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9 Best Flower Bulbs for Bouquets

9 best flower bulbs for bouquets banner

Growing Flower Bulbs for Bouquets

There’s a world of cutting flowers just waiting to be grown - not only do they add beauty to your garden, but when cut and brought indoors they can transform a living space with blossoms and fragrance, bringing a touch of your own garden into your home. We’re sharing our list of the 9 best flower bulbs for bouquets from the garden.

Creating a Flower Bulb Cutting Garden

fall-planted flower bulbs planted in a cutting garden

When planting bulbs for cut flowers, you can either add extra bulbs to your current beds, or consider creating a designated cutting flower bed. With well-drained soil and a sunny location, you’ll be ready to go.

How to Space Flower Bulbs

Plant fall bulbs just as far apart as they are wide- an inch apart for a one-inch bulb. This intensive method will allow you to harvest a lot of flowers and will encourage stems to stretch and lengthen.

When to Cut for Arrangements

Once you’ve cut your flowers (cut in the morning or at day’s end for best results), remove the leaves from the lower half of the stems if present, and place them in cool, clean water. Use a floral preservative as mentioned below, and keep bouquets out of direct sun. Change water and re-trim every few days, as necessary.

Learn How to Plant Flower Bulbs in Your Garden.

9 Best Flower Bulbs for Bouquets

Large-Cupped Daffodil

Large-Cupped Daffodils have sturdy, long-lasting flowers on strong stems. In showy colors and with large cups that may be flared or ruffled, these garden gems are indoor favorites too. Arriving in mid-spring, they will stand alone as an arrangement or combine beautifully with other spring bloomers. Grow unusual varieties not found in the grocery store for extra fun.

large-cupped-daffodil-cut-for-bouquet
Large-cupped 'Ice Follies' Daffodils in the garden.
large-cupped daffodils in vase
Large-cupped Daffodils look great in a vase.

Cut your flowers before the bloom is fully open. Interestingly, daffodils ooze a sap that is toxic to other flowers, so if you want to use them with other flowers, simply cut them and place them in fresh water for a few hours. This will allow the cut ends to callus over and you can then combine them with other flowers (be sure not to re-trim them). Plant a collection for an easy to grow assortment of daffodils.

Hyacinth

Hyacinth will wake up your senses and banish winter doldrums with its heady aroma and rich colors. Blooming in mid-spring, for cut flower use, wait until 1/3 to ½ of the flowers are open before cutting. The flowers will last for 7 to 10 days in the vase and will fill your home with the sweet fragrance of spring.

hyacinths growing in the cutting garden
Short and sturdy Hyacinths lend themselves to patterned border plantings.
growing hyacinths for bouquets
Known for their fragrance, Hyacinths bring their lovely scent indoors when cut for bouquets.

The Best Flower Bulbs for Feeding Bees in Early Spring.

Three Tulips

Tulips are amongst the best loved of spring flowers, and they make great bouquets as well. Long-lasting as cut flowers, when you grow your own, they may last a well over a week in a vase. Cut when the flowers are still in bud, with a hint of color showing in the outer petals. They’ll continue to lengthen in water, so place them a bit shorter than you’d ultimately like. Flower preservative helps keep colors strong and flowers long-lasting. Our top picks in the tulip tribe are:

Double Tulips double the fun with their lush, almost peony-like flowers. Blooming in late spring, a single flower can stand alone. A lush bouquet of double tulips hits it out of the park though, so plant lots of these beautiful flowers.

Fringed Tulips sparkle with delicate fringed edges to their petals, like tiny crystals. Use these unique blooms alone or mix them up with other spring flowers such as daffodils and hyacinth.

Bi-colored Tulips are all about color. Some have contrasting edges, some softly shifting tones in one main color, others brightly contrasting colors such as yellow and red. The choice is yours, and the results of using these complex flowers guarantee success in the flower vase.

bi-colored tulips in the garden
Bi-colored Tulips come in endless color combinations, from high-contrast pairings to soft, blushing fade-outs.
fringed tulip in bloom
Fringed Tulips can bring a playful texture to an otherwise formal bed.

Allium

Allium flowers are long-lasting, easy to grow garden favorites and they make great cut flowers too. The sturdy stemmed varieties with flowerheads from 6 inches and larger can best be displayed in a tall vase where their sculptural form can put on a show. Recommended types: Globemaster, Purple Sensation, Mt Everest, and Graceful. Smaller Allium, such as Allium caerula, Drumstick Allium, and Allium Red Mohican look lovely combined with other flowers as well.

growing-allium-in-cutting-garden
Allium is famous for adding strong architectural bones to any garden bed.
allium-holds-shape-in-cutting-garden
Allium keeps it shape in the garden and vase even after its color has faded.

To get the longest life out of your Allium flowers cut them when only one-quarter to half of the florets are open. Cut them in the morning, with a clean, sharp knife, so the stem doesn’t get crushed and keep the water fresh to prolong blooms. If re-cutting, cut in the sink or outdoors as the sap may stain counters. Let them dry, and they will make unusual dried flowers for use year around.

Dutch Iris

dutch iris in bloom

Dutch Iris are superstars in the garden and in the vase. Long blooming and easy to grow, plant a collection for an instant bouquet. They are also beautiful paired with Peonies, Oriental Poppies, Allium and Foxglove. Cut them with a sharp knife when the blooms are starting to open. Their strong straight posture makes a vertical structure for your bouquets.

Martagon Lily

martagon lily in bloom

Martagon Lily is also known as Turk’s Cap Lily for its whimsical downward facing blooms with reflexed petals. With freckled petals, they are available in purples, reds, oranges, yellows and even pure white. Flowering in early summer, they are long-lasting cut flowers that add a looser, wildflower look to an arrangement. And at up to 50 blooms per stem once established, there’s plenty of flowers to share.

Oriental Lily

Oriental Lilies are the queens of the early summer garden with their tall, stately presence and intoxicating fragrance. With elegant star-shaped flowers and a wide array of colors to choose from, they make long-lasting cut flowers. Whether as a simple bloom in a tiny vase, or an armful of stems in a large container, they will put on a super show in your home, lasting for at least ten days.

oriental lilies for bouquets
Oriental Lilies come in a variety of colors, all lending an exotic feel to the cutting garden.
oriental lilies growing in the cutting garden
Stargazer Lily is well known for its fragrance and vibrant pink color.

Cut them when the buds are colored, and the bottom flower is just beginning to open. Lily pollen can stain, so if you’re concerned, once the flower has opened, snip or pull the orange anthers and discard. Floral preservative will help the flowers retain their color.

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