I hate to admit it, but I don't often do flower arrangements. I always intend to, but you know how it is when you have endless garden chores. And I'm not very artistic. And the house needs cleaning. And shouldn't the flowers stay in the garden, in case I have to give a tour?
But for some people, the whole point of the garden is to grow flowers for cutting. In general, anything with a long stem and a long vase life can be used for cutting. This list only includes the flowers that can be grown from seed and are available for sale on this website. I divided the list into annuals and perennials. Most perennials bloom the second year from seed, but some will bloom the first year if they are started early indoors. Biennials are included with the perennials.
Annual Cut Flowers
Perennial Cut Flowers
Tips for Extending Vase Life
1. Cut the flowers in the early morning, using sharp, clean garden shears. Don't use scissors, which crush the stems. Bring a plastic bucket or pitcher of water to put the flowers in as soon as they are cut.
2. Recut the stems right before putting them in the vase. Cut at a 45 degree angle. Remove any foliage that is below the level of the water.
3. Fill the vase with lukewarm water, which is easier for the flowers to absorb. It should be between 100 and 110 degrees. You can add a commercial preservative to the water, or make your own using 1 quart of water with 1 teaspoon bleach, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 2 teaspoons lemon juice. This recipe is from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
4. Keep flower arrangements away from fruit, which produces ethylene gas that shortens the vase life of the flowers.