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  • North Flower

Top 10 perennial flowers for cutting

Perennial flowers are great for any cutting garden for so many reasons. Not least of all, because they give you lovely delicate and unusual flowers. Here's why you should get growing more perennials for cutting:

  • They can take less time and energy to grow and maintain than annual plants. Usually you can plant them once and enjoy them coming back and getting bigger every year.

  • Perennials can often tolerate more weather extremes such as hot weather or droughts due to deeper roots. This usually allows some varieties to get going earlier in the season too.

  • You can propagate many perennials and create new plants for free through cuttings, collecting seeds and division. The following plants can be easily propagated by dividing the roots and clump in spring or autumn. I usually give them a year or two to establish and grow in size before trying this. A stilbe, astrantia, d elphinium, e chinacea, erynginum, geum and japanese anenome.

So here are my top 10 favourite perennials to use for cut flowers, with any favourite varieties and growing notes. I grow many more than these top 10 but find myself making room to grow more and more of these every year.

  1. Acillea - favourites are summer pastels and love parade. They can run out of steam after 2-3 years and need replacing but self seed easily.

  2. Astilbe - dries beautifully and retains colour if dried when fresh. Cut when the plume starts to look a little fluffy to avoid drooping.

  3. Astrantia - make sure flowers are fully out before cutting to avoid flopping.

  4. Delphiniums - my favourites are Casa Blanca and Astolat. Remove lower leaves to allow air flow around the plant to avoid mildew.

  5. Erynginum - dries beautifully. I love to keep this for my frestive wreaths.

  6. Everlasting sweet peas - lovely but only come in pink tones. Cut right back in late autumn.

  7. Hellebores - wonderful for winter flowers. Wait until seed pods are fully out before cutting and slice up the stem to keep them hydrated.

  8. Japanese anenome - lovely delicate late summer flowers. Can be easily divided off rootstock.

  9. Scabiousa and Knautia macedonica. Also produce lovely seed pods to dry if you missed cutting the flowers. Perennial scabious can be difficult to germinate if the seed isn't fresh.

  10. Verbascum - creates lovely seedheads that can be dried. My favourite variety is is the peachy coloured southern charm.

The following perennials are lovely but less prolific if you are using them for cut flower purposes.

  • Agastache - favourites are Navajo Sunset and Heather Queen.

  • Echinacea - produce lovely long lasting blooms. My favourite variety is white swan.

Tender perennials

Tender perennials such as dahlias and chocolate cosmos, whilst technically perennial, need carefully looking after to get them through winter in the UK. You can dig up the tubers and store them over winter or make sure they are planted in a free draining bed and tucked up warm for winter. They will not tolerate a hard frost.

I love to hear what you are all growing so leave me a comment on your favourite varieties or let me know on instagram @north_and_flower.


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