20 Best Native Flowers For a Cut Garden

Turn garden blooms into bouquets, flower arrangements, wreaths, and more.

Bouquet of wild flowers in vase in a garden

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A cut garden is meant to grow flowers for bouquets, flower arrangements, wreaths, and other decorative purposes. Many cut gardeners sell their flowers to local flower shops or simply to their neighbors.

But many of the most common flowers found in cut gardens are not native to North America. Tulips, sweet peas, baby's breath, tea roses, gladiolas, and carnations, all have their origins in Eurasia or Africa.

Fortunately, there is no shortage of common flowers native to North America that you can grow in a cut garden. Plus, in the process, you'll support local pollinators and wildlife. Here are 20 of our favorite blooms for a cut garden.

1
of 20

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) in a basket

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Yarrow is a long-blooming, easily spreading perennial with a flat cluster of daisy-like flower heads at the end of long stems. Their delicate appearance graces a bouquet with yellow, pink, red, or white accents. They also make for stunning dried arrangements. Common yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is easy to cultivate.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9
  • Sun Exposure: full sun to dappled shade
  • Soil Needs: poor to average, well-draining soil
2
of 20

Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

Giant hyssop ( Agastache foeniculum )
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Anise hyssop is a member of the mint family with flowers smelling like licorice or basil. Their nearly foot-long spikes bloom from June to September, attracting hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. Dry out the flowers to add to potpourris, or use the cut flowers in arrangements.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 6 to 10
  • Sun Exposure: full sun to very light shade
  • Soil Needs: rich, well-draining soil
3
of 20

White Sage (Artemisia ludoviciana)

White Sage (Artemisia ludoviciana)

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White sage is a member of the Artemisia family, not a true sage. It is prized for its aromatic silvery or grey-green foliage rather than its insignificant flowers. Divide white sage regularly, as all but the “Valerie Finnis” variety of White Sage can be aggressive spreaders.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9
  • Sun Exposure: full sun
  • Soil Needs: average, well-draining soil
4
of 20

Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa)

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Milkweed is a popular cut flower that can last about a week in a vase once cut. Its lance-shaped leaves and colorful cluster of small flowers stand on their own as a bouquet. It's also well known as the favorite food source of monarch butterflies.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9
  • Sun Exposure: full sun
  • Soil Needs: poor to average, well-draining soil
5
of 20

Blue false indigo (Baptisia australis)

Blue false indigo (Baptisia australis)

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Blue false indigo's blue blossoms resemble those of lupines. A mature plant can grow up to four feet tall, so cut flowers can fair well in a tall vase. Their rattling dried pods also make interesting additions to dried flower arrangements,

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9
  • Sun Exposure: full sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: rich, moist, well-draining soil
6
of 20

Coneflower (Echinacea spp.)

Coneflower (Echinacea spp.)

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Coneflowers are a common sight in bouquets, as each stem produces a few branches and their flower petals stay firm for a long time without drooping. Their daisy-shaped purple (or sometimes white) flowers have distinctive pincushion-shaped centers. Bees love their nectar when in bloom, but let coneflowers overwinter to allow birds to forage for seeds.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9
  • Sun Exposure: full sun
  • Soil Needs: well-draining soil of any type
7
of 20

Sunflower (Helianthus annus)

Close-up image of a single vibrant yellow, Sunflower also known as Helianthus annus
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Needing no introduction, annual sunflowers can range from foot-tall varieties to towering giants that may need staking. Group then together in a bouquet, or use one or two larger blossoms as the centerpiece of a vase. Sunflowers attract bees with their pollen, then birds and small mammals with their seeds.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8
  • Sun Exposure: full sun
  • Soil Needs: average, moist, well-draining soil
8
of 20

Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)

Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)

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Hydrangeas native to North America are often called “wild hydrangeas” to contrast them to their more familiar Asian cousins. One of the more popular ones is Oakleaf hydrangea, a shrub that produces large, long-lasting clusters of attractive flowers that work well in flower arrangements. Pollinators, especially bumblebees, will be attracted as well.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 9
  • Sun Exposure: part to full sun
  • Soil Needs: moist, well-drained acidic soil
9
of 20

June Grass (Koeleria macrantha)

June Grass (Koeleria macrantha)

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June grass can grow up to two feet tall, producing dense, light-green seed heads that turn silvery when they mature. The stalks and seed heads make an excellent accent in a flower arrangement.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9
  • Sun Exposure: full sun
  • Soil Needs: well-draining, average soil
10
of 20

Turk's Cap Lily (Lilium superbum)

Turk's Cap Lily (Lilium superbum)

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Turk's Cap Lily adds elegant swirls of orange, burgundy, or white to a flower arrangement. The plant grows from bulbs up to nine feet high, and may need staking, but as a cut flower it will stand on its own. Only harvest one-third of the stem so that the plant can regenerate nutrients to store in its bulb.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 5 to 8
  • Sun Exposure: dappled shade
  • Soil Needs: rich, slightly acidic soil
11
of 20

Bee Balm (Monarda fistulosa)

Bee Balm (Monarda fistulosa)

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Bee balm is among gardeners' cut flower favorites, with clusters of fragrant, spiky flower heads looking like a fireworks display. Bee balm will attract hummingbirds, butterflies, as well as, of course, bees. Bee balm is long-blooming, so it can provide material for flower arrangements through much of the summer.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 8
  • Sun Exposure: full sun to part shade
  • Soil Needs: moist, average, well-draining soil
12
of 20

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)

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Switchgrass's tall blue-green leaves tipped by slight pink flowers provide an ethereal look to flower arrangements, either cut or dried, as well as in wreaths along with juniper and rose hips. As tough grasses, they are also long-lasting.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9
  • Sun Exposure: full sun
  • Soil Needs: tolerant of most soil types and moisture
13
of 20

Penstemon (Penstemon spp.)

Penstemon (Penstemon spp.)

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Penstemons have a long growing season, with some species blooming from early summer until the first frost. They produce tubular flowers in many colors, from lavender and pink to yellow and white. They are especially attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies. Their horizontal bell-shaped flowers are eye-catching hanging over the side of a tall vase.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 8, depending on the species
  • Sun Exposure: full sun to partial shade
  • Soil Needs: well-draining soil
14
of 20

Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata)

Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata)

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Garden phlox are a late-season show-stopper in many gardens, and their large flower heads make good centerpieces in any flower arrangement. Cultivars come in a wide range of colors, including bicolor blooms.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 8
  • Sun Exposure: full sun
  • Soil Needs: average to rich, well-draining soil
15
of 20

Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana)

Obedient Plant (Physostegia virginiana)

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Also known as false dragonhead, obedient plant is an easy-growing member of the mint family, meaning it spreads easily by rhizomes. Its pink or lavender flowers form along spikes and slowly open from bottom to top, making them long-lasting cut flowers.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 10
  • Sun Exposure: part shade to full sun
  • Soil Needs: tolerates most soils but prefers mildly acidic, moist soil
16
of 20

Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum virginianum)

Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum virginianum)

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Not a true mint but acting like one, Mountain mint spreads readily in the garden. It produces a profusion of white or pink tubular flowers. In a cut flower arrangement, keep the dense, dark leaves on their stems, as they provide a minty aroma.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 8
  • Sun Exposure: part shade to full sun
  • Soil Needs: drought-tolerant; average soil
17
of 20

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

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Black-eyes Susans are easily recognizable, both by humans and bees. They are perennial favorites in bouquets and flower arrangements, acting as good companions of goldenrod, sunflowers, and cone flowers, or mixed in with ornamental grasses.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9
  • Sun Exposure: full sun to light shade
  • Soil Needs: average to rich, evenly moist soil
18
of 20

Goldenrod (Solidago rugosa)

Goldenrod (Solidago rugosa)

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Goldenrods bloom in late summer, early fall, providing attractive feather-shaped clusters of tiny yellow flowers. They can last in a vase for up to 10 days, either cut or dried, and also make excellent additions to wreaths. The foliage, however, is inconsequential.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9
  • Sun Exposure: full sun
  • Soil Needs: average, moist, well-draining soil
19
of 20

Desert Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua)

Desert Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua)

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In dry, western climates, desert mallow produces long spikes of orange or coral-colored flowers and distinctive, fuzzy foliage all year-round. Its stems are tough and hardy, and in floral arrangements can be used to support other flowers.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 10
  • Sun Exposure: full sun
  • Soil Needs: drought tolerant, can tolerate clay soil
20
of 20

Asters (Symphyotrichum spp.)

Asters (Symphyotrichum novi-belgii)

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Asters make great late-season cut flowers. Tall-stemmed and vibrant in color, they are a great addition to a fall wedding or birthday bouquet. Members of the Aster genus produce daisy-shaped flowers popular with bees and other pollinators. Give them good air circulation to prevent powdery mildew, but otherwise these are low-maintenance, long-lasting gifts to any cut flower garden.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8 (depending on species)
  • Sun Exposure: full sun (some species in partial shade)
  • Soil Needs: rich, well-draining soil

To check if a plant is considered invasive in your area, go to the National Invasive Species Information Center or speak with your regional extension office or local gardening center.