We get a lot of questions from followers about growing flowers from seed and many of them come from gardeners who are intimidated by this concept. Using seeds can be a cost effective gardening method and it is perhaps even more gratifying to have beautiful flowers that you’ve grown yourself than ones you purchased from the store. The truth is there is no reason to be apprehensive about growing flowers from seed as the seed packet tells you all you really need to know and if you pick the right plants to grow it can be a great deal of fun. Here are 5 easy annual flowers that you can grow from seed in your garden:
- Cosmos - This flower comes in a range of colors including rose, pink, white, yellow and orange. It tolerates a range of soil types and frankly does better when planted in poor soil types. It withstands heat and drought and is rarely bothered by diseases or pests. Its versatility is a real plus as it looks great in the back of a flower border and produces lots of cut flowers for arrangements. The seeds are large and easy for children to plant too.
- Hyacinth Bean Vine - If you are looking for an annual flowering vine to try in your garden than this may be just what you are looking for! The Hyacinth Bean Vine can grow up to 15 feet in a single season and its purple leaves and blue flowers provide a very unique and interesting addition to any yard. It will start blooming in mid-summer and bloom into the fall while attracting pretty butterflies to your yard. They perform best in rich soil and you should soak the seeds in water the night before you plant them to promote germination.
- Marigolds - This is a prolific bloomer that can adapt to a variety of soil conditions. They are drought and heat resistant and need full sun to look their best. Picking the faded flowers produces more blooms and you can use Marigolds in containers, flower beds or even your vegetable garden as its scent is a deterrent to many insects. Its blooms come in shades of red, orange, yellow and even white. No yard is complete without some Marigolds in it!
- Portulaca - The hotter the better for this flower! It loves the heat and thrives in dry soil conditions that most other plants can’t tolerate. It is a great container plant or you can use it in a rock garden or even as an annual groundcover. The seeds are small so mix them with some sand or soil in a cup and then just spread the mixture where you want the flowers. Water them in and you’ll have flowers in no time!
- Zinnia - No annual flower may symbolize summertime better than Zinnias. They bloom from mid-summer to fall producing a bounty of flowers that can fill your home with beautiful blooms. There are a wide variety of colors and sizes to choose from and there is a Zinnia for just about any purpose in your yard. They are not fussy about soil type except it should not be overly wet and they do best in full sun. They love the heat and when planted in Mid-May can be flowering by the 4th of July!
If you have never tried to grow flowers from seed we promise that if you try one of these flowers you’re going to love the results!
Hyacinth Bean Vine photo courtesy of Jill Mazur.