How to Set Up a Cut Flower Garden for Beginners

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Grow a cut flower garden in a patio container garden this summer using a drip water system for a practically hands-free garden!

A vase of cut flowers shows some of the fun varieties you can grow in a patio garden.

Every spring my heart overflows with hope that THIS will be the year that I have a gorgeous garden brimming with blooming flowers, fragrant herbs, and juicy vegetables.

Every August finds me angrily ripping out dead plants from long dried out patio containers and vowing to never buy another plant again.

Over the course of the long brown winter I forget that frustration and the cycle starts right over again. . . Until this year!

After a couple years of frustration, I finally found the perfect set up for my container garden and grew a cut flower garden for the first time.

It was so fun, I want to share all the tips you need so you can have fresh flower bouquets in your house, too!!

Jump to:

What Is a Cut Flower Garden?

If you want to fill your home with fresh flower bouquets this year, the best way to have more flowers than you know what to do with is to grow a cut flower garden.

This garden is made up specifically of flowering plants that grow flowers on long stems like you'd use in a bouquet.

The plants can withstand frequent cutting and grow blooms over the course of several weeks which allows you to gather bouquets again and again.

The Best Tips for Growing Cut Flowers

When I discovered Floret Farm's Cut Flower Garden book, I knew that I had finally found the inspiration I needed to grow the flower garden of my dreams this year.

Flipping through this gorgeous publication made me happier than a kid in a candy shop.

After poring over every page, I spent way too much time researching heirloom flower seeds for order on the internet before I finally came to my senses and put together a more practical plan for my regular home garden.

How to set up a cut flower garden for beginners

Supplies You Need

  • A copy of Floret Farm's Cut Flower Garden: get it now, there's nothing like planning flower seeds during the dreary fall and winter months. She also outlines great ideas for year-round flowers.
  • A drip watering system like the deck kit from DripWorks: So you're not chained to your garden all summer long!
  • Several large planter pots: I bought the matching green ones from Walmart for about $7 a piece.
  • Beginner-friendly seeds: these Cut and Come Again Zinnias are perfect.
  • A seed growing tray: If you don't want to use a tray, you could use an egg container or small cups, too.
  • Quality potting soil: We bought the kind that was pre-mixed with special fertilizer.
  • Peat moss: Soil can get pricey and add up. We stretched it farther and kept the pots lighter by filling the bottoms of the pots with peat moss before adding the soil. It helps with drainage of the water, too.

The Biggest Challenge

I have always dreamed of having a flower cutting garden where I could stroll out each day and pluck the prettiest blooms for my house.

Thankfully after too many years of failure and frustration, I was wise enough to know that vision doesn't come without an insane amount of hard work.

So I took that dream and downsized it to fit my current reality which has two very specific challenges:

  1. The only space I have for planting is my small cement patio located in the middle of the HOT southern state of North Carolina.
  2. Plants do really well here January - May but June - October is brutally hot and daily (sometimes twice daily!) watering is essential for plant survival.

Point #2 really doesn't mesh well with the fact that we love to travel to the beach or go on day trip adventures during the weekends all summer long.

I can't tell you how many times we've come home to discover everything dead in all my patio containers!

Plan Your Garden

So this year I made a plan!

  1. Stick to plants that grow well in containers and keep the quantity manageably small.
  2. Figure out an easy solution for the daily watering.

Which Flowers to Plant

There are so many amazing flowers to choose from for a cutting garden, but here are the ones I've used with great success in my container garden at home:

How to set up a cut flower garden for beginners

Bells of Ireland:

This is one of my all-time favorite flowers in a bouquet. The tall, green stalks with bell shaped flowers add height and texture to a vase of flowers.


One of the easiest cutting garden flowers to grow, cosmos work really well in large pots or in a patch of yard outside your home.

They come in a wide variety of colors, I tend to prefer the pink, white, and purple varieties.


Snapdragons have multiple blooms along the stalk and also provide lovely texture to a flower bouquet.

They come in practically any color you want for your garden.


Another really easy flower to grow for a cutting garden, zinnias come in a rainbow of colors including pink, orange, red, purple, white, yellow, and green.

I love a variety called "Cut and Come Again" that grows bloom after bloom for a long season of cut flowers.

For this bouquet, I cut several zinnias from the cutting garden and mixed it with the lime hydrangeas and pink roses from my backyard bushes.

How to set up a cut flower garden for beginners

Start from Seeds

It is hard to find true cutting flowers at local garden centers. It is much easier to start your flowers from seed indoors in a seed tray.

Once the sprouts mature and are ready for transplanting outside, you'll want to temper them by placing the tray outside in the sunshine during the day but bringing them indoors again in the evening until they can handle the weather for a 24 hour period.

A seed tray filled with baby green sprouts.

Set Up a Drip Watering System

There is an extensive resources page at the back of Floret Farm's Cut Flower Garden where Erin outlines her favorite places to buy seeds and other garden equipment.

The name DripWorks immediately jumped off the page when I spotted the description: "Irrigation supplies, including drip tape."

STOP THE PRESSES! A drip watering system for my patio garden?? WHAT?? Where has this been all my life?!

I immediately reached out to the team at DripWorks and explained the challenges I've been having with our summer garden.

They were kind enough to send a Deck Garden Irrigation Kit for me to test out.

A drip watering system waters a container garden on a patio.

It arrived right before Mother's Day weekend so part of my gift from Handyman Tim was an entire day devoted to setting up my containers and the watering system to go with it.

The DripWorks garden kit came with some suggested layout plans for how to place your containers.

We tweaked it to fit our space and then I bought the supplies we needed to get going.

A man arranges a container garden with a drip watering system.

Tim spent the better part of the afternoon laying out the hoses and drip shoots into each pot.

The coolest thing about all of it is that it runs on a timer you can set via Bluetooth on your phone!!

A cut flower garden in containers is being watered by a drip watering system.

He set a schedule for the plants to get watered 2-3 times per day depending on the weather. When we want to change the schedule, he manages the system right from his phone.

We were able to go on 3 extended beach trips this summer (one that lasted an entire week!) and my garden is still alive and thriving! It's a miracle!

More Container Gardening Tips

How to set up a cut flower garden for beginners

One Comment

  1. I have tried to start flowers from seed but find that the plastic trays are super hard to get plants out of when it’s time to transplant them. But you need the tray for bottom watering right? Any suggestions appreciated!

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