In gardening, few things are more satisfying than growing a flower from a seed. From the first little sprout peeking through the soil to the flower finally blooming, the entire process is fulfilling.
But some flowers are much harder to tend to than others, and it can be quite frustrating when you put time into trying to get them to grow and nothing happens. Choosing flowers that are easy to grow is much less frustrating. Here are some easy options to consider.
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15 Easiest Flowers to Grow from Seed
This flower is commonly known as Columbine, and it’s very easy to grow because it easily adapts to so many different types of conditions. That said, they do best in rich, moist, well-drained soil with a little bit of shade.
Aquilegia grows to between one and three feet tall and blooms from mid-May and into June is properly maintained. They attract hummingbirds, and they self-seed easily. The plant usually lives for about three or four years.
When growing Columbines from seeds, add them directly into the garden anytime from early spring to the middle of the summer. They germinate faster in the light and won’t grow large enough to produce flowers until the early spring.
You can also start Aquilegia indoors, but they’re a little more temperamental when growing them this way. Sow them in pots, then keep them in the fridge for one to three weeks. Then, move them to a temperature of 70 to 75 degrees (24°C) and they should germinate.
2. Bachelor’s Button
Many gardeners love the true blue coloring of the bachelor’s button or Centaurea cyranus. They resemble small carnations but are much easier to grow. Some people might think this plant grows a little too quickly.
These plants reach a height of about 48 inches and form dense, bright blue flowers, but some cultivators have developed pink, red, and white versions. Seeds are extremely affordable and easy to come by, and the plants are likely to return year after year.
Sow the seeds about ½ inch under the soil in late winter, right into the garden. You can’t plant them too early. They’ll be fine in the ground until they’re ready. Keep the seeds moist until they germinate, which can be as quickly as 10 days after the temperature warms up.
3. California Poppy
California poppies are so easy to grow that they often take over vacant lots and empty fields, covering the area with their bright orangey-yellow blossoms. The foliage is nice to look at, too.
To grow California poppies from a seed, it’s best to start them indoors as they are not tolerant to frost and low temperatures. Press the tiny seeds gently into the soil about eight inches apart and water gently. They should germinate in about two weeks.
Once it warms up, plant the seedlings in the spring in flower beds or containers. The foliage will establish first, and the flowers show up quickly, peaking in early summer.
Cleomes don’t start to bloom until they’re well-established, but when they do, you’ll love the large clusters of white, pink, and lavender. These plants mature to about three or four feet in height and attract hummingbirds and bumblebees.
These flowers are easy to start from a seed, but you will have to wait until they mature to see them bloom. They self-seed, too, which means they can spread quite a bit. Wait until after the last frost and sprinkle the tiny seeds over the soil. They should start to sprout in about ten days. You can also sow them in the fall, and they will germinate the following spring.
Cosmos are daisy-like flowers that come in a broad range of colors, including white, pink, yellow, magenta, red, orange, and even chocolate. They have long, slender stems and attract birds, butterflies, and bees.
You can start the seeds indoors about four weeks before the last frost, but they’re easy to grow outside, too. Loosen the top ten inches or so of soil, then sow the seeds and cover them with about ¼ inch of soil.
When temperatures reach 75 degrees (24°C), they can germinate in as little as a week, but it may take up to 21 days. They flower for as long as 60 days.
Calendula belongs to the same family as the daisy, but it has a distinctive look all its own. This flower has orange, pink, yellow, and cream varieties.
To grow calendula from seeds, sow them directly into the soils just before the last spring frost. You can also start them indoors about six to eight weeks before the last expected frost. Most plants bloom for the first time within two months. They often self-seed, too, and you can collect and replant the seeds or let them replant themselves.
Fuchsia needs a little more attention than some of the other seeds mentioned, but it is still very easy to grow from seed. That said, these flowers are best started indoors. Use a 50/50 mixture of peat moss and vermiculite. Choose plump, dark seeds and place them on the surface. You don’t even need to cover them.
Make sure the seeds are near a regular light with about 12 inches between the bulb and the soil. Cover the container with some plastic wrap to create humidity and maintain a temp around 72 degrees (22.2°C).
Mist the seeds as needed to keep the surface damp. The seeds should sprout in one or two weeks.
This flower features bold, edible leaves and comes in a variety of colors, including cream, orange, salmon, red, and yellow.
You can sow the seeds directly into the ground or start them indoors. That said, their roots are very sensitive when they’re young, and they may not tolerate transplanting well, so starting outdoors is a better option.
If planting outdoors, sow the seeds within one or two weeks after the spring frost. Place them about 12 inches apart and about a half-inch deep. These plants are not picky about soil conditions, though they should be well-draining. Choose an area where they get full sun for the best blooms. They should germinate in a week or so.
Marigolds are a popular flower because they are so bright and colorful. These compact blossoms resemble carnations and are adaptable and low maintenance.
Starting marigolds from a seed is very easy. While you can start them indoors, they’re so easy to grow outside that it’s not worth the extra effort. Sow them directly into the soil, you just have to wait for the weather to warm before they start to germinate.
10. Morning Glory
Morning glories grow fast, as much as ten feet in a single growing season, and love to grow up walls, trellises, and fences. These plants are excellent self-sowers, and once you get one going, you’re likely to see them coming back year after year.
One of the coolest things about this plant is the life of the blooms. They remain closed until they open in the morning, close again by afternoon, then die. Each flower lives only one day, and they are loved by bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
While their vines grow quickly, they do take some time to flower. Because of this, it’s best to start the seed indoors. Sow them about three weeks before the expected last frost. Soak the seeds in water for 24 hours before planting.
Then, place them in the soil, about ½ inch deep, and cover with potting mix. Be sure to keep the potting mix damp and the temperature at least 70 degrees. You can sow them directly into the soil, too, just wait until the ground reaches 64 degrees. Typically, they will bloom by early July or early August.
Nigella is fluffy with fern-like foliage, and while the blue color is the most familiar, you can also find this flower in pink, purple, and white.
You can plant nigella right in the soil, but it’s important to prepare the ground well first, just wait until outdoor temperatures reach a steady 60 degrees (15.6°C). Choose a sunny spot with good drainage and rake the surface before adding the seeds.
Seeds usually take about two weeks to germinate, with seedlings developing within eight weeks. They should be kept around eight inches apart and kept moist but not wet. You can continue sowing through the late summer, and you may see some kind of growth until the winter.
Pansies are easy to grow, but they do have a long germination process, so you do have to be patient and plan. Start the seed 14 to 16 weeks before the expected last frost if you want to plant outside in the spring.
Water the seedbed first, then sow the seeds in thin rows. Cover the pots to block out any light and keep them in temperatures of about 65 to 75 degrees to encourage germination. The soil should be damp but not wet.
Sunflowers grow very fast and are very easy to care for. Direct sowing is the simplest way to grow sunflowers from seed. Just wait until the last frost to plant the seeds. Keep them about a foot apart, and depending on the variety, thin them to two to four feet apart as they reach about six inches tall.
14. Sweet Peas
Sweet peas are fast-growing flowers that come in multiple colors, including blue, white, lavender, red, and pink. To grow them from seed, you can directly sow them into the ground. Nicking the coating of the seeds can help them germinate.
Plant outside as soon as the ground temperature reaches 50 degrees (10°C) and is slightly damp but not too wet. They typically bloom in the spring.
Zinnias are warm-season plants that require minimal care. They come in a range of colors, from bright pinks and purples to warm yellows and reds to cool whites. There are many varieties of zinnias. Some grow tall, some shot, and some spread. All are easy to grow.
Plant zinnia seeds in the spring after the last frost. They start to grow when the temperature is warm enough. You can start them indoors, too, but growing them directly outdoors is so easy, there’s no reason not to.
Tips for Growing Flowers from Seeds
Growing flowers from seeds are not difficult, but here are some tips to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible if you’re starting your seeds indoors.
1. If you’re starting seed indoors, put them somewhere where they are out of the way and will stay warm and draft-free. Placing them on top of a radiator or heat mat is a good idea, as long as it’s not too hot and the temperature doesn’t fluctuate too much.
2. Seedlings need a lot of light, about 12 to 16 hours a day. If you’re growing them indoors, fluorescent light is ideal.
3. Don’t sow too many seeds, and plan to thin them if you do. Some people like to plant more seeds than they need, and then pull the ones that aren’t thriving to make sure all the seedlings are strong. Or, you can just plant fewer seeds in the first place.
4. When you start to see true leaves, assess which plants are worth keeping. Any seedling that isn’t keeping up or that looks weak should be pulled or snipped off at the soil level. This gives the strong seedlings a better chance since they won’t have to compete for nutrients.
5. Use diluted fertilizer once you see the first true leaves. Then, slowly expose the sprouts to the outdoors, starting with an hour or two every day until you work them up to being outdoors full time.
Growing flowers from seeds is so rewarding, but some are much easier than others. The 15 flowers we mentioned here are all great choices if you want something that will look beautiful with minimal effort.