How to Grow Flowers for Cutting


Flowers used for cut flowers can continue to look fresh for at least 7 days while the stems are held in water after they are cut. Optimally, cut flowers need to be attached to 36-inch stems so the stems can be cut several times to arrive at the correct length for a specific flower arrangement. Not all cut flower varieties will grow in every garden in the US. If you're growing cut flowers outside and not in a greenhouse, keep in mind that some cut flowers, such as delphiniums, grow in cooler climates while other plants that produce cut flowers, such as gloriosa lilies, grow best in places with high heat and humidity.

Step 1

Contact your local county agricultural extension office to get information on how to take a soil test. A soil test will tell you exactly what soil amendments are needed for optimal cut flower production.

Step 2

Clear an area that gets the required amount of sunlight for cut flower production of all weeds and other garden debris such as rocks and pulverize any large dirt clumps. Rake area smooth and add recommended soil amendments. Add a 1-inch-thick layer of compost and work the compost and soil amendments gently into the top 6 inches of soil.

Step 3

Find the cut flower varieties that grow best in your area by searching online, going to the local bookstore or contacting other cut flower growers in your area. Most county agricultural extension offices as well as state agricultural departments carry extensive information on cut flowers growing in your area with recommended varieties.

Step 4

Plant the cut flower varieties that you have chosen to grow. Some can be direct seeded or planted directly in the garden. Thin or plant with the correct amount of space between the plants. If plants are crowded the blooms will be stunted and diseases can easily spread from one plant to another.

Step 5

Control insect pests using organic or chemical pesticides. If a cut flower has any insect damage it cannot be used in a professional flower arrangement. Add water as required to prevent wilting or stress of cut flower crop. When a cut flower plant becomes stressed from lack of water the blooms will be affected. Overhead applications of water are not recommended as overhead watering can cause fungal diseases to spread.

Things You'll Need

  • Cut flower seeds or bulbs
  • Compost
  • Soil test
  • Source of water
  • Rake


  • NSDU: Growing Cut Flowers for Market
  • ATTRA: Specialty Cut Flower Production and Marketing
  • UMASS: Floriculture Fact Sheet
Keywords: growing cut flowers, cut flowers for market, cut flowers

About this Author

Based in Rockdale Texas, Jim Gober has been writing garden-related articles for 25 years. His articles appear in several Texas newspapers including The Rockdale Reporter, The Lexington Leader, The Cameron Herald and The Hearne Democrat. He is a Master Gardener and Certified Texas Nursery and Landscape Professional. He holds bachelor degrees in English Writing from St. Edward's University and Finance from Lamar University.