Throughout the summer, many gardeners bring flowers in from their garden to enjoy in a vase, but the fall perennial garden boasts just as much beauty. The colors and textures of the fall garden just simply can’t be beat!
The most important thing to consider when choosing a perennial plant for a cut flower garden is the vase life of the flower. Some perennial flowers simply do not last long once cut from the plant. Daylilies, for example, have a very accurate name. The flower only lasts for a day making it a poor choice for a cut flower garden.
Listed below is a selection of great perennial choices for a long-lived cut flower garden in Illinois. These perennials will be easy to grow and the vase life of the flowers will be at least a week in most cases. Fortunately, it is not too late to plant these beauties in the garden this year either. Get new perennial plants in the ground before mid-September to ensure time to get roots established before winter, and make sure they are well-watered during this time.
When cutting flowers from a cut flower garden, be sure to get your stems into water with a floral preservative as soon as possible. Floral preservative packets can be found at your local florist. Remove any foliage from the stems that will be under water, and place your vase in a cool location, away from direct sunlight or drafts. Change your water every few days, adding new floral preservative each time, and this will ensure a long vase life for your beautiful arrangement.
Late summer and fall blooming perennials
Aconitum- Monkshood: The blue blooms of monkshood contrast well against all the other fall flowers.
Agastache- Anise Hyssop: Beautiful in the summer and fall when it’s covered with spikes of lavender-blue, licorice-scented flowers.
Anemone- Japanese Anemone: Large poppy-shaped pink or white flowers on tall stems at the end of the season.
Aster- Asters: Covered with loads of vibrant flowers in the fall.
Clematis- Sweet Autumn Clematis: Beautifully fragrant, sweet autumn clematis is covered with white flowers at season’s end.
Dendranthema- Chrysanthemums: A staple in the fall garden, mums are excellent cut flower performers.
Helenium: Helen’s Flower: Boasts cheery yellow, orange or red blooms at the end of the season.
Heliopsis- Ox-eye Daisy: While most gardeners are familiar with the big-blooming annual sunflowers, the perennial selections are just as great.
Pennisetum- Fountain Grass: Add movement to an arrangement with the flowing foliage or seed heads of various grasses in the garden.
Perovskia- Russian Sage: A super tough perennial plant that is equally as tough as a cut flower.
Rudbeckia- Black Eyed Susan: These bright and cheery yellow flowers hold up beautifully as a cut flower.
Sedum- Stonecrop: These tough plants laugh off all summer’s heat and drought to look great in your garden at the end of the season.
Solidago- Goldenrod: A tough perennial plant with bright yellow flowers that are excellent filler in an arrangement.