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Full Sun Perennials For A Summer Cutting Garden (in zones 4 to 8)


These full sun perennials are low maintenance, have long bloom times and beautiful fragrant flowers. They grow in zones 4 to 8 and are perfect for a summer cutting garden. I can’t wait to be able to create my own cut flower arrangements!

Full sun perennials for a summer cutting garden

It’s that time of the year! Time to start planning the changes I want to make in my garden.

One of the things I have never really done is use the plants in my garden to make bouquets for the house. Which really makes no sense, since I love having cut flower arrangements in the house. But I always think I’m going to wreck the look of my yard by cutting off all the blooms.

So this year, I’ve decided to fix the problem…by planting a cutting garden, with flowers that I won’t feel guilty picking.

And I have the perfect spot for it. The garden bed on the south side of my house where I have a couple of roses planted.

Since I don’t want to have to replant my cutting garden every year, I’ll be planting perennials.

And since I want the flowers to be blooming at the same time as the rose bushes (so I can make mixed flower floral arrangements), they need to bloom in the summer.

What Types Of Perennials Make Good Cut Flowers?

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When I was selecting perennials for my cutting garden, I had a few criteria that the plants needed to meet:

  • low maintenance – I don’t want to spend a lot of time maintaining the garden, so all of these perennials are easy to grow and don’t require a lot of maintenance
  • long bloom time – In order to make the most of my cutting garden, I want flowers that last for a long time. That way I have lots of time to enjoy them.
  • fragrance – I love creating flower arrangements that smell pretty. While not all of the perennials need to be fragrant, I would like some of them to have some scent.
  • long stems – Long stems just make it easier to create flower arrangements in all different types of vases.
  • plants that bloom more after dead heading – Since I’m planning to cut off the flowers, these perennials need to re-bloom after being dead-headed…so I can create more bouquets.

So here are the plants I came up with for my list of full sun summer cutting garden perennials.

1 | ‘Blue Glow’ Globe Thistle (Echinops banaticus)

Blue globe thistle with pink coneflowers in the background
©wiha3 – stock.adobe.com

Zones: 4 to 8
Height: 48″
Width: 18″
Bloom Time: Summer

I love blue!

All of the rooms in my house have blue in them somewhere. So it only makes sense to have blue flowers in my cutting garden.

Globe Thistle has intensely blue, globe-shaped flowers with dark green foliage which will be the perfect addition to my cut flower arrangements.

It can be a little tricky to get going, but once it does, it’s low maintenance, drought resistant and has blooms that can last more than 4 weeks.

This perennial also attracts butterflies, and the somewhat prickly foliage resists deer and rabbits (which is a good thing in my yard).

Just make sure to plant it where you want it. It has a large tap root so it’s very difficult to move successfully once it’s established.

You can find it HERE.

2 | ‘Gold Plate’ Yarrow (Achillea filipendulina)

'Gold Plate' Yarrow

Zones: 3 to 8
Height: 42″ to 60″
Width: 30″ to 36″
Bloom Time: Summer

‘Gold Plate’ Yarrow has the largest flower heads of any Yarrow and the cheery yellow color is perfect for flower arrangements.

Yarrow thrives in any soil (including clay), is drought resistant and only requires deep but infrequent watering after they are established. In fact, too much water makes them floppy.

In fact, it’s so easy to grow that many varieties can be invasive because they self-seed so much. Fortunately, “Gold Plate” is a non-seeding variety so this isn’t a problem.

Like the globe thistle, it attracts butterflies and resists deer and rabbits

Find it HERE.

3 | ‘Blue Paradise’ Tall Phlox (Phlox paniculata)

'Blue Paradise' Tall Phlox

Zones: 4 to 8
Height: 24″ to 48″
Width: 18″ to 24″
Bloom Time: Summer

‘Blue Paradise’ Phlox has pretty lavender flowers that are fragrant, attract butterflies and hummingbirds, and resist deer.

This variety is more mildew resistant than most Phlox varieties which makes it a better option for a cutting garden.

Just to be sure, it should still be planted with enough space to allow good air flow, and overhead watering should be avoided.

Deadheading promotes new blooms and helps to prevent self-seeding.

You can find it HERE.*

4 | ‘Daisy May’ Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum x superburn ‘Daisy Duke’)

White shasta daisies

Zones: 4 to 8
Height: 12″ to 24″
Width: 12″ to 24″
Bloom Time: All Season

I love using Shasta Daisies in flower arrangements. Their big blooms are a cheerful addition to any bouquet.

This variety has up to 3 times as many blooms as other Shasta Daisies and will bloom from spring until fall if deadheaded. Just cut the stems back to basal leaves after flowering. And those blooms can last 2 weeks or more in a vase.

They are also drought resistant and attract butterflies.

Buy them HERE.*

5 | Blazing Star (Liatris spicata)

Kobold Gayfeather

Zones: 3 to 8
Height: 18″ to 30″
Width: 12″ to 18″
Bloom Time: Summer to Fall

“Blazing Star” Kobold Gayfeather has tall, lilac-rose, spike-shaped flowers that add an interesting architectural shape to your garden and flower arrangements.

The flowers open from the top down and bloom from June to September.

It prospers in head, humidity and drought which is perfect for my neck of the woods in the summer.

This perennial also attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and beneficial bees.

Find it HERE.*

6 | ‘Ruby Giant’ Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

'Ruby Giant' coneflower

Zones: 4 to 8
Height: 24″ to 30″
Width: 20″ to 24″
Bloom Time: Summer

“Ruby Giant” Coneflower has huge 7″ bright rose-red flowers that butterflies and hummingbirds also love.

These blooms have a sweet fragrance that is perfect for floral arrangements.

And if you don’t get around to picking all of the flowers, the seedheads look great in dried flower arrangements. Or leave them on the stems to serve as bird feeders for goldfinches and other birds in the winter.

Find it HERE.*

7 | ‘Sunrise’ Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea x Echinacea paradoxa)

'Sunrise' coneflower

Zones: 3 to 8
Height: 24″ to 36″
Width: 12″ to 24″
Bloom Time: Summer

‘Sunrise’ Coneflower is another perennial that is perfect for a summer cutting garden.

As the name it implies, it has soft citron yellow flowers that are up to 5 inches across with a pretty fragrance.

It grows in all kinds of soil, is heat and humidity tolerant, and is deer and drought resistant. In fact, it will become leggy if you fertilize it too much.

As with the ‘Ruby Giant’ Coneflower above, cutting back the stems will encourage further blooms and reduce self-seeding.

Buy it HERE*.

8 | ‘Pink Marshmallow’ Spike Speedwell (Veronica longifolia x spicata)

Pink veronica

Zones: 4 to 8
Height: 24″ to 36″
Width: 12″ to 24″
Bloom Time: Summer

“Pink Marshmallow” Speedwell has slender spikes of star-shaped, pastel pink flowers above a mound of bushy foiage.

They bloom for 6 to 8 weeks, attract butterflies, and resists deer and rabbits.

As with the other perennials on this summer cutting garden list, removing spent flowers will promote additional blooms.

And soil that is too moist or too fertile will cause the flowers to fall over.

Buy it HERE.

9 | ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ English Rose

Zones: 4 to 11
Height: 48″ to 60″
Width: 36″ to 48″
Bloom Time: Summer

While this ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ rose is technically a bush, I am including it in this list of perennials since I am using it as the structure for my summer cutting garden. And it has blooms that are wonderful for flower arrangements.

The plant has beautiful, rich pink rosettes that have a beautiful traditional rose fragrance.

Since it is one of the English roses that was bred by David Austin, it is a healthy and reliable plant that is much easier to maintain than most roses.

At first, the buds look like traditional rose flowers.

But then open all the way out to become beautiful fluffy blooms.

Learn more about growing roses.

Buy it HERE.*

Other perennials you might like

Have any other plant suggestions for our full sun cutting garden perennials? Tell us in the section below.

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This post was originally published on January 10, 2020 but was updated with new content on June 1, 2022.

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  1. Do you have a layout plan for this garden? Thanks! I love the mix of flowers but would love layout advice for a rectangular bed

    1. Wanda Simone says:

      Hi Chantel…I do have a layout but haven’t got around to drawing it out. It’s on my to-do list 🙂

  2. Carla Crask says:

    WOW this was so helpful!! I am starting my cut flower garden right now and getting some ideas on what to grow!! THANK YOU this was so helpful this will be my go to for sure

    1. Wanda Simone says:

      Thanks, Carla! I’m happy you liked it 🙂

  3. I’m newbie for gardens, when’s the best time to plant these?

    1. Wanda Simone says:

      Hi Chelsey…If you’re planting potted plants, the fall or the spring is the best time to put them in the ground. However, you may have an easier time finding the plants you want in the spring since most nurseries have a bigger selection then. If you’re starting with seeds, then you need to plant them in the spring.