How to Cut Garden Flowers

Overview

Flowering garden plants serve two purposes: to adorn the garden and to provide cut flowers for floral arrangements and craft projects. Cutting blossoms before they wilt encourages new bud growth on the plant, while providing suitable flowers for an arrangement. A flower cut past its prime produces an inferior cut flower. When taking flowers from the plant for a floral arrangement, cut off any wilting flowers and discard.

Bulbs

Step 1

Schedule the cutting for the early morning or late afternoon, as opposed to during the midday heat.

Step 2

Wipe the blades of the gardening shears with a paper towel soaked in rubbing alcohol. If you cut flowers from more than one plant, wipe the blades after each cut, away from the plant, to avoid spreading diseases from one plant to another.

Step 3

Select a bulb flower just beginning to bloom. For a stem with multiple florets, ideally cut the day prior to the first bulb's bud opening.

Step 4

Separate the leaves from the stem and cut deep into the plant, without cutting the leaves. If it is a lily, leave 1/3 of the stem attached to the plant.

Step 5

Place the flower stems immediately in a bucket of warm water. Use a clean bucket.

Unbranched and Branching Plants

Step 1

Wipe the blades of the gardening shears with a paper towel soaked in rubbing alcohol. If you cut flowers from more than one plant, wipe the blades after each cut, away from the plant, to avoid spreading diseases from one plant to another.

Step 2

Schedule the cutting for the early morning or late afternoon, as opposed to during the midday heat.

Step 3

Select new flowers in bloom or just beginning to bloom, if cutting for an arrangement.

Step 4

Cut the flower stem at an angle, leaving at least one leaf node on the branch, for a branching plant, such as a rose bush. If an unbranched stem, such as a sunflower, cut close to the ground.

Step 5

Place the flower stems immediately in a bucket of warm water. Use a clean bucket.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening shears
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Paper towel
  • Bucket of warm water

References

  • LSU Ag Center: Cut Flowers
  • University of Nebraska Lincoln: Extend the Life of Cut Flowers
Keywords: cut flowers, cutting flowers, taking cut flowers

About this Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University of Fullerton.