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GardenSMART :: Colorful Cutting Gardens for Fall

Colorful Cutting Gardens for Fall

By The Espoma Company
Photograph courtesy of The Espoma Company

Seeing tiny seedlings bloom into amazing plants full of color is the best part about gardening, and the reward for all the hard work. It's nice to be able to enjoy those rewards indoors, too, using the flowers in arrangements. It's easy to bring the essence of the outdoors inside. All you need is a cutting garden.

Choose blooms that are low maintenance, with brilliant colors and long-blooming flowers. This is the place to have fun and create amazing floral bouquets to brighten your indoor spaces.

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Top Autumn Plants for Cutting Gardens

Autumn brings a change of color. This list shows off vibrant fall plants that will keep your bouquets fresh and on trend. All of these flowers look great together.


Keep the rich colors in your garden going into fall with these stunning purple flowers. Perennial asters look like tight bunches of tiny daisies, and many well-behaved varieties have been bred from our beautiful (but lanky) North American native asters. Don't like purple? Asters come in pink and white as well. Summer heat is no match for these rugged plants, making them an ideal flower to have in your summer and fall garden, and indoors in arrangements. Hardy in zones 3-9.


Hands down, one of the easiest flowers to grow, whether from seed or transplants. Marigolds will bring a smile to your face with rich orange, yellow, red or cream flowers, many with streaks and stripes. They are not picky about soil and being native to Mexico, they flourish in the summer sun and heat. They will keep blooming until frost. These annuals are long lasting in late summer and early fall bouquets, though some people don't like their scent.

Black-eyed Susan

Add some gold to your garden this summer and fall with our native black-eyed Susan. They are sun lovers, but can handle some shade, though they may flop a bit. They are tough and have a lengthy bloom time from June to October. A major perk to these cheerful flowers is that they attract pollinators. They also make wonderful cut flowers for bouquets, but leave some seedheads in your garden to feed the birds in winter. Hardy in zones 2-9.


With lantanas, you are spoiled for choice with color. These low maintenance, tropical plants come in red, yellow, orange, pink, and purple, and their flowers often change color as they mature. Once established, they are drought tolerant, reliable bloomers. In the north, lantanas are treated as annuals, but they are hardy in zones 8 to 11.

Where to Start:

Choose Your Site

Scope out an open, well-drained spot that gets six or more hours of sunlight per day. Check the seed packet or label to see how far apart plants should be spaced. Don't think you have room? Plant cutting flowers between your vegetable rows. They will attract pollinators, which will also improve your vegetable yields.

Plan Your Plants

Check plant tags to see if your site meets the requirements for sun exposure and growing conditions. Be sure to keep the layout of the garden in mind. Consider giving cutting flowers their own plot, rather than planting them in your borders, where the harvested flowers can leave visual gaps. Allow spaces between the rows to make cutting and collecting easier. Keep the tallest plants towards the back of the plot so they don't shade shorter ones.

Prepare the Ground

Make sure your soil is clear of any debris and weeds — you don't want your flowers competing with anything else. Work in several scoops of Espoma's Bio-Tone Starter Plus into the soil, to give your plants a good head start. Don't walk on the soil – that will compact it – and keep up with the weeding.

Planting Your Garden

Planting with seeds or seedlings are both great options for this kind of garden. To keep flowers coming, fertilize regularly with Espoma's Liquid Bloom! Plant Food. Seedlings and young plants may need daily watering, less as plants mature and their roots grow deeper into the soil. Consider drip irrigation if lack of rain is an issue.

As your plants start to bloom, keep cutting and deadheading. The more you cut the more flowers you will get! It's as easy as that.

The Espoma Company has been the pioneer in natural gardening solutions since 1929. Espoma provides an extensive selection of natural products that work in harmony with nature and are safe for people, pets and the planet. The company produces products to cover the nutritional needs of plants and to grow beautiful lawns and gardens. Visit for more information and tips about organic lawn care. 


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Photos and story by Monrovia Nursery Company

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