15 Cutting Annuals

Grow these annuals, and you’ll have plenty of blooms to pick for bouquets.
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Photo By: Image courtesy of SelectSeeds.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of SelectSeeds.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of SelectSeeds.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of SelectSeeds.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of SelectSeeds.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of SelectSeeds.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of SelectSeeds.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of SelectSeeds.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of SelectSeeds.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of SelectSeeds.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of SelectSeeds.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of SelectSeeds.com

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Ageratum ‘Red Sea’ (Ageratum houstonianum)

This tall ageratum offers long stems perfect for plucking and plunking into vases. Fuzzy flowers shift through purple shades from deeply tinted buds to pastel faded blooms. Plants reach 24 to 30 inches tall and are deer-resistant. The more you pick, the more blossoms you’ll see.

Corn poppy ‘American Legion’ (Papaver rhoeas)

This heirloom poppy is a Dutch variety dating to 1891. The rich red flower cups boast a white cross inside. Bees can’t resist these blossoms, so make sure you’re not carrying any indoors when you gather flowers. Gather with larkspur and daisies for a Memorial Day bouquet.

Rudbeckia ‘Prairie Sun’ (Rudbeckia hirta)

You’ll have non-stop blossoms for bouquets when you add 'Prairie Sun' rudbeckia to your garden. This black-eyed Susan features an unusual green eye, which contrasts beautifully with the gold-tipped orange petals. Flowers unfurl up to 5 inches across on plants 24 to 26 inches tall. Plants often self-sow when happy, so you can count on these flowers for years to come.

Painted Tongue ‘Little Friends’ (Salpiglossis sinuata)

Painted tongue blossoms are the stained glass art of the flower garden. When sun shines through their petals, colorful patterns appear. 'Little Friends' flowers in shades of yellow, pink, violet and red—it forms a colorful party in a pot or planting bed. Give plants full sun to part shade for best bloom. Snip stems for bud vases to showcase the artfully painted blossoms.

Larkspur ‘Blue Cloud’ (Consolida regalis)

Blue flower spikes appear in spring and linger into early summer, forming a blue cloud in the garden. To enjoy a long display, gather stems for the vase when two to five of the flowers on a spike are open. Plants provide an early-season nectar supply for pollinators and self-sow freely.

Sunflower ‘Orange Mahogany’ (Helianthus annuus)

You’ll love this two-toned sunflower with bronze-red centers and yellow edges. The 3- to 5-inch heads won’t overwhelm tabletop flower arrangements, although they do come from plants that boast typical sunflower height. Expect this beauty to top out at 5 to 6 feet in the garden. Plants branch well, which means they form loads of flowers—some for the vase, some for sharing and some for feeding butterflies and bees.

Cosmos ‘Rubenza’ (Cosmos bipinnatus)

Every garden needs a stand of cosmos for clipping and slipping into informal arrangements. 'Rubenza' is a new variety that opens deep red blooms that fade to a soft shade of red. Flowers are favorites among bees and butterflies. Blossoms open from summer until frost on plants that grow 24 to 42 inches high. Remove spent blooms to keep the flower show going strong.

Celosia ‘Flamingo Feather’ (Celosia spicata)

Also known as wheat celosia, 'Flamingo Feather' has unusual spiky flowers that add a fun texture to garden arrangements. Plants branch freely, producing baskets of blooms from midsummer to fall. Flowers fade from pink to silver at the base and attract butterflies like crazy.

Creeping zinnia (Sanvitalia procumbens)

Count on creeping zinnia to add an airy element to fresh-from-the-garden bouquets. This is a short grower, reaching only 6 to 10 inches high, but stems trail to 24 inches, creating ample opportunities for snipping blooms. Flowers resemble miniature black-eyed Susans. This heirloom hails from Mexico and was introduced to gardens in 1798.

Globe Amaranth ‘QIS Pink’ (Gomphrena haageana)

Pink lollipop flowers have a papery feel and blend easily in a vase with any of summer’s carefree bloomers. Butterflies, bees and hummingbirds love these flowers, lingering to work over the full head of each blossom. Plants reach 12 to 18 inches tall and are heat- and drought-tolerant once established.

Salvia Annual Clary ‘Blue’ (Salvia viridis)

Grow this striking salvia for its eye-catching papery blooms that look fantastic in the garden or indoors. Deer dislike this beauty, so it’s a good choice for partnering with plants they love, like roses. Give this salvia a sunny to partly shaded spot. Plants reach 18 to 24 inches tall.

Zinnia ‘Purple Prince’ (Zinnia elegans)

A classic cutting garden favorite, 'Purple Prince' zinnia’s earliest appearance in the seed trade was in a 1949 catalog. This heirloom beauty opens large, fully-double blooms in shades of burgundy-purple on plants 24 to 30 inches tall. It’s spectacular paired with lime nicotiana or orange celosia—in the garden or a vase.

Celosia ‘Apricot Brandy’ (Celosia argentea var. plumosa)

The feathery texture of celosia makes a terrific addition to garden bouquets, and the orange hue delivers a definite pick-me-up. Give celosia plenty of sun and good air movement to keep plants healthy. Flowers beckon bees and butterflies in the garden.

Cornflower ‘Classic Fantastic’ (Centaurea cyanus)

This early-season bloomer makes a perfect partner for 'American Legion' corn poppy. Also known as bachelor’s buttons, cornflower is a self-sowing annual that just can’t stop forming flowers. You’ll have plenty for picking and bringing indoors. This variety boasts a blend of blue and silver shades.

Tall Verbena (Verbena Bonariensis)

You will love the way tall verbena forms a lavender cloud in the garden or in a vase. Stems weave between other plants, adding pops of purple throughout a bed. Also known as Brazilian verbena, this heirloom made its way from South America to England in 1726. Plants reach 4 feet and toss open flowers until hard frosts arrive.