UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA

Cut Flower Planting Chart

Garden Help

The ornamentals included in this chart have been trialed and successfully grown by the Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County. Varieties were selected for local or online availability of seeds, hardiness, garden or container suitability, appeal to pollinators, and production of good cutting flowers.

Key: A=Annual, P=Perennial, S=Spring flowers, SU=Summer flowers, F=Fall flowers, W=Winter flowers, SS=Self seeds, D=Deer resistant

USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 8b, 9a, 9b
Central CA Climate Zones: 7, 14, 15, 16, 17

    Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Notes
 
Ageratum
Seed X X X                  
Blue, pink or white round fluffy flowers good in flower beds, as cut flowers and as borders. Start indoors 8–10 weeks before last frost or outdoors after last frost. A, Sp, Su, F
Transplant       X X X            
Direct Sow         X X            
 
Agrostemma (Corn Cockle)
Seed               X        
Hardy annual up to 3' height. Soft pink, purple & white, good cut flower. Seed and transplant or direct seed 4–5 weeks before last frost. A, Su, F, SS, TOXIC TO HUMANS AND ANIMALS
Transplant                 X      
Direct Sow     X X X              
 
Amaranthus (Love Lies Bleeding, Green Thumb)
Seed X X X                  
Drooping and upright spikes in dark red, coral, green, rust, crimson. Can reach 5' tall, attract pollinators and butterflies. Low water requirements. A, Su, F, SS
Transplant       X X              
Direct Sow         X X X          
 
Ammi (False Queen Anne's Lace, Bishop's Weed)
Seed X                      
Delicate lacy blooms, good filler for flower arrangements or drying for crafts. 1–3' tall, grow well in full sun or light shade, prolific re-seeders A, S, Su, F, SS
Transplant       X X              
Direct Sow     X                  
 
Asclepias (Milkweed)
Seed X       X X X          
Clusters of small yellow, orange or white blooms. Attract butterflies (including monarchs), bees, hummingbirds. Low maintenance P, S, Su, F, SS, D, MAY BE TOXIC TO HUMANS AND ANIMALS
Transplant       X X X X X X      
Direct Sow                        
 
Centaurea americana (Basket Flower)
Seed X X X                  
Multi-branched stems with lavender/pink 4–5" wide flowers that look similar to thistle. Plants grow to 3–6', have low water requirements, and attract butterflies. A, S
Transplant       X X              
Direct Sow               X X X    
 
Bells of Ireland
Seed X X                    
Tall spikes of green bell-like flowers, excellent in arrangements. May need staking. Prolific re-seeders A, S, Su, F, SS
Transplant       X X              
Direct Sow       X X              
 
Baby's Breath
Seed X X                    
Tiny white or pastel flowers used in bouquets and centerpieces. P, Su, F, SS, TOXIC TO HUMANS AND PETS
Transplant       X X              
Direct Sow     X X X              
 
Broom Corn
Seed   X X                  
Coarse grass with woody stalk that grows 6–15' tall. Used for making brooms, cultivation of its grain, decorative purposes including filler for arrangements. Harvest in fall. A, Su, F, D
Transplant       X X              
Direct Sow     X X X X            
 
Celosia
Seed   X X                  
Member of amaranth family, 3 types based on flower structure: plumed, wheat and cockscomb. 8–36" tall, vibrant colors good for fresh and dry arrangements. Can be propagated from cuttings. A, Su, F
Transplant         X X            
Direct Sow                        
 
Clarkia
Seed               X        
Frilly 4 petal flowers, usually white, pink or red. Long lasting as cut flowers, little care required. Direct sow in early spring or in the fall. Attract pollinators. A, Su, F, SS
Transplant                 X      
Direct Sow       X X       X X X  
 
Cosmos
Seed   X                    
3–5" daisy-like flowers in pink, orange, red, yellow, white or maroon. Plants grow 18–60" tall and tolerate warm, dry weather. Good cut flowers. A, Su, SS
Transplant       X X              
Direct Sow       X X X            
 
Craspedia (Billy Buttons)
Seed X                      
Evergreen perennial with 1" golden yellow ball shaped flowers. Good in fresh or dry arrangements. Blooms year round in warm climates. P
Transplant     X X                
Direct Sow                        
 
Dusty Miller
Seed X X                    
Yellow flowers with silver lacy foliage, 6–12" tall. Good for cutting and filler for flower arrangements. A, Su
Transplant     X X                
Direct Sow     X X                
 
Gaillardia (Blanket Flower)
Seed X                      
Usually bright red with yellow tips. Best suited for flower beds, 24–36" tall. Extremely drought tolerant and can be sowed in spring or fall. P, Su, F
Transplant       X X              
Direct Sow       X X       X X    
 
Gomphocorpus (Balloon Milkweed, Family Jewels)
Seed X           X X        
Non-native milkweed with near purple flowers followed by a round balloon-like fruit. Grows 4–6' tall, attracts butterflies and other pollinators. P, SS, TOXIC TO HUMANS AND ANIMALS
Transplant         X X         X  
Direct Sow                        
 
Gomphrena (Globe Amaranth)
Seed X X                    
Pink, purple, red, orange or white gum all flowers, 1–2' tall. Good in garden borders, cutting for fresh or dry arrangements. Grow well in dry conditions. A, Su, F
Transplant         X X            
Direct Sow                        
    Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Notes
 
Linaria (Toad flax)
Seed     X X       X        
Annual and herbaceous perennial varieties, 12–24" tall. Flowers are similar to snapdragons and attract pollinators and wildlife. Bloom summer to late fall, prolific re-seeders. A, P, SS, TOXIC TO HUMANS AND ANIMALS
Transplant         X X     X X    
Direct Sow         X X            
 
Pumpkin on a Stick
Seed X X                    
Ornamental eggplants that look like miniature pumpkins. Plants grow 3–4' high, 2–3' wide. Branches require support. Susceptible to pests and fungal growth. Use for dry flower arrangements. A, F, TOXIC TO CATS, DOGS, HORSES
Transplant         X X            
Direct Sow                        
 
Rudbeckia (Black Eyed Susan, Gloriosa Daisy)
Seed   X X         X X      
Clump forming plant with 2–3" diameter bright color flowers with dark or green center. 2–3' tall. Attract bees, butterflies, birds and are excellent cutting flowers. P, Sp, S, F
Transplant       X X       X X    
Direct Sow                        
 
Scabiosa (Pin cushion flower)
Seed   X                    
Small compact round blooms on thin stems. White, pink, lavender, red, burgundy or cream colors. Plants are 12–18" tall in bloom. P, Su, F
Transplant         X X            
Direct Sow     X X X              
 
Scabiosa Fama
Seed X X X                  
Largest flowering scabiosa with up to 4" blue or white blooms and long, silver-blue foliage. Good cut flowers that bloom summer through fall. Sun or part shade. P, Su, F
Transplant       X X              
Direct Sow                        
 
Centaurua moschata (Sweet Sultan)
Seed X X X                  
Delicate lilac, rose, white or purple flowers that attract bees and butterflies. Good cut flowers, can be grown in containers. A, Su, D
Transplant       X X X            
Direct Sow                        
 
Snapdragon
Seed   X           X        
Dwarf, intermediate, and tall stems in most colors excepts blue. 6"–3' tall. Plants handle frost so plant for early spring and summer color. Good in containers, garden, and for cutting. S, Su, F, D
Transplant       X X         X X  
Direct Sow                        
 
Statice
Seed   X X                  
Long lasting compact flowers on sturdy stems in purple, lavender, pink, white, or yellow. Good for fresh and dry flower arrangements. A, Su, F, D, P
Transplant         X X            
Direct Sow                        
 
Strawflower
Seed   X                    
Daisy-like shaped flower with stiff/papery petals in vivid shades of yellow, orange, red, white, or pink. Grows well in hot summers, drought tolerant. Good for fresh or dry arrangements. P, Sp, Su, F
Transplant       X X              
Direct Sow                        
 
Sunflower
Seed   X                    
Available in many colors, heights, sizes, edible and non-edible varieties. Good for cutting, attracting bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators. Drought and heat tolerant. A, Su, F
Transplant       X X              
Direct Sow         X X X X X      
 
Sweet Peas
Seed               X X      
Many colors and varieties, most grow 5–6' tall. Bush variety is available for containers. Prefer cool and can be planted outdoors while it is cold, or late fall for late winter bloom. Most need trellis for support. Beautiful as fresh floral arrangements. A, W, Sp, SS, TOXIC
Transplant                 X X    
Direct Sow   X X         X X X X  
 
Zinnia
Seed     X                  
Large range of vibrant colors and sizes. Grow well in containers or garden, attract bees, butterflies, hummingbirds. Excellent for cutting. A, Su, F, SS
Transplant       X X              
Direct Sow       X X X            
 
Zulu Prince
Seed X X                    
Daisy shape, 3–4" white or orange blossoms with rings of orange and purple close to the center. Tolerates heat and drought, good in flower arrangements. A, Su, F, SS
Transplant       X X              
Direct Sow       X X              
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