12 Fastest Growing Flowers to Grow in Your Garden (2022)

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Flowers are the perfect solution if you’re looking for a quick way to spruce up your front or back yard this summer. There’s no need to wait months to see results in your garden beds – plant these 12 fast-growing flowers and enjoy them in your garden in just a few weeks!

We chose these flowers for their quick visual impact on a garden. Some of these fast-growing plants take less than 30 days to bloom, and some were chosen because they can bloom outdoors in less than 60 days if started indoors first.

It’s not quite instant gratification, but it’s about as close as we can get in the flower garden!

Bouquet of pink flowers. Cosmos flowers picked from the garden and placed in a clear glass vase.

Choosing the fastest-growing flowers

We chose these 12 varieties of flowers because they will produce beautiful flowers quickly, so you don’t have to wait for a beautiful garden.

Some of these flowers, like Zinnias, were chosen because they grow fast from seed to bloom, with little extra work. Others, like California Poppies, can be started indoors to give them an early start on growth, meaning they will bloom early in the season.

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Zinnias only take a short time to reach their full size, making them a perfect choice for last-minute plantings. They’re also effortless to care for and will produce brightly colored flowers that dazzle your neighbors! They also make wonderful additions to easy cottage garden designs.

Smaller zinnias will bloom in just a few weeks, while larger ones require more time.

Zinnias are drought-tolerant annual flowers that can be planted in almost any place except North America’s coldest regions. They will grow well in USDA zones 2 to 11.

Zinnias are also available in various colors and petal styles to fit your personal taste or home decorating needs!

  • Sow Method: Directly in the ground after the last frost, or start indoors
  • Light Needs: Zinnias like full sun, so choose a nice sunny spot for them
  • Water Needs: Keep soil evenly moist
  • Height: 15-24 inches
  • Width: 15-24 inches
  • Zone Requirements: 2-11

Bloom time: 6-7 weeks after planting


Bright pink single bloom of a  zinna flower against a bright white background

Sweet Peas

Sweet peas can be started a few weeks before the last frost date, giving them a head start on growing and blooming. For example, if you plant out in May, you’re sure to have blooms by early July.

Sweet peas are a cool weather plant that will do well in partial shade so that you can plant them close to your house without concern for the heat. Plant your seeds about an inch deep and thin them out when they get too crowded.

They typically take around 30-45 days to bloom after the first signs of vining.

Sweet peas are one of my absolute favourite flowers, and I plant them en-mass every single year to fill my garden and yard with their lovely heady scent. In addition, they make an amazing cut flower.

  • Sow Method: Direct sow outdoors as soon as the soil is workable. -or- Start indoors 3-4 weeks before planting out.
  • 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

Bloom time: 4-6 weeks (started indoors 4 weeks early)

Soft pink petaled sweet pea flowers against a bright white background.

California Poppies

The California poppy only takes 45 days to bloom! That makes it one of the fastest growing flowers on our list.

They need lots of sun, so make sure they are planted in an area with full exposure to sunlight. These beauties will grow well around rocks and other low-maintenance plants that don’t require fertilizing or watering.

Take care not to plant them too deep; only a few inches down should be enough.

  • Sow Method: Start indoors
  • 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)

Bloom time: 45-60 days

Bright yellow-orange california poppy against a bright white background.


Marigolds are a must-have in any garden, and they only take 45 days to bloom!

Plant them in a sunny location with well-drained soil. This flower is relatively trouble-free and can withstand high temperatures as long as it’s watered regularly.

It would help if you planted marigolds about 12 inches apart from one another for each plant you want to grow. You can also plant them in your vegetable garden to help keep away pests and attract beneficial insects.

I start marigolds indoors a few weeks before it’s time to plant out, and they are always one of my fastest growing flowers.

  • Sow Method: Direct sow well after the last frost date. – or – Start seeds indoors 6 weeks before the last frost date.
  • Light Needs: Full sun
  • Water Needs: 1 inch per week from rain or watering. Let marigolds nearly dry out between waterings.
  • Height: 12 – 24 inches
  • Width:  10 – 24 inches
  • Zone Requirements: 2 – 11

Bloom time: 45 days

Bright orange ruffled petal marigold flower against a bright white background.


Another favorite for me, especially in the summer months, is nasturtiums. They are one of the fast growing flowers we plant annually and will grow well in the sunlight or shade with moist soil. These flowers add color, texture, and so much more!

This plant only takes 45 days to bloom and can be planted in any well-drained soil, even those neglected during the winter months. Plant these flowers about 12 inches apart from one another so you’ll always have blooms!

I always add nasturtiums to my vegetable garden to wind and grow along with my pumpkin vines. They always add a lovely pop of color.

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

Bloom time: 45 days

Pretty yellow nastritum flower with bright green leaves against a bright white background.

Annual Phlox (my favorite fast growing flower)

Annual phlox (phlox drummondii) is a favorite for borders in the spring and also does well as an annual.

This plant only takes 55 days to bloom and has beautiful purple or pink flowers that will come back every year. Plant these flowers about 12 inches apart from one another so you’ll always have blooms on your hands!

I love the showiness of these flowers, and they’re a favorite in my garden. There is even a night-blooming variety, perfect for a nighttime garden.

Annual phlox will bloom from early spring to mid-summer.

  • Sow Method: Plant indoors eight weeks before the last danger of frost.
  • 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

Bloom time: 55 days

Beautiful soft pink and purple annual phlox stem  in full bloom against a bright white background.

Sweet Alyssum

Sweet alyssum is a short plant that will grow about 12 inches high and take up very little space! 50 days to bloom is what these plants need, which means you can have bright flowers blooming by early-mid spring. Plant them about 18 inches apart so they’ll have room to grow.

Alyssum has a wonderful sweet scent and works well in flower beds, cottage gardens, and borders.

  • Sow Method:  Direct sow outdoors several weeks before last frost. – or – Start seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before last frost, and plant out after the last frost date.
  • Light Needs: Full sun or part shade
  • Water Needs: 1 inch per week. Alyssum can withstand short droughts.
  • Height: 10 – 12 inches
  • Width: 10 inches
  • Zone Requirements: 7-10

Bloom time: 50 days

Pretty delicate small flowers of alyssum isolated against a bright white background.

Bachelor Buttons

To grow bachelor button, you will need a full sun location with well draining soil. These plants bloom from late spring to early summer and are beautiful in rock gardens, borders, or cottage garden settings.

These tiny flowers are excellent for drying and using in craft projects like potpourri.

Bachelor buttons only take 30 days to bloom. The colors range from blue to purple, white, and yellow.

Bachelor buttons also have a high supply of nectar and pollen making them an excellent choice to keep your local bees fed.

  • Sow Method: For best results, direct sow 2 to 3 weeks before the last frost date. Warm weather zones can also plant in late summer or fall. Indoor starting is not recommended, as Bachelor Buttons don’t transplant well.
  • 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

Bloom time: 45 days

Three bright blue stems of bachelor buttons against a bright white background.



Cosmos flowers are a great addition to any garden with their unique color combinations and free-flowering nature. In addition, they are one of the easiest flowers grown from seed, which makes them perfect for any new gardener.

Colors range from purple, pink, red, yellow, and orange. They are showy flowers with delicate petals that really stand out against dark foliage.

Cosmos are fast-growing annuals, and they can grow up to 24 inches tall. They also have a beautiful fragrance that attracts pollinators in droves.

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

Bloom time: 50-60 days

Lacy delicate pink petaled cosmos flowers against a bright white background.


Sunflowers grow quickly even when planted by seed, and they provide a showy display of color with their large heads.

The flowers are considered drought-tolerant, so you don’t need to worry about not getting enough water or nutrients if your garden is in an area that struggles during the summertime months. They also work well as cut flowers, which allow you to enjoy them inside your home as well as in the garden.

  • Sow Method: Direct sow sunflower seeds outdoors after the last chance of frost. Indoor seeding is not necessary for sunflowers.
  • Light Needs: Full sun.
  • Water Needs: Half to a full inch per week. Don’t let them dry out completely.
  • Height: 5 to 12 feet (!) depending on the variety.
  • Width: 1 to 3 feet
  • Zone Requirements: 2-11

Bloom time: 12 weeks (speed this up by planting indoors 4 weeks before the last spring frosts in your zone and have blooms in 60 days)

Vibrant yellow showy sunflowers against a bright white backrgound.

Fastest Growing Flowers for the Impatient Gardener!

It’s time for summer flowers! Pick a few of the fast-growing flowers we have on our list and get planting. With just a few seed packets you’ll have beautiful flowers in no time. Be the envy of the neighborhood when your garden is in full bloom before everyone else’s!

Now that you know the fastest-growing flowers check out our other flower posts to get more ideas and tips on caring for your blooms.

Editorial note: This post was originally published on August 11, 2021, and was updated on February 14, 2022.

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