Once planted and properly cared for, most perennial flowers will continue blooming year after year. Some make excellent cut flowers, while others don't. Flowers with sturdy long stems are easier to use in arrangements. When planning which perennials to add to your garden, there are a few to consider if you intend to use the cut flowers.
The distinctive columbine makes an excellent cut flower. Its blossoms are typically comprised of five petal-like sepals atop the petals. The sepals and petals may or may not be the same shade. The colors of the flowers are mostly pastel including pink, yellow, blue and lavender. The plant blooms from mid to late spring and attracts hummingbirds to the garden.
Carnations are a popular long lasting cut flower. The border carnation has a long blooming season and is about 1 ½- to 2-feet tall. It is the same species as carnations grown in greenhouses, yet can better survive colder climates. The border carnation has a 2-inch double flower available in a variety of colors including white, orange, red, pink, lavender and yellow.
Jupiter's beard is an extremely easy flower to grow. Clusters of small flowers grow atop a tall 2- to 3-foot stem, making the Jupiter's beard excellent as a cut flower. The blossoms come in red, pink or white and bloom from early summer to late fall. Cutting will increase the blossoms on the bush.
The rose is the most royal of cut flowers. Unlike roses purchased from the florist, the roses from your garden will still have their thorns intact, so take the cuttings with care. Because roses are so susceptible to fungal diseases, always sanitize your gardening shears with rubbing alcohol prior (and after) taking a cutting from a bush. If you are taking cuttings from several bushes, clean the blades between each bush to avoid spreading possible infections.
The fragrant flowers of the gardenia bush are so inviting that it is nearly impossible to resist bringing their cuttings inside to enjoy. Unfortunately the blossom is very fragile and will brown quickly when handled. Cut the flower head from the bush, leaving a few inches of stem, so you will have something to hold on to. Float the flower in a shallow dish of water to enjoy. While it won't last long like the carnation, it will provide a day or two of sweet fragrance.