12 Easiest Flowers To Grow From Seed (2022)

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Fruits and vegetables nourish the body, but flowers nourish the soul. If you have always admired gardens bursting with flowers, but always thought it was beyond your skill level to recreate the same in your own home, I’ve got great news for you. There are so many easy ways to grow flowers out there, many of which can be grown right from seed. 

I love flowers, I plant hundreds every single summer despite the fact or season is so short.  But to wander through the garden, sit on the deck admiring my flower beds, or peek out at my flowers in my window boxes gives me immense happiness.  I mean, I really love flowers.

If you’ve ever had the desire to grow your own flowers from the ground up, keep reading! I’m going to show you the twelve most beginner-friendly flowers that practically anyone can grow!  These are the flowers that I started with, and the first flowers that made me fall in love with gardening.

Five blooming flowers on single stems.

Why should I grow flowers from seeds?

First of all, you may be wondering if it’s even worth the effort to grow a new crop of flowers from seed packets. Wouldn’t it be easier to buy them pre-grown and stick them into the soil?

In some ways, yes, but in other ways, no.

Here’s why you should consider using seeds instead of pre-grown plants.

  1. It’s cheaper. Buying a packet of wildflower seeds can contain anywhere from a dozen to over a hundred seeds, and often costs about $3. If you were to buy that many pre-grown flowers, you would be spending significantly more money!
  2.  It’s easy. Again, direct sowing seeds into the ground is simple. You’ll need to follow the directions on the seed packet for each particular variety, but it often involves creating a nice peat-moss or soil surface and sprinkling seeds on top. This method is way easier than digging deep into the dirt to plant individual flowers.
  3. It’s family-friendly. If you have a little one that is aching to help out in the garden, here’s their chance! Yes, even a toddler can help sow seeds (just keep a close eye to make sure they end up in the ground, not their belly). Here’s a great article about why planting seeds is so beneficial for children.
  4. It’s fun. You can take pride in your work and point out to people that you grew these beautiful blooms from scratch. Now that’s fun!
Flower seedlings growing in starter pots.
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12 Easiest Flowers To Grow From Seed

Now that you know why you should consider growing flowers from seeds, let’s talk about which varieties. It’s important to choose flowers that are easy to grow from seed, or you may find it’s more trouble than it’s worth.

Not every flower is a good candidate, but these are twelve of the easiest flowers to grow from seed, and are a gorgeous additions to any garden.

Sweet Peas

Sweet peas are one of my favorite flowers to grow in my garden. I love the scent, and the absolute wall of color that these plants can create. Give them a trellis to climb and they will cover it with their vines, which bloom along their length. They are easy plants to grow in a shady spot, making them perfect for some of the trickier spots in your garden.

Plant your sweet pea seeds about an inch deep in the soil, a few weeks before the last frost date. Once the vines start to poke out of the soil, you’ll see blooms within 30 to 45 days.

  • Sow Method: Direct sow outdoors as soon as the soil is workable. -or- Start indoors 3-4 weeks before planting out.
  • Blooms: Early Summer
  • Light Needs: Sun to partial shade.
  • Water Needs: Heavy and frequent. Keep soil moist.
  • Height: 15 inches to 6 feet, depending on variety!
  • Width: 8-15 inches
  • Zone Requirements: 2 – 11
A vine of sweet pea with pink flowers.

Annual Phlox

Native to Texas, the annual phlox is an early-season bloom, the annual phlox is robust and known to be a very hardy annual. The annual phlox makes a great addition to an entryway planter where everyone who comes and goes can breathe in their fantastic scent. This flower, which blooms in spring, also attracts beneficial pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

  • Sow Method: Plant indoors eight weeks before the last frost.
  • Blooms: Spring to summer
  • Light Needs: Full Sun to partial afternoon shade
  • Water Needs: Keep the soil damp to the touch to encourage blooming
  • Height: 6 to 12 inches
  • Width: up to 2 feet wide
  • Zone Requirements: 2-11
Bright Pink Phlox with dark green foliage on a bright white background

Calendula

Calendula looks beautiful everywhere, but I especially like them as a garden border plant. Their cheerful yellow and orange blooms also work well in container gardens. Calendula multiplies too and can fill in containers and empty areas of a garden in no time flat.

Calendulas are also known as English Marigolds or Pot Marigold. They are available in different colors, although finding seeds for anything other than the traditional yellow can be difficult.

The flowers and leaves are fully edible, and the petals can be used to make natural yellow fabric dye. They grow well in shadier spots and are a good choice for a spot that only gets sun for part of the day.

  • Sow Method: Directly sow seeds into the ground or start indoors
  • Blooms: Spring and fall
  • Light Needs: Full sun to Part Shade
  • Water Needs: Keep the soil damp to the touch to encourage blooming
  • Height: 20-24 inches
  • Width: 10-12 inches
  • Zone Requirements: 2-11

Learn More:

Bright yellow calendula flowers on a white background.

Cornflowers

These quick-growing blue flowers, also commonly called bachelor’s buttons, look like miniature carnations. Their blue color looks fantastic with bright yellow or orange flowers like marigolds. An edible flower, try adding bachelor’s buttons to salads for a splash of color. 

Fickle spring weather won’t faze cornflowers, and bees love these early summer bloomers. 

  • Sow Method: Directly into the ground after last heavy frost
  • Blooms: Early summer until the first frost
  • Light Needs: Full Sun 
  • Water Needs: Keep soil evenly moist to the touch to encourage blooming
  • Height: 30 inches
  • Width: 10-12 inches
  • Zone Requirements: 2-11
Blue cornflowers on a white background.

Morning Glory

Morning Glories get their name from the fresh buds that bloom each morning and die off by late afternoon. New buds are formed every day during the blooming season. This vast growing vine will quickly climb any trellis or support to create beautiful vertical shows of flowers.

This is a low-maintenance plant, with no deadheading required because of the self-replacing blooms. The biggest concern is ensuring Morning Glory doesn’t try to take over neighboring flower beds or topple its own trellis.

Morning Glories can be perennial flowers in hot, frost-free climate zones.

  • Sow Method: Start indoors 5-6 weeks before the last spring frost, then plant out 2 weeks before last frost.
  • Blooms: Late summer to early fall
  • Light Needs: Full sun for best results, so choose a nice sunny spot.
  • Water Needs: 1 inch per week, don’t allow to dry out completely.
  • Height: Up to 10 feet (!)
  • Width: 6-12 inches
  • Zone Requirements: 3-10
Morning Glory vine with bright blue flowers growing in the garden.

Cosmos

Cosmos are classic cottage garden flowers that mix well with almost everything. If you are dreaming of freshly cut bouquets from your garden all summer long, choose this gorgeous bloom. Cosmos is a beginner-friendly, hardy flower that can overcome numerous obstacles, including poor soil, drought, and general neglect. 

  • Sow Method: Directly into the ground 
  • Blooms: Late spring, summer, fall
  • Light Needs: Full Sun 
  • Water Needs: Keep soil evenly moist
  • Height: 36-48 inches
  • Width: 12-14 inches
  • Zone Requirements: 2-11

Learn More:

Pink Cosmos flowers on a white background.

Four o’clock

Four o’clock flowers come in a huge variety of colors and patterns. An old-fashioned garden favorite, they are pleasing to both the eyes and the nose with their sweet fragrance. Sometimes you’ll even get multi-colored flowers on the same plant. These beautiful flowers open around 4 p.m. (thus the name) and close the following morning again. 

  • Sow Method: Directly into the ground or start indoors
  • Blooms: Summer and fall
  • Light Needs: Full Sun
  • Water Needs: Keep soil evenly moist
  • Height: 24 inches
  • Width: 10-12 inches
  • Zone Requirements: 2-11

Learn More: 10 Lovely Flowers That Bloom at Night

Four O'clocks grown from seed blooming in the garden.

Johnny Jump ups

Also known as violas, these flowers get planted a little earlier than the others if needed because they can handle a frost. A relative of the Pansy, these violas are very winter hardy and eager self-sowers in the shade of summer plants. One can enjoy more blooms in the fall if you cut back your violas in the heat of summer.

  • Sow Method: Start indoors
  • Blooms: Spring or fall
  • Light Needs: Full Sun 
  • Water Needs: Keep soil evenly moist
  • Height: 10 inches
  • Width: 6 inches
  • Zone Requirements: 3-8

Learn More: How to Grow and Care for Pansies

Three Johnny Jump Up blooms on a white background.

Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums are a great way to brighten any garden in shades of red, orange, and yellow. Not only are they lovely to look at, but they also help repel pests in the garden. They do not require good soil or fertilizer and tolerate neglect well. As a bonus, nasturtiums have edible flowers with a fun peppery flavor. They look lovely on top of a bright green salad!

  • Sow Method: Start indoors
  • Blooms: Spring or fall
  • Light Needs: Full Sun 
  • Water Needs: Keep soil evenly moist
  • Height: 10 inches
  • Width: 6 inches
  • Zone Requirements: 3-8

Learn More:

Nasturtiums on a white background.

Petunias

Petunias are among the most popular annuals due to the many showy, colorful blooms they add to any garden or container. These sturdy, pest-resistant plants can put on loads of flowers all season long and come in a wide variety of colors and patterns to suit any need.  Petunia seeds are straightforward to start inside, and I always tend to begin mine too early (too eager!).  When planting season rolls around, my house gets overrun with pots and blooming petunias – it’s a good problem to have. 

  • Sow Method: Start indoors
  • Blooms: Spring, summer, and fall
  • Light Needs: Full Sun 
  • Water Needs: Keep soil evenly moist
  • Height: 12-15 inches
  • Width: 10-12 inches
  • Zone Requirements: 2-11

Related: See our article on how to grow big, full, brilliant petunia hanging baskets and keep them healthy all summer long. Or, rea this article on proper petunia deadheading practices.

Vibrant purple petunias grown from seeds on a white background.

Poppies

Not only are California Poppies some of the easiest flowers to grow from seed, they’re also some of the fastest flowers to bloom. California poppies mature from seed to flower in about two months. These pretty annuals only take a year to establish in your garden, so you can enjoy their blooms year after year if you are in a warm enough zone.  These very quick-blooming flowers provide bees and butterflies with much-appreciated pollen early in the season when little else is in bloom.  I like to think the bees remember that and set a path to my vegetable garden for the rest of the season, but that may be the gardener’s wishful thinking.

  • Sow Method: Start indoors
  • Blooms: Spring and summer
  • Light Needs: Full Sun to part sun
  • Water Needs: Keep soil evenly moist
  • Height: 12-36 inches
  • Width: 12-24 inches
  • Zone Requirements: 3-9  (I am in Zone 2, and I have had great success with California poppies even those they are not recommended for my zone) 

Learn More:

Yellow poppies in bloom.

Bachelor’s Buttons

Bachelor’s buttons bloom early, and stay in bloom for long time, giving them great bang-for-your-buck. Simply sow the seeds in the ground as soon as the soil is workable, and make sure they have enough water, and they will produce pretty blue blooms for you.

Bachelor’s Buttons also produce a lot of pollen and nectar, making them a favorite of bees and other pollinators.

  • Sow Method: Direct sow 2 to 3 weeks before the last frost date for best results. Warm weather zones can also plant in late summer or fall. Indoor starting is not recommended, as Bachelor Buttons don’t transplant well.
  • Blooms: Late spring to early summer.
  • Light Needs: Full sunlight.
  • Water Needs: 1 inch per week.
  • Height: 1-6 feet, depending on variety.
  • Width: 1-2 feet
  • Zone Requirements: 2-11
Three Bachelor's Button flowers, one of the easiest flowers to grow from seed.

Zinnias

If you want a flower that has lots of color options, look no further than zinnias! Not only does this bloom come in almost every color imaginable, but they also have different sizes and shapes. In addition to adding their bright hue to a garden, they are also some of the toughest annuals you can plant. While you sow this one after the last frost, remember that they are slow growers who love the heat. You may have to wait until it’s warm before seeing them pop up, but the wait is worth it! 

 If I have large areas around my house where I want flowers, I grab handfuls of zinnia seeds and toss and scatter them around.   By midsummer, those areas are popping with bright, thick, lush patches of flowers perfect for cutting and bringing into the house in vases and bouquets.  Zinnia seeds are also great for filling containers and pots with flowers.

  • Sow Method: Directly sow seeds in early spring after the last frost or start indoors to give them a head start
  • Blooms: Late summer and early fall
  • Light Needs: Full Sun 
  • Water Needs: Keep soil evenly moist
  • Height: 15-24 inches
  • Width: 15-24 inches
  • Zone Requirements: 2-11
A single pink Zinnia on a stem.

A Quick Note About Time to Maturity

Flower seed packets rarely list estimated days to maturity, but most annual flowers need roughly 95 days from seed to flower. The flowers listed above start blooming in as little as 60 to 70 days when grown under the proper spring conditions.

Remember, growing flowers from seeds is a fun, money-saving way to grow flowers each year. I hope that this list of the easiest flowers to grow from seed has given you lots of inspiration for easy-to-grow flowers to plant in your garden this year.

Editorial Note: This post was originally posted on March 14, 2020, and was updated on February 16, 2022.