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The Best Cut Flowers to Grow

With growing season upon us, now is the perfect time to take cuttings. Cutting is a great way to take some of your favourite plants and fragrances and scatter them throughout your gardens. The process couldn’t be simpler, and the reward is more delightful colours here, there and everywhere!

What is a cutting & How do I take one?

A cutting is simply an extra growing stem that has been taken from the host plant to be re-planted elsewhere. It’s a great way to spread the growth of your favourite plants throughout the garden and you don’t need much to do it! You can take a cutting at any time of year, simply choose a non-flowering side growth that’s around 10 inches tall off an already established plant and re-pot.

The essential kit you’ll need is simply a small pot, some compost, scissors/pruners or a knife! Find an extra stem that has yet to flower and gently remove it from the host and use a sharp knife to remove leaves below the leaf joints. Although not necessary, some organic rooting powder can help your cutting sprout stronger roots faster.

Next, re-pot your cutting with well-draining compost and give it a proper water. If you have a larger pot, you can take multiple cuttings at once as long as you space them apart. If you have a propagator lid of some kind, these are perfect for any young cuts to retain moisture.

Keep your pot indoors and find a well-lit but not a full sun position. If the compost remains moist your cuttings should root in around 7 weeks and can be planted outside if the season is right. Don’t be tempted to pull the stem to check the root growth, you’ll know if it’s worked when your stem sprouts new leaves

Some of the more popular plants for cuttings are Sweet Peas, Zinnias, Cosmos and Dahlias. You can find a wide variety these at your local British Garden Centre.

Single cutting being potted

Sweet Peas

Sweet Peas are perfect for cuttings thanks to their unbeatable fragrance and delightful colours. You can very quickly cover your garden head-to-toe with these intense growers once you know the basics of cuttings! If you don’t have any sweet peas yet, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Unwins and Greenfingers to bring the best of the best to your gardens. Our BGC Unwins Sweet Pea - Butterfly Blue combine the best of fragrance and colour!

You can cut Sweet peas by the standard method; simply find a non-flowering side stem and carefully remove it. Fill a small pot with well-draining soil and gently insert the cutting into a pencil-sized hole. Water the cutting generously to set the soil and place your pot in a warm space with plenty of sunlight. However, try to avoid direct sunlight and remember to consistently water them.

Sweet peas are such vigorous growers so be sure to keep on top of watering because they can easily dry out. They should be ready for the great outdoors in approx. 7 weeks.

Unwins BGC Sweet Pea

Zinnias, Dahlias & Cosmos


Remove the stem as normal, but instead of planting in freshly potted compost, place the base of the stem in a cup of luke-warm water. Submerge a good 2-3 inches of the steam and you need to change the water every day or two. Keep them in a sheltered spot that’s stays warm. Make sure you have no leaves submerged!

Roots will begin to grow in 7-10 days, afterwards they can be planted or potted wherever you’d like. They like being in full sun with well-draining soil. Try not to re-plant them too often, Zinnias are known for being very fussy and dislike being moved to different light levels.


Dahlias can be cut and potted by the standard method. Simply cut, trim off lower leaves and pot! If you have a propagator lid, Dahlias will love an extra level of warmth and should establish roots in their new pot in just 4-5 weeks.  However, be sure to keep them well watered without waterlogging the pot.

Once established, if the weather allows plant them out in a sunny, sheltered spot with well-draining soil. When winter rolls around, they will need to be brought to a frost-free shed or greenhouse in order to survive.


Following the same method of cutting a tall, non-flowering stem and trimming any lower leaves, place into a pencil sized hole in a small pot of fresh compost. Keep them in a full sun position and ensure they’re well-watered. They should establish their roots in 4-5 weeks, and will need to be planted outside after any threat of frost has passed in late May/early April. Cosmos are rather hassle free once established, and when winter rolls around you may need to bring them into a frost-free place. Alternately you can collect any seeds from the flowers in the summer and keep them safe over winter.

rooted cuttings ready for planting

Thanks for reading.

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