Our Favorite Annual Flowers for Increasing Biodiversity

Every year, we co-plant thousands of beautiful annuals in our dahlia fields! We plant them between the dahlia varieties, often blocking them by color (so fun!), which gives us a “hard stop” between dahlia varieties at harvest time. Not only are the annual flowers beautiful and help us keep our dahlias organized, they also:

  • give us flower fillers at our fingertips when designing bouquets,
  • make a really beautiful, inspiring, and interesting field,
  • allow us to rotate where dahlias are planted within our fields from year to year,
  • AND they provide beneficial insects with safe haven + quite a feast throughout the growing season.

Favorite Flowers


The geum are the smallest orange flowers. Picture is by Ben Bender.

Geum is a perennial and is known for its long blooming season from late spring to early fall. Our favorite is “Totally Tangerine”, which provides a nice pop of orange in the late spring and early summer. We love pairing it with ranunculus and our Icelandic poppies for a stellar spring bouquet.

Stock matthiola

Our favorite stock matthiola is”Quartet Apricot”. It looks like fluffy cotton candy! It provides us with peachy pink flowers all season long in our cooler climate. We start seed in February and plant out late March. You can find the seeds at Geo Seed.


Snapdragons are SO useful, so programmable, the right varieties have such great, shippable stems & petals, and there’s such a great range of colors. Our absolute favorite snaps to use at the farm are Potomac Lavender, Rocket White and Rocket Orange. We have found the Potomac Lavender to be particularly snappy, so we always make sure to plant the slightly more robust Rocket White and Orange too.


Snow Puff Cosmos from Uprising Seeds

Frilly and friendly cosmos add whimsy and delight to any bouquet. These annuals are easy to grow and will produce lots of blooms. Our absolute favorite varieties are Double Click Cranberries, Double Click Bicolor Pink, and Snow Puff (from Uprising Seeds).


The fluffy orange flowers are Chedi Orange Marigolds.

“Chedi Orange” are our favorite tall cutting marigolds. Also known as “Jedi Orange” or even Giant Orange Marigolds, these fluffy orange flowers will add some oomph to any brightly colored bouquet. We like to pair them with zinnias and sunflowers for a beautiful late summer/early fall bouquet. You can find seeds here.

Queen Anne’s Lace

Queen of Africa has definitely earned its spot as one of our very favorite filler flowers. This delicate, but stunning, beauty is our favorite Queen Anne’s lace. It is so striking in a bouquet and is one of the most productive filler flowers you can plant from seed.


Zinnias are a stalwart of filler flowers. Easy to grow and available in so many colors, this is a filler flower you need to have. We’re particularly in love with the “queen lime” series of zinnias. You can find a mix of seeds from this series in our store.


Amaranth may be considered a filler flower, but it’s a show stopper in its own right. We adore amaranth for bouquets, not only because it’s easy to grow, but because of the TEXTURE it adds to every bouquet. We grow upright “Hot Biscuits”, trailing “Green Tassels”,and trailing “Coral Fountains”, which can all be found in our store.


Caramel Cherry Phlox has the sweetest vintage vibe. It is one of our very favorite filler flowers. Its creamy color with the pop of pink the middle makes it perfect for almost any bouquet. We love to pair it with Koko Loco roses or Cafe Au Lait dahlias, but it’s a very versatile flower. Phlox can be tricky to germinate unless you know this “cool” trick: Do not start them too warm! Phlox needs 55º-60º soil to germinate, and it can take its sweet time. Cover seeds, keep soil moist, and allow up to 3 weeks at this chilly soil temp for best results. These flowers are worth it! You can find seeds for Caramel Cherry Phlox in our store.

Rudbeckia triloba

Rudbeckia triloba, also know as “brown-eyed Susan”, blooms in late summer to fall, just in time for fall color schemes. Its easy to grow and adds a nice pop of vibrant yellow to any fall bouquet. Find these seeds here.

Celosia Spicata

Celosia spicata, also known as “Flamingo Feather” celosia, produces ombre spikes, pale pink at the tip fading to white at the base. It adds so much texture to any bouquet and the spiky shape adds even more interest. It makes an excellent cut flower, pollinator attractor, and dried flower (nicknamed “wheat celosia”). You can find seeds in our shop.

Pampas Plume Celosia

Every time I see this filler flower, I think of fireworks. It bright red, yellow, and orange will add a dramatic pop of color to any flower arrangement.


These architectural strawflowers are perfect for late season and dried bouquets. They add lots of color and texture White are our absolute favorite, but we can’t resist the hot colors… and the pale pinks…. Since there really isn’t any color of strawflower that we can resist, we included them all in our Triple Wren Everlasting Mix. You’ll find creamy white, golden yellow, orange, deep garnet red, light pink/peach, and watermelon pink in this mix, which is perfect for so many different palettes.

China Asters

China Asters are just right for late summer and fall and come in a wide variety of colors. Our absolute favorite aster is Tower Chamois. These flowers are so spectacular we went back and forth on whether or not they should even be on this list because they could also be a stunning focal flower. There are so many great color palettes to pair the Tower Chamois aster with, but a couple of our favorites are Distant Drums roses or Bloomquist Alan dahlias. They last well out of water for installations, too – as seen on the bodice of this beautiful Triple Wren Dahlia Dress from 2018! You can find the seeds here.


Scabiosa is a true winner when it comes to filler flowers. Our favorite is Black Knight Scabiosa with a close runner up being perennial Fama White. Black Knight is as close to black as you can find in a flower, which adds instant drama to your bouquets. Not only do people love it, but so do bees! You can buy seeds in our shop.