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Easiest Annual and Perennial Flowers to Start from Seed

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Some annuals and perennials are easier to start from seed than others. Sow all seeds with some care.

Seeds sown in the open garden should be planted in well-prepared loamy soil; add plenty of aged compost to the planting area in advance. The soil surface should be light and find; this will allow roots to penetrate easily. If the soil is stiff or heavy add a mixture of sand and humus to lighten the texture.

Seeds can be started indoors in a greenhouse or sunny window in pots or flats of well-pulverized soil or seed starting mix. If only a few plants are desired, use pots. Use flats if you are starting a number of plants.

Clean the pots or flat then add seed starting mix or finely sifted soil composed of equal parts garden loam, humus, and sand. Scatter the seed thinly over the surface then press the seeds into the soil; large seeds should be covered as deep as their diameter. Set a piece of glass or plastic over the top of the pot or flat and place it in full sunlight.

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Morning glory, Ipomea tricolor ‘Heavenly Blue’

Annual and perennial flowers that are easy to start from seed

Botanical Name (Common Name)Zone
Shasta daisyRudbeckia spp. (Black-eyed Susan)3-10
CelosiaCelosia spp. (Celosia)Annual
EchinaceaEchinacea purpurea (Purple coneflower)3-9
centaureaCentaurea cyanus (Annual cornflower)Annual
cosmosCosmos spp. (Cosmos)Annual
HollyhockAlcea rosea (Hollyhock)3-11
TagetesTagetes spp. (Marigold)Annual
IpomeaIpomoea tricolor (Morning glory)Annual
Shasta daisy, Leucanthemum
Shasta daisy, Leucanthemum
Botanical Name (Common Name)Zone
Viola pansy Viola spp. (Pansy)Annual
Shasta daisyLeucanthemum x superbum (Shasta daisy)4-9
Snapdragon Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)Annual
sunflowerHelianthus annuus (Annual sunflower)Annual
Sweet peaLathyrus odoratus (Sweet pea)Annual
YarrowAchillea spp. (Yarrow)3-9
ZinniZinnia spp. (Zinnia)Annual

Good Products for Seed Starting Success at Amazon:

Also of interest:

Starting Plants from Seeds

When to Seed Start Annual Flowers

24 Annual Flowers to Plant in Summer

Tender Annual Flowers

How to Care for Annual Flowers

Growing Annual Flowers for Summer Bloom

Designing With Annual Flowers

Easiest Annual and Perennial Flowers to Start From Seed

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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