Growing flowers from seed is so fun and rewarding (not to mention, budget-friendly). And despite what you might think, you don't have to be a master gardener to achieve beautiful homegrown blooms.
There are many stunning varieties that are really easy to start from seed, and will reward you with a summer display in a matter of weeks. And while you can start these flowers off indoors for an earlier show, they can also be direct-sown, once the weather has warmed, which requires even less work.
8 pretty picks that are easy to sow and grow
'They are the perfect plant to grow with your children, as the seed, which is about the size of a pea, is easily handled by small fingers,' she says. 'Once they sprout, nasturtiums grow very quickly and they are also very flexible in that they can be used in containers such as a window box, as a bedding plant, as an annual ground cover, or as a vine climbing up a trellis or cascading over a wall.
'The flowers come in variations of yellow, orange, and red, and while the flowers are typically what gardeners focus on, the foliage is very interesting in its own right,' Susan continues. The leaves look almost like lily pads, and they share the same pepper-like taste as the edible blooms, she adds. 'As a matter of fact, the more sun and heat the plant receives, the spicier its leaves and blooms taste. The blooms and leaves can be used in soups, and they are particularly beautiful when combined with spinach in a salad. You just want to be sure that you don’t harvest the blooms and leaves if you’ve used any pesticides in their vicinity.'
You can direct-sow these seeds straight into the ground outdoors in a sunny spot once frosts have passed. These annual flowers are unfussy about the soil type, as long as it's well drained.
You can shop for a variety of nasturtium seeds from Burpee.
'Cosmos have qualities that make them ideal for many parts of your garden and just because they are easy to work with, doesn’t mean they don’t have a lot to offer gardeners of all skill levels,' says Susan.
'Cosmos are attractive to butterflies, hummingbirds, and unfortunately, rabbits who find them to be quite delicious! Old-fashioned Cosmos, such as those found in cottage gardens, usually come in white, pink, and purple colors. Newer varieties have been introduced over the past few years that come in colors such as yellow, orange, and red.' There are also cosmos that have double flowers and smaller varieties that have been bred to flourish in containers, she adds. These 'Double Click Bicolor Violet' cosmos from Burpee are sure to delight with their ruffled petals.
These are good flowers for starting indoors, although you can also direct-sow them when frosts have passed. If sowing them in seed trays, remove the shoot tips to encourage strong side shoots and a bushier form, before transplanting them into individual pots. Grow them on somewhere sunny and warm until it's time to plant them into their final positions outdoors. Once they're flowering, keep deadheading them to encourage more blooms.
'The quickest and earliest varieties take 70 days from seed to flower, but the tall varieties take much longer,' says John Negus, a gardening expert. But if you've planted them late, don't worry – they can flower all the way up into mid-fall.
'Marigolds [otherwise known as calendulas] are a cheerful, easy-to-grow flower that will bring a touch of sunshine to any garden,' says Becky Decker from Gardeninghood.com. 'These flowers are not picky about soil type and can be sown directly into the garden in spring.
'To get the best results, make sure to thin them out once they start to sprout so that they don’t overcrowd one another.'
Susan Brandt is also a fan of these flowers. 'Calendulas resemble mums in their appearance, and like mums, they are great in both containers and flower beds.' They have been a popular choice in cottage gardens for generations, she says. 'The colors of the flowers are usually yellow, gold, or orange and they are particularly beautiful when mixed with plants that have blue or purple flowers.
'Once the seeds sprout the plants grow quickly and often will flower in as little as 60 days,' Susan adds.
You can also try collecting the seeds from these plants for more flowers the following year.
'These beautiful blue flowers are perfect for adding some color to your garden beds or containers,' says Stephen Webb, Author and Founder of Garden's Whisper, a website specializing in gardening. 'They're also very easy to grow from seed, requiring only minimal care once they've been planted.'
Also known as bachelor's buttons, they are good plants for attracting pollinators, and are often included in wildflower meadow seed mixes. Simply direct-sow them once frosts have passed and keep the soil moist. They should germinate within around 7-10 days.
Deadheading will encourage more flowers, as will watering them during dry periods. If you leave some of the flower heads on, they will self-seed.
'The large seeds of the sunflower are very easy to sow either in pots or straight into the soil where you want the plants to grow,' says John.
Plant the seeds in spring, for flowers from the middle of the summer to the late fall, says Becky Decker. 'To ensure success, be sure to soak the seeds overnight before planting and keep them moist during their first few weeks of growth,' she adds.
Tom Monson, the Owner of Monson Lawn & Landscaping, also recommends these cheery bloomers, advocating them as a 'must-have for any garden'.
'Sunflowers need plenty of sun, so plant them in a spot that gets at least eight hours of direct sunlight each day,' he advises.
If sowing outdoors, it's a good idea to keep an eye out for slugs, and put deterrents down where possible to protect the vulnerable seedlings as they appear.
'Sunflower seeds have a life of more than ten years if kept cool and dry, such as in a sealed plastic bag in a fridge,' says John. However, if you've found an old packet of seeds and want to give them a try, it's worth checking their viability first. Do this by sprinkling a few onto a sheet of damp kitchen paper placed in an open ice cream container, positioned in a warm place, such as on a boiler or in an airing cupboard, John instructs. 'If, within a week or so, the majority of seeds germinate and you are aware of tiny sprouts, the remaining seeds will still be very much alive and will grow well for you.'
Try growing 'Fire Catcher' sunflower seeds, from Burpee, for beautiful bicolored blooms.
'Poppies are another great choice for the beginner gardener,' says Becky Decker.
They are best sown directly outdoors in the fall or in winter, but you can also sow them in early spring. Plant them in a sunny, sheltered spot.
'Make sure to keep your poppy seedlings moist, since they require plenty of water to germinate. Once they start to sprout, thin them out to ensure that they get plenty of room to grow.'
Zinnias dazzle with their range of jewel-like colors, and butterflies and bees adore them. Again, these can be sown directly outdoors once temperatures have warmed and frosts have finished. They thrive in a sunny spot in well-draining soil. Thin the seedlings out as they grow.
Alternatively, you can sow these flowers indoors for an early start, about six weeks before the last expected frost.
Once they're established, these plants are drought-tolerant, meaning they won't require much maintenance. However, deadheading is worth doing to encourage more blooms.
8. Sweet peas
Sweet peas have large seeds that are easy to handle, and sowing them is simple.
Many gardeners choose to start them indoors. Growing them in deep trays or modules, such as these Tierra Garden root trainers from Amazon, means you won't need to disturb the long roots too much when transplanting them.
Pinching out the tips of your sweet pea seedlings will help them develop more stems, meaning more flowers. And if you're growing them in a greenhouse, stand them on a bed of gravel to keep slugs and snails away, recommends John.
Once the temperatures are warmer, you can plant them out, ensuring you harden them off, first. 'Before planting out, improve the soil where you want your sweet peas to grow by digging in lots of well-rotted compost or manure,' advises John. And once they're blooming, the more you pick, the more flowers will be produced.
Alternatively, you can direct-sow them in spring – but keep an eye out for slugs.
Even if you're brand new to gardening, have a go at growing these flowers from seed – you'll soon be rewarded with a gorgeous display in your backyard.
And if some don't work out, don't be discouraged. You can always try again next year (or even sow a fresh batch if it's early enough in the growing season). In the meantime, plug plants bought from garden centers will offer a quick and easy flower fix.
Petunias, poppies and sunflowers have been recognised as some of the fastest growing flowers, taking only a fraction of the time to germinate and bloom compared to some of the more challenging plants.What are the easiest and cheapest flowers to grow? ›
Some of the easiest flowers to grow are widely available. These include flowers like Zinnias, Portulacas, Impatiens, and Marigolds.What flowers grow the easiest? ›
Easy annuals such as sunflowers and zinnias are simple to start from seed, perennials require little care and return year after year, and bulbs are practically foolproof when planted properly.What is the easiest perennial flower to grow from seed? ›
- Columbine (Aquilegia spp.)
- Ornamental Onion, Chives (Allium spp.)
- Pinks (Dianthus spp.)
- Catmint (Nepeta spp.)
- Purple Coneflower (Echinacea spp.)
- Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia spp.)
- Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale)
- Anise Hyssop (Agastache spp.)
Its name is Anthurium and is often called the world's longest blooming plant. Each heart-shaped flower spike can last up to eight weeks. The largest genus of the Arum family, Anthurium andraeanum is commonly known as Tail Flower (the Greek word for tail flower), Flamingo Flower, Painter's Palette or Laceleaf.What flowers bloom multiple times? ›
- Astilbe (Astilbe x arendsii 'Bridal Veil', 'Fanal', 'Pumila' etc..) ...
- 2. ' ...
- Wood Betony (Betonica officinalis 'Hummelo') ...
- Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) ...
- Bleeding Heart 'Luxuriant' (Dicentra formosa) ...
- Catmint (Nepeta racemosa) ...
- Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
- Bird of Paradise.
The tiny aquatic plant Wolffia, also known as duckweed, is the fastest-growing plant known.What flowers are easiest to keep alive? ›
- Siberian Iris. Plant them in full sun to part shade, and carefree Siberian irises will bloom in early summer. ...
- Portulaca. ...
- Catmint. ...
- Sunflowers. ...
- Honey Bee On Aster. ...
- Zinnia. ...
- Marigolds. ...
The best time to plant any plant is during the dormant season – in North America, this is usually late fall through early spring. While it's okay to plant during the rest of the year, it will require more maintenance from you in the form of watering, fertilizers, etc.
- Snake Plant (Dracaena trifasciata) ...
- Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior) ...
- Chinese evergreens (Aglaonema) ...
- African Violet (Saintpaulia) ...
- ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) ...
- Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) ...
- Heartleaf philodendron (Philodendron cordatum) ...
Planting Directions for Flowers: Spring and/or Fall Plant
For April, May or June blooms, plant seed directly outdoors August-October. For June, July, August and/or September blooms, plant your seed outdoors March-June. Seedlings normally tolerate a light frost.
It's official: beans, peas, and pumpkins are among the top ten easiest plants to grow from seed, according to a list created by the Home Garden Seed Association. Also on the list: cucumbers, zinnias, cosmos, sunflowers, lettuce, radishes, and squash.What plants produce a seed but no flower? ›
Non-flowering plants include mosses, liverworts, hornworts, lycophytes and ferns and reproduce by spores. Some non-flowering plants, called gymnosperms or conifers, still produce seeds.What is an easy perennial flower? ›
Hummingbird Mint | Agastache Hummingbird Trumpet | Zauschneria Ice Plant | Delosperma Jupiter's Beard | Centranthus Lamb's Ear | Stachys Lamium | Deadnettle Lavender | Lavandula Milkweed | Asclepias Ornamental Grass Penstemon | Beardtongue Perennial Herbs Phlox Poppy | Papaver Prairie Coneflower | Ratibida.What are the two fastest-growing plants? ›
Some species of bamboo can grow more than 1 meter per day, which is about 4 cm per hour. No other plant grows faster. Two examples of such fast growing bamboos are Madake (Phyllostachys reticulata) and Moso (Phyllostachys edulis).What plant seeds last the longest? ›
Beans, like the Chocolate Runners, are among the longest storing seeds, often sprouting after a century in ideal storage conditions.What flower takes 100 years to bloom? ›
The agave americana plant is known as a century plant because it typically blooms once every 100 years at the end of its life cycle.What plant takes 100 years to bloom? ›
But no, the agave americana is definitely from Earth. It's also known as a century plant because it only blooms once every 100 years (roughly) and then dies.Is there a plant that flowers all year round? ›
Alyssum is a warm zone perennial plant, which means it can bloom all year in climates like California. It has small, fragrant white, pink or purple flowers and grows best in full sun. In cooler climates, it can act as an annual and will need to be replanted each year.
Giant Himalayan Lily
Massive white-and-purple trumpet-shaped flowers appear from the 10-foot-tall plant after about seven years.
The titan arum is a flowering plant, native to Indonesia's island of Sumatra. The plant's full bloom only once every seven to ten years. This rare event only lasts 24 to 36 hours.What is the most rare blooming flower? ›
The Middlemist Red is considered the rarest flower in the world. It is found in London and New Zealand, with only one specimen in each location. It used to be native to Asia but is now extinct on the continent. John Middlemist was responsible for bringing the flower to London in 1804.What is the longest flowering perennial? ›
Yarrow is one of the longest flowering perennials that grows best in full sun with well-drained soil of average fertility; over-fertilizing can cause the stems to flop over. Flower colours can range from soft pastels to rich jewel shades. Deadhead spent flowers by clipping the flower stem back to the main foliage.Is there a flower that blooms all summer? ›
There are plants like Geraniums, Heucherella, Spiderwort, Stella de Oro Daylily, etc. that bloom all summer and increase the beauty of a garden. Some perennials are toxic to small pets and even dogs, it is important to make sure that these plants are not in your garden.What is the number 1 beautiful flower? ›
1. Rose. The rose is considered the most beautiful flower in the world, which is why it's called the “queen of the garden.” It's one of the most popular flowers worldwide, and it comes in different sizes and colors. Also, they're very common throughout the world.What is the happiest looking flower? ›
All You Need to Know About Sunflowers - The Happiest Flower on Earth. The majestic sunflowers are said to bag the title of the happiest flowers on earth – and much can be attributed to their brilliant, yellow petals and tall green stems that remind us of the sweet summer sun.What is the friendliest flower? ›
There is something special about a daisy; for some reason, they just are “happy” flowers. Normal and easy to find, they are always fun and add a little bit of whimsy to your garden.What flower takes 50 years to bloom? ›
The giant nolina, also known as giant beargrass, is a California native plant found only in the Kingston Mountains of the eastern Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County, according to the Botanic Garden.Which flower blooms rarely and smells like death? ›
Once a plant blooms, it may bloom again in as little as two or three years. A 2010 scientific study found that the corpse flower smells like a combination of cheese, sweat, garlic, decomposing meat, feces and rotting fish.
- Shasta Daisy. Shasta Daisies are easy to grow. ...
- Coneflower. Coneflower is a mid-summer bloomer that's a great cut flower. ...
- Hardy Hibiscus. Hardy hibiscus loves full sun and attracts both hummingbirds and butterflies. ...
- Perennial Geranium. ...
- Hosta. ...
- Ferns. ...
- Catmint. ...
The short answer is that annuals don't come back. Plants that flower and die in one season are annuals—although many will drop seeds that you can collect (or leave) to grow new plants in the spring. Annuals will also typically bloom all season until frost, so you get consistent color and showy blooms.What is the most common flower in spring? ›
Tulips are some of the most popular spring flowers, coming in a range of colours, shapes and sizes. Choose brightly coloured tulips for a cheerful display or pair maroon and white tulips for a more dramatic look. You can also buy frilled and peony-flowered tulips for a different look.What week should I switch to flower? ›
Growers can switch to the flowering stage as soon as the clone has established a solid root system. In optimal conditions, plants should be kept in their vegetative stage for approximately 60 days. This time period should give the plant the opportunity to maximise yield and acclimatise to growing conditions.What plants should a beginner start with? ›
The best houseplants for beginners include Peperomia, Spider Plant, ZZ plant, and Phalaenopsis Orchids. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned gardener, you will undoubtedly enjoy a plant that looks great without demanding too much of your time and attention.What plants should a beginner grow? ›
- Summer Squash. Summer squash has two main varieties that are both some of the best plants for beginner gardeners: zucchini and yellow squash. ...
- Peppers. What is this? ...
- Radishes. ...
- Green Beans. ...
- Tomatoes. ...
- Potatoes. ...
- Strawberries. ...
If there is no vegetation in the space where you plan on growing wildflowers, your chances of success may be a bit better if you simply toss the seeds onto the ground. However, if you really want to ensure their success, preparing the soil is highly recommended!How late is too late to plant seeds? ›
So it's really never too late to start seeds. It is good to succession sow seeds for radishes, Little Gem lettuce, bunching onions, spinach, cabbages, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, cilantro, and even the fast growing zucchini. Sowing often ensures a continual long harvest of crops.What is the hardest flower to grow from seed? ›
Orchid. Ah, the orchid: notoriously one of the hardest plants to grow.Which seed grow fast in 3 days? ›
Chives are a great herb to grow on your kitchen counter! They come up very quickly—it'll only take 2-3 days for chives to sprout.
- Marigolds. Marigolds (Tagetes spp.) will normally sprout within five to seven days, given the right conditions. ...
- Zinnias. ...
- Dianthus. ...
- Quick Sprouting Tips.
Lima beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, navy beans, and black beans are easy to grow in a Ziploc bag with a wet paper towel. These plants sprout super fast, and children love watching their food grow!What is a pretty flower? ›
Rose. The rose is considered the most beautiful flower in the world, which is why it's called the “queen of the garden.” It's one of the most popular flowers worldwide, and it comes in different sizes and colors.What's the hardest plant to keep alive? ›
1. Fiddle-leaf fig. While the fiddle-leaf fig may be trending on Instagram, it is also leads the list of the hardest houseplants to keep alive, with 61% of people failing to do so. This pretty plant hates an environment change, so doesn't respond well to moving around the house, or when moving homes.Is there a perennial that blooms all year? ›
'Autumn Joy' Stonecrop. 'Autumn Joy' is a perennial flower that blooms all year and that can be grown in zones 3-9 across the variety of climates that can be found in these zones.