Planting a Cut Flower Garden

Spring is here and there is no better way to celebrate the great weather than planting your own flower garden to enjoy every day of the season! Flowering annuals, perennials, and shrubs are a must for spring garden beds and containers. Enjoying your blooming garden doesn’t have to stop at your front door either. You can bring the outside in by planting and potting flowering plants that you can cut to place in your favorite vase and decorate any interior space. 



Any garden, floral or otherwise, starts with a plan. Planning out your beds and containers before shopping is the best way to get the color combinations and amounts of plants that you want and need. Creating a drawn or written plan to bring into the garden center can also help our Green Team find what you need. 

Making sure that you are meeting your plant's light, soil, and water requirements is also very important. Try not to pair plants with different requirements together in the same spots or containers, as you may not receive the potential blooms. 



After you have your plan together, you can start picking out your plants! Here are some great bloom and foliage suggestions from our plant experts for a perfect spring arrangement: 

Annuals: Ageratum, Zinnias, Celosia, Dahlias, Salvia, and Marigolds

Perennials: Coreopsis, Dianthus, Yarrow, Lilies, Coneflower, Peony, Bee Balm, Heuchera, Rudbeckia, Lily of the Valley, Foxglove, Lavender, Alstroemeria, Gaillardia, and Allium Millenium

Shrubs: Hydrangeas, Roses, Azaleas, and Camelias

Foliage: Ferns, Dusty Miller, Holly, Conifers, Poet's Laurel, Ivy, and Pittosporum 



Once you have arranged and planted your spring garden, there is sometimes a waiting period to see the blooms if you are starting from seed or to have enough blooms to feel that cutting some will not affect the plant. Give your plants a couple of weeks after planting to adjust and have time to grow into their new environment. 

In the meantime, you can do a couple of things to get your flowering plants to where you need them sooner by feeding, mulching, and staking. 


Feeding: Plant food is essential to all plants, however, blooming plants need to be fed often for optimal bloom growth. Slow-release granular foods are good for the longevity of the plant throughout the season and water-in liquid foods are great to keep the plant blooming in abundance. You will want to add a granular food right when planting, Espoma Biotone Starter Plus is a great granular for establishing your plants' roots into the landscape. It contains beneficial bacteria that sustains the root system throughout the life of the plant. Follow this initial treatment with McDonald Garden Center Greenleaf plant food. Liquid food can be applied once a month when watering. Check out our plant food here

Mulching: Some prefer to mulch before planting, but even if you already have your plants in the ground for the season, spring mulching is a great way to keep the soil airy and your blooms clean and free of dirt. 

Staking: Occasionally, throughout the spring and summer, your plants' blooms can become too heavy for the plant to hold up (this is very common with hydrangeas). Stakes assist in propping those blooms up to keep dirt away and keep the blooms longer. 



It’s finally time to make a beautiful arrangement! Beautiful flowers indoors start with proper bloom collecting. Taking a few extra steps can elongate your blooms' lives after the cut. Here are a few recommended practices:


1. Have a container or basket to collect your blooms as you go through your garden.

2. Make sure you have a good clean and sharp pair of pruners or shears to cut your blooms, as having the correct tools for the job can make all the difference. Also, cleaning your pruners between plants can also help prevent the spread of disease.

3. Cut your blooms at a 45-degree angle, as this increases the surface area of the stem, which helps the plant take in more water when placed in an arrangement. 

4. Make sure to take off any extra unnecessary foliage and check for insects before cutting.

5. Arrange your flowers! Take your newly cut blooms inside to arrange how you want them. It’s always great to have an odd number of each flower or foliage you cut as well as different lengths for more intriguing assortments. 



Changing up what blooms you plant in your garden seasonally can shake up your arrangement routine. Make sure to visit our year-round locations each season to see what’s new. 

If you would like to learn more about great blooms for spring: click here