You can save money on flowers for your garden by buying more seeds and fewer plants. Looking for the best flowers to grow from seed? Read on for my all-time favorites …
Both annuals and perennials can be started from seed – some fare better started indoors (transplant them outdoors after your average last frost date); and others do well sown directly in the dirt.
Starting plants inside can be very fun and rewarding … a delightful family activity … plus it helps satisfy your itch to dig in the dirt and garden during the cold months of the year.
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These 12 flowers are among the easiest to grow from seed (in alphabetical order):
These traditionally blue flowers look like miniature carnations. They look especially great next to yellow or orange-colored flowers, such as marigolds.
Bachelor’s Buttons do well in full sun and are considered an annual flower in zones 5 & 6. There are also varieties with pink, lavender, maroon, dark purple or white blooms.
Buy a packet of seeds, and sow them directly in your flower bed. They flower from mid-summer until the first frost. Collect the brown seed pods at the end of the season, and plant them in another area of your garden next year.
These blooms are often gold or orange, and they make a nice edging plant or container plant. Calendula is so easy to grow even those who think they have a black thumb can do it. They have very funny looking seeds that look a little bit like dried up worms ( making them a fun seed to plant with kids!).
One seed can grow a large plant (about 2 feet tall) and produces many flowers. Direct sow the seeds in your garden, or start them indoors, and transplant them later. They will self-seed from season to season.
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These spring and early summer-blooming perennials come in many colors and prefer partial shade. My fave is the gorgeous purple hue pictured at the right.
The seeds can be started indoors or directly sown into the soil. Columbine is a vigorous re-seeder, but the re-seeding does not tend to get out of hand. Allow them to self-seed, and they’ll come back year after year, with no work from you.
Cosmos make good cut flowers for bouquets and bloom all summer long. They’re considered annuals, but will self-seed readily. They will even tolerate poor soil, so they’re truly low-fuss flowers.
If you’re looking for a flower that will stay in bloom for months and can be grown by simply scattering seeds, cosmos are a great choice! They are the quintessential cottage garden flowers and mix well with just about everything.
These flowers open in the afternoon–hence their name–and also have a lovely fragrance. The flowers remain open throughout the night and into the morning, when temperatures rise and the flowers wilt.
Like daylilies, four o’clock flowers bloom just a single time, then wilt and eventually fall off the plant. They bloom from mid-summer to fall. Four o’clock flowers can be pink, red, magenta, lavender, salmon, yellow, or white.
You will have to plant marigolds each year since they’re annuals. But they’ll bloom all summer if you keep them deadheaded. Save some of the seeds at the end of the season, and use them to replant next year.
The foliage is strongly scented and the flowers are generally yellow, orange, rust or multi-colored. Sow seeds directly into the garden once the soil is warm in the spring. You can start seeds indoors, but they germinate so easily outside that there’s really no advantage.
Morning glories are easily grown from seed and can be started indoors four to six weeks before the last spring frost. If sown directly into the garden, plant after any threat of frost.
This prolific vine is often grown on trellises or arbors. Use them to create a colorful wall or to cover an unsightly area!
The name “morning glory” references how the flowers of this plant will open fully in the morning sun. They are especially known for the blue varieties, but also are available in white, purple, red, and yellow.
This easy care plant can be grown from seeds directly sown into the soil, or to get an earlier start, you can plant indoors. The leaves and flowers are edible and often added to salads.
Nasturtiums are a popular cut flower due to their lovely fragrance and beautiful shades of orange (love it!) red, and yellow. Nasturtiums do not require good soil or much care. In fact, you’ll get more blooms, if you skip fertilizing them.
Shasta daisies are super easy to start from seed. Indoors, sow them about 6-10 weeks before your last frost date. Outdoors, wait until all danger of frost has passed before sowing seeds.
These are perennials with a long blooming period, and are good for flower borders and using as cut flowers. They’re good spreaders, so you don’t need many plants to establish a large bed.
Daisies are generally low maintenance and thrive in full sun conditions. They are the cheeriest of flowers and always bring a smile to my face!
An annual plant, sunflowers have big, daisy-like flower faces of bright yellow petals (and occasionally red) with brown centers that ripen into heavy heads filled with seeds. Most sunflowers are remarkably tough and easy to grow as long as the soil is not waterlogged. Most are also heat- and drought-tolerant.
It’s best to sow sunflower seeds directly into the soil after the danger of spring frost has passed. Give plants plenty of room, especially for low-growing varieties that will branch out.
Sunflowers don’t start blooming until late in the season, but when those giant blooms finally emerge, it seems well worth the wait!
Sweet peas thrive in cool temperatures, so it’s important to get them blooming early, before summer heat knocks them out. You can plant them outdoors as soon as the soil can be worked in spring. These annuals are climbers and make nice cut flowers.
They come in a huge array of colors and patterns and are among the best flowers to grow from seed. Most will grow to 5 or 6 feet, but there are shorter “bush type” varieties that are well-suited to containers.
Sweet peas are happiest with their heads in the sun and their roots deep in cool, moist soil. When possible, plant low-growing annuals in front of them to shade their roots.
This annual adds a lot of color to the garden. They LOVE hot weather, and may not take off until the heat is really on.
It’s recommended that you grow zinnias from seed right in the garden bed, as they do not like to be transplanted and do not often thrive. From seed, they will grow very quickly in the right conditions … choosing a location that gets full sun is essential.
Zinnia seeds are easy to save. Simply let the flowers dry fully on the stem, then collect the seedheads and lightly crush them in your hand to release next year’s seed crop.
Best Flowers To Grow From Seed – Seed Starting Tips:
Plastic Pots Preferred Plastic pots or containers are preferable to clay pots when starting seeds, as they retain moisture more consistently. I have a good friend who uses recycled yogurt containers … just make sure you punch holes in the bottom for drainage. Wide, shallow containers prevent both overcrowding of seedlings and excessive moisture around fragile, young roots.
|Don’t Over Water Keep your seeds moist but not soaking wet. If they are too wet, and the temperature is warm as it should be, you could start to see mold growth. You want your seeds to get enough water, but not too much.
To avoid disrupting the soil when watering, use a spray bottle with a “mister” nozzle instead of a heavy stream of water. Don’t let your soil dry out, check daily!
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Make Sure You Start Enough Seeds It’s a good idea to plant more seeds than you will need. This will allow you to pick the healthiest ones.
You prepare for thinning by planting seeds more densely (meaning closer together) than you actually want your plants to grow. After the plants emerge from the soil, let them grow for a little while (a week or two, for most crops), then pull up some of the plants such that the remaining plants (the biggest, healthiest looking ones) are approximately the distance apart recommended.
Transplant Seedlings At the Right Time As soon as your second set of true leaves have formed on your seedling, they are ready to be transplanted . If the threat of frost has not yet passed, you can move them into a larger container and continue growing them indoors or in a greenhouse if you have access to one.
Interested in growing plants from seeds? Definitely check out my post on Growing Vegetables From Seed for tips and inspiration! Homegrown veggies are the absolute best!!