The Best Perennials For Cut Flowers (Vibrant + Beautiful)

We are obsessed with growing fresh flowers that come back every year and look stunning in bouquets and flower vase arrangements! This is your guide to the best perennials for cut flowers that will look vibrant and beautiful in floral arrangements.

These lovely flowers are commonly grown and provide beautiful flowers for vases!

Use these beautiful blooms to display and enjoy the beauty of the seasons and fill your home with color and joy.

The best news is you do not need to be a flower farmer to grow your own cut flowers… you can easily grow your own cutting garden in your back yard.

And these perennials for cut flowers will come back every. single. year!

(Pssst… if you are new to flower gardening, read our beginner’s guide to growing flowers here!).

17 Perennial Flowers For Cut Flower Arrangements

If you are on the search for perennial cut flowers that return each year to bloom, look no further. Here are the best flowering perennials that make wonderful flower arrangements:

Dahlias

With their generous blooms that come in many different colors and forms, dahlias are our number one favorite perennial flower for cutting.

Unlike most perennial flowers, dahlias will bloom endlessly until the first frosts in autumn. Dahlias make unique and vibrant floral arrangements from mid to late summer until well into fall!

The two downsides to dahlias are that they typically do not bloom in early summer, and their vase life is not very long (about 3 to 5 days).

This hardy perennial makes up for any short comings, however, in that she will bloom prolifically if dead headed regularly. Even if you have just a few dahlia plants, you will have more bouquets than you know what to do with!

Lilies

White peruvian lily

Bold and fragrant, lilies not only brighten up the garden beds but make great cut flowers as well.

The Stargazer lily variety is the most popular cutting flower.

Lilies are one of the best perennials for attracting bees and butterflies to the garden. These fragrant flowers make wonderful cut flowers with an astounding vase life of 10-14 days!

They are one of the best cut flowers if you are looking for endurance, beauty and fragrance. These popular perennials thrive in full sun and bloom from early spring until fall, depending on the variety.

Tip: If you don’t have any of these flowers, ask a friend or friendly member if you can borrow a few cuttings to display, then invite them to a well decorated dinner party! Then, get to planting your own blooming perennials (the best time to plant is fall or early spring).

Bearded Iris

red and yellow bearded iris

With elegant ruffled petals and a strong stem, we are hard pressed to find a better cutting flower.

Bearded iris come in an array of dramatic colors from red to blue and everything in between (our favorite shade being all black!).

Bearded iris bloom in early spring to late summer and are a great choice for a perennial cut flower that will bring you beautiful blooms in early season. They have a moderate vase life at 5 to 7 days.

Here are 23 full sun plants that will bloom in your garden all summer!

Peonies

pink peony cut flowers in a ase

Overflowing with luxurious petals in irresistible colors, peonies are the queen of the perennial cut flower garden!

Peonies are easier to grow than you think… just give them well-drained soil, a little fertilizer and full sun. These fragrant blooms will return year and year for decades. Peonies come in many shades, the most common being white, yellow, and pink flowers.

As a cut flower, they last for about five days in the vase (learn how to cut them for the longest vase life possible here).

Unfortunately peonies have a short bloom season, but you can learn to plant different varieties for a longer span of blooms right here. Luckily, the green foliage is also beautiful and adds dimension to the flower beds.

Black-Eyed Susans

Black-Eyed Susans are bold, beautiful flowers that are a great addition to the garden beds and the dinner table! These perky yellow flowers bloom all summer and are native to North America.

Black-Eyed Susans are sun loving flowers that are independent and can withstand a little neglect!

Butterflies and bees love these bold bloomers and it’s a good idea to include them in a pollinator garden. This deer resistant perennial is perfect for both flower beds and tablescapes… lasting up to ten days in a vase! This native plant is a good option for a low maintenance cutting garden.

Lilacs

Lilacs fill the air with expectancy and beauty in mid to late spring.

Romantic and fragrant, lilac blooms make a stunning short-lived bouquet. Available in blush, purple, and white tones, lilac flowers can last up to four days and are one of the best ways to bring the fragrance of spring inside!

The best time to cut lilac is in the early morning before the heat of the day. Place in a small vase to support the curved stems. Cut the stems as long as possible, then re-trim them each day to get the most out of your floral bouquet.

Hydrangea

Hydrangea are one of the most stunning herbaceous perennials.

Established hydrangea plants can overflow with hundreds of blooms in beautiful hues of blue, purple, pink and white. Hydrangeas only bloom once a season, but the stunning blooms last for a very long time.

Hydrangea make exceptionally beautiful cut flowers. The vase life for a cut hydrangea flower is about 3 to 4 days.

We recommend drying hydrangeas and then displaying them in vases and baskets in this way (no water needed). A dried hydrangea but can last for a year!

Drying hydrangea flowers is very easy and is a wonderful long-term investment.

Roses

Receiving a beautiful rose bouquet is a delight and often an indulgence… but what if you could have beautiful rose bouquets from your own garden all summer?

The good news is, you can. This perfect cut flower will even bloom the first year of planting.

One of the best flowers for arrangements, roses have an exceptionally long vase life, typically lasting at least ten days. Roses are fragrant and come in a wide array of colors, from blush tones to lavender, and everything in between!

Most modern roses can be cut for additional blooms, making them a wonderful long term investment for the flower cutting garden.

When given flower food, roses are known to last up to two weeks in a vase!

David Austin English roses make excellent cutting flowers.

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Purple coneflower is a popular brightly colored perennial with long stems. Orange flower spikes adorn the center of the plant, complimented with luminous purple petals.

The daisy-like flowers attract beneficial insects in the garden and look lovely in a vase!

In addition to it’s medicinal benefits, this gorgeous flower will last up to two weeks in a vase. There are so many benefits to this unique flower, make sure to plant some echinacea this season!

Hellebores (Lenten Rose)

pink hellebores with green leaves on a white backdrop
We love photographing beautiful Hellebores, which are the first flower to bloom in our zone.

In late winter everyone is aching for a little bit of color, and you can get that in the form of a Lenten Rose! Also known as Christmas Rose (Hellebores), we have made many charming small arrangements featuring this romantic flower.

Scattered throughout the home, hellebores add beauty n the form of pink, mauve and white flowers with yellow pistils. The dark green foliage adds a beautiful contrast to these winter flowers.

Hellebores does well with afternoon shade and moist soil, and is an easy to grow winter blooming perennial.

When cut, keep them in cool water and score the ends of the stem and they will last over a week in a vase!

Learn about the best spring blooming perennial flowers here.

Japanese Anemone

Japanese anemone are gorgeous perennial bloomers that flower in early fall.

Full of charm and whimsy, these vibrant bloomers have a long season and make gorgeous cut flower arrangements all fall.

They bloom in pink, purple and white flowers on long slender stems.

Japanese anemone only last a few days in the vase, but we think their fleeting beauty is worth it! One trick to keeping these beauties as a cut flower is to dip the end of their stem into boiling water for a few seconds, then place them in cool water.

These lovely flowers are perfect for a cottage flower garden and enjoy rich soil that is kept consistently moist. Japanese anemone are low maintenance, perfect for a gardener with little time.

Lavender

Don’t overlook the beloved herb, lavender, for your perennial cut flower garden.

Lavender loves heat, tolerates dry soil and does well in warmer climates. The purple flowers adorning long stalks are both soothing and inspiring in a small vase.

You can easily dry lavender and use it in a long lasting vase in the bedroom or bathroom for a calming, relaxing scent. Dried lavender will last a very long time (don’t add water to the arrangement!).

Make the most of this healing plant by using the long-lasting flowers as soothing decoration throughout your home.

Sea Holly

Bright blue sea holly makes a statement in floral arrangements. With long, sturdy stems and vibrant blue flowers, this spiky perennial is an excellent accent for bouquets.

Sea Holly is a long lasting perennial that will bloom all summer, attracting bees and butterflies along the way.

Sea Holly does well in poor soil, and is considered easy to grow for the beginner gardener. This fascinating flower has a long vase life, at 7-10 days.

Shasta Daisy

Perky and cheerful, Shasta daisies are a proverbial cottage style flower that brings charm to the garden and to the home.

There are several varieties of these bright white flowers, and all feature tall stems and a long vase life, making them a perfect perennial for a cut flower garden.

Shasta daisies bloom in mid summer and are a very low maintenance plant. Children love them for their whimsical feel, and we think you will enjoy a bouquet of them perched on your kitchen table!

Daffodils

We love the cheery colorful faces of daffodils that seem to laugh at stormy rain clouds in spring.

These almost perfect perennials have long stems that are meant for bouquets.

Daffodils are one of the earliest blooming spring flowers, and not only come in yellow but also pale pink, orange and white flowers.

Daffodils make good cut flowers, lasting up to ten days in the vase! Plant daffodil bulbs en masse to enjoy them in your garden beds as well as a regal center piece upon your table.

Flowering Fruit Trees

flowering cherry tree

Let us throw you a wild card here with the beautiful blooming cherry or apple tree.

Fruit trees may not be your expected cut flower, but they can be full of unexpected beauty in a vase or arrangement!

Flowering cherry and apple trees bloom in early spring with dainty, romantic flower blooms and their long, elegant branches can make a stunning springtime bouquet.

If you already have a blooming cherry or apple tree, enjoy the blooms this year in a spring bouquet!

You can intermix short blooming stems with tulips and daffodils. If you don’t have your own established fruit tree, ask a neighbor if you can borrow a few stems for a dramatic, lovely bouquet.

A Note On Perennials That Bloom

What Is A herbaceous perennial?

A herbaceous perennial is a flowering plant that has green foliage. This green foliage dies back to the ground every fall, but the roots are still alive within the soil.

Once the weather warms up again in the spring, the plant sends new green growth through the soil and begins to grow again!

A perennial plant is like a long term investment: You plant it once, and it brings you beautiful blooms year after year.

daffodils growing as perennial cut flowers

What is a hardy perennial?

A hardy perennial is a plant that will withstand freezing temperatures during winter.

It’s root system will survive and in the spring or early summer new plant growth will push up through the soil and the plant will begin it’s life cycle once again. The foliage will die back in the fall and the process will repeat itself.

Not all plants that are marked as hardy perennials grow as hardy perennials in all zones.

Check your USDA hardiness zone when planting your favorite perennials to ensure the plant will survive and return the following year.

Mulching, or covering the ground with thick layers of straw, is often needed for perennials to survive in colder regions.

How To Start A Perennial Cut Flower Garden

If you are new to flower gardening, we recommend reading our beginner’s guide to flower gardening here. And here are a few tips on building a perennial garden that blooms:

  • Understand your zone and climate. We go in depth on this subject in our flower gardening guide, but understanding what will grow as a perennial in your zone is crucial! Make a list of the perennial flowers you love that grow well in your zone.
  • Plan for the seasons. Keep a gardening journal and calendar and line out which plants bloom when in your zone. For example, hellebore bloom in early winter, peonies bloom in early spring, dahlias bloom in mid summer, and sea holly blooms all summer long.
  • Consider adding flowering trees and shrubs to your landscape, such as lilac or a flowering cherry. This adds height, dimension and beauty to the garden beds.
  • Accent your perennial cutting flowers with gorgeous annual flowers such as cosmos, sunflowers and snapdragons (which, by the way, can be grown for two seasons in the right climate). Enjoy a variety of flowering plants that are both annuals and perennials. This will give you a varied cut flower season that lasts well into fall.
bouquet of perennial peony flowers cut and placed in a vase

What Are the Most Long Lasting Flowers For A Vase?

Lilies, roses, daffodils, sea holly and echinacea can all last over a week in a vase!

How To Keep Flower Arrangements Fresh

There are a few secrets to extending the vase life of your cut flowers.

First, cut your flowers in the cool of the day (early morning), and set them immediately into cool water.

Make sure to remove any plant leaves that may dip under the water as they will cause the flower to mold. Keep the arrangement away from heat (such as a fireplace), and direct sunlight.

Change the water daily and if you have space, set the bouquet in the refrigerator overnight.

We hope you are inspired by this list of beautiful perennials for cut flowers that will bring seasonal blooms to your garden -and your flower vases- year after year!

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