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  • North Flower

Annual flowers for cutting

It's always tricky to know which seeds to start sowing because they all look so lovely! Here's my top picks of annual cut flower seeds for beginners. Sow March to May for gorgeous summer blooms and check out my post on how to get started growing cut flowers for more tips on growing.


My top 10 annual cut flowers to get you started


  1. Cornflower (aka Batchelor’s Buttons). Can be direct sow. Grows delicate flowers so some support, netting might be required.

  2. Cosmos

  3. Nigella (aka Love-in-a-mist). Can be direct sow and support may also be required.

  4. Orlaya. a lovely delicate white flower that blooms early in the season.

  5. Scabious (aka pincushion). Can be direct sow.

  6. Stocks (aka Matthiola). Seedlings with fused cotyledons (the first two leaves) will give single flowers.

  7. Sunflowers (aka Helianthus). Try alternatives to yellow such as vanilla ice, mrs mars and ruby eclipse.

  8. Sweet peas. Will need support to grow up so use canes, twine or something to provide support.

  9. Zinnias. These seedlings don’t like root disturbance so direct sow. They can also do better if they are in a sheltered spot.

  10. Clary Sage. Comes in pink, purple and white, and is perfect for texture and foliage.





Think twice about these flowers


These flowers are absolutely lovely but can be trickier to get started or have a bit of a catch. Give them a try after you've got the hang of things.


  1. Larkspur & Delphinium. These seeds need cold stratification (so they need to be sown in autumn to overwinter or put the seeds in the freezer for a few weeks).

  2. Antirrhinum. The seeds are tiny seeds but germinates easily. They are geotropic so when cut they need to be kept straight as they are influenced by gravity and the tips bend to find the light.

  3. Phlox Drummondii . This needs to germinate in dark and can take a while.

  4. Strawflower (aka Helichrysum) . Germinates best with really fresh seed. The stems can get bends when cut, but thy are perfect for drying.

  5. Rudbeckia (aka black eye Susan). The annual form can be tricky to germinate and slow to get started. The perennial form comes in brighter yellow colours and can be easier to grow.

  6. Calendula. Easy to grow but they don’t like being cut so short vase life. Best kept in the garden to attract wildlife.

  7. Poppies. Easy to germinate but have a short vase life. They can self seed everywhere if they go to seed so be careful where you plant them.





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