Shirley’s DIY Home Flower Cutting Garden

Shirley Bovshow gives great tips for growing the best flowers to beautify your home!
How to Make a Flower Cutting Garden


These airy, dainty looking flowers are anything but fragile. Cosmos thrive in hot, dry or humid conditions in less fertile soils. Large, single flowers appear on multi stem plant with ferny leaves and can grow 5 feet tall!
Cosmos bloom from early summer till the first frost.

  • Select flowers whose petals are beginning to open so they can continue opening once cut.
  • Cut the flowers in the morning when their water content is highest & immediately place them in a bucket with warm water.
  • Before arranging, strip foliage from the lower portion of the stems.
  • Cosmos stem can have multiple flowers
  • Cut dead flower stems to encourage more flower growth


Alstroemerias look like miniature lilies and come in many color combinations and bloom from May to November. Plant in full sun to part shade and water regularly. Plants are perennials in mild climates or can be overwintered indoors.

  • Best to pull flower stems from base instead of cutting them to promote more growth from rhizome. Trim afterwards with sharp pruners.
  • Alstroemerias can last up to 2 weeks as cut flowers
  • Condition in warm water with preservative for several hours before arranging
  • Alstroemerias are one of the longest lasting cut flowers
  • Place cut flowers out of direct sunlight
  • Condition cut Alstroemerias flowers in warm water with preservative several hours before arranging


Zinnias are the flowers of choice in desert climates and can handle triple digit temps without fainting. Zinnias look like Dahlias or pompoms, grow in rainbow of colors. Grow in full sun in well draining soil with lots of compost.

  • Cut zinnia stem just above a node so flowers can continue to grow on lower stem
  • Cut zinnia flower when open as it won't open after cutting
  • Condition cut Zinnia flowers in warm water with preservative several hours before arranging
  • Zinnias need well draining soil with compost

China Asters:

"Flowers are mum-shaped and come in bright jewel tone colors. Asters bloom from summer to fall and provide long flowering period. Grow short or tall varieties in garden in well draining soil in full sun area. Don't allow soil to dry."

  • Cut asters when fully opened
  • Place in warm water with 1/2 dose of conditioner and keep in cool spot until ready to arrange flowers
  • Will look good for up to 10 days in vase
  • China Asters can grow 12 to 30"-inches tall

"Filler" Plants You Use from Your Yard:

  • Privet, Eucalyptus, Loropetelum stems
  • Remove lower leaves and score bottom of woody stem with knife to take up water
  • Use stems from woody plants for filler material: including Privet, Eucalyptus, & Loropetelum stems
How to Start a Garden
How to Start a Garden