Bright red bloom of Zinnia elegans 'Scarlet Flame'

Eight tips for growing cut flowers

Discover eight tips for growing cut flowers in your garden, including pinching out, feeding and watering.

Growing cut flowers from seed is fun and easy, and with some careful planning, it’s possible to enjoy beautiful blooms in the house in every season.

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A selection of hardy annuals and half-hardy annuals will give you a wide range of gorgeous blooms. Once they have germinated, here’s how to look after your plants so that you can keep cutting flowers for weeks on end.

More on growing beautiful cut flowers:

Pinch out the tips of annuals (with the exception of stocks) to concentrate energy on flower spikes.

Thin seedlings

Thinning out seedlings
Thinning out seedlings

Thin out seedlings to give the plants plenty of space, right from the start.


Pinch out tips

Pinching out the tips of sweet pea seedlings
Pinching out the tips of sweet pea seedlings

Pinch out the tips of annuals (with the exception of stocks) to concentrate energy on flower spikes.


Remove side-shoots

Removing a side-shoot from a small geranium
Removing a side-shoot from a small geranium

Remove the side-shoots of plants such as pelargoniums and stocks, to concentrate energy on flower spikes.


Control weeds

Weeding between daffodils
Weeding between daffodils

Weed regularly by hand in between rows to reduce competition for food, water and light.


Stake plants

Tying twine between canes to provide support for a clematis
Tying twine between canes to provide support for a clematis

Stake plants with twine or canes to prevent them flopping onto neighbours and to keep flowers off the ground. Find out how to use plant stakes and supports.


Water regularly

Watering the soil of a pot full of flowers
Watering the soil of a pot full of flowers

Don’t let plants dry out. Water roots regularly, particularly during dry summers. Find out how to water your plants in summer.


Feed regularly

Measuring out liquid plant feed
Measuring out liquid plant feed

Start feeding with a high-potash liquid fertiliser every two weeks once the plants come into bud – tomato feed is ideal. Read more about feeding plants.


Cut flowers regularly

Cutting cosmos blooms to add to a colourful posy of flowers
Cutting cosmos blooms to add to a colourful posy of flowers
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Cut the flowers regularly, deadheading any that go over before you cut them, to encourage new blooms. Discover how to deadhead in summer.


When to pick flowers

Pick flowers in the morning if possible, when their stems are full of water and they are not under stress from the heat of the day. Otherwise, wait until the evening.

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