloom in the vase if provided with fresh water and flower food.

So, if you want to keep your garden looking its best all the time, follow these steps.

How to keep your flowers blooming in the garden and vase

Helping your flowers rebloom in the garden or the vase is a simple process that mostly requires patience on your part, and the plant will handle the rest. Even so, a few dos and don’ts for first-time flower gardeners will help you get the most out of your garden this season.

1. Plant the right flowers

The first step is to select the right flowers to plant in your garden. Not all flowers are suitable for cutting and reblooming, so do your research beforehand, or jump over to this article which has a list of my favorite cut and come again flowers: 10 Cut And Come Again Flowers That Are Easy To Grow.

Some of them include:

  • Zinnias
  • Gomphrena
  • Dahlias
  • Cosmos
  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Sweet peas

These flowers thrive when you cut them because the plant will grow replacement stems for each stem that you remove. This pattern means that the plant will keep producing new flowers for months on end, and you can keep your vases full of fresh bouquets.

Single stem sunflowers aren’t typically a flower to rebloom after being cut, but mine did this year. Some flowers will surprise you!

cut sunflower stem with new blooms
This ProCut Gold sunflower ended up blooming again after I cut the main flower. Not the biggest new blooms, but I’ll take them!

2. Commit to regular plant care to support new blooms

Once your flowers are in bloom, regular harvesting will encourage more flower buds to develop. Regular water and fertilizer are other things to promote your flowers to stay productive. 

Make sure to keep the soil around your plants moist but not waterlogged. Water them deeply about once a week or more frequently in the peak of summer. 

Fertilizer will help avoid burning out your plants too early. We recommend using a water-soluble fertilizer that is high in phosphorus to will help to encourage strong root growth and lots of beautiful blooms.

Here are two of my favorites:

My favorite garden fertilizers

Although healthy soil is the best food for your garden, sometimes it takes a while to build it up. In the meantime, I use a couple of high-quality fertilizers.

Tiger Bloom is perfect for the flower garden because it’s a phosphorous-heavy liquid fertilizer that encourages flower production.

Dr. Earth All Purpose Fertilizer is a balanced fertilizer that I can use to feed my flowers and vegetables at the same time if everything in the garden needs a boost.

3. Cutting back can promote new flowers, too

It’s not uncommon for garden flowers to start looking a bit ragged as the summer wears on, especially if you haven’t harvested from them as frequently as you meant to. Harvesting is a form of pruning, and it can help keep the plant in shape through the season.

If you decide to cut back your wandering flower plant, rest assured that it will rebloom after a few weeks. Cosmos, black-eyed Susans, and snapdragons are three such flowers that can use a hard pruning mid summer.

The cosmos and black eyed Susans will rally and put on a fresh flush of blooms in a few weeks. The snapdragons will take a bit longer, as they’re cool season flowers. Cut them back at the beginning of summer, let the heat pass, and enjoy new growth and new blooms in early fall.

These photos of how cutting back a black eyed Susan plant can encourage new blooms:

4. Treat your flowers well in the vase after they’re cut

Your garden flowers will continue blooming as they grow, and the flowers now in the vase may do a little more blooming of their own. Some flowers are best cut at the “crack stage,” which means they’re still mostly closed, but a bit of color is peeking through.  

These are the ones that will continue to bloom after being cut, as long as you follow a few tips for harvesting your flowers. By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your flowers for even longer.

  • Cut your flowers in the morning: The best time to cut your flowers is in the morning, as they will be more hydrated after a night’s rest. The stems will be filled with essential nutrients and water, which will help them to stay fresh for longer. 
  • Use a plastic pail to transport your flowers: If you’re going to be transporting your flowers any distance, make sure to use a plastic pail or bucket filled with water. Using a metal pail can affect the pH of the water, which can cause the flowers to wilt more quickly.
  • Use a homemade flower preservative: A preservative will increase the longevity of your flowers by providing them with nutrients and keeping the water fresh. You can easily make a preservative with this recipe: at home by mixing one teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon bleach, 2 teaspoons lime juice, and 4 cups of water.
  • Always use sharp shears or scissors: When cutting the stems of your flowers, be sure to use sharp shears or scissors. Regular scissors can work for small stems like cosmos or scabiosa, but for thicker stems like sunflowers or black-eyed Susan, shears are best to avoid crushing the stems. 
  • Water your flower plants before harvesting: If you grow your own flowers, keeping them well watered will deliver fully hydrated flowers that can withstand being separated from the plant. Regular watering and using mulch are excellent ways to keep the soil consistently moist and your flowers refreshed. 

FAQ

How long do flowers live after being cut?

A. Most flowers will stay fresh for 5-7 days after being cut. However, there are some varieties that can even last for up to two weeks. Proper maintenance and care are key to keeping your flowers fresh for as long as possible, such as changing the vase water daily and keeping the bouquet out of direct sunlight. 

Check out this article to look up how long your favorite cut flower will last in the vase: How Long Do Cut Flowers Last? (30 Flower’s Vase Life)

Do cut flowers need sunlight to bloom?

Cut flowers do not need sunlight to bloom since they’ll no longer grow after being cut from the stem. Too much direct sunlight can actually cause the flowers to wilt and die more quickly because they heat up and dry out more quickly. Indirect sunlight or a dimly lit area is best for the longest vase life. 

Check out a few valuable resources that I use frequently for my garden so you’re that much closer to getting your cut flower garden going:

My Top 3 Cut Flower Supplies

Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest, and Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms: This is the book that inspired me to start growing cut flowers. Plant profiles, seasonal tasks, and arrangement tutorials will get anyone started with growing their own bouquets.

Fox Farm Fertilizer Soil Liquid Nutrient: Tiger Bloom: More flowers? Yes, please. I treat my cut flowers to a sip of this phosphorous-heavy liquid fertilizer throughout the season, so I never run out of fresh flowers in my house or garden.

Corona FS 3214D ComfortGEL Leaf & Stem Micro Snips: Perfect for cutting small stems, deadheading spent blooms, or keeping the mint plant from taking over my garden.

Find the rest of my “use on the daily” garden gear on my resources page.

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