There's a certain level of pride and satisfaction that comes from starting seeds indoors, under grow lights. Setting up the lights, choosing just the right seed starting mix, sowing the seeds carefully, and watching over the soil for little sprouts to emerge. And then faithfully nurturing those seedlings every day, monitoring their progress with anticipatory glee. Soon those babies will be growing in your garden! But darn it all, don't you sometimes want to just shove a seed into the ground, splash it with a hose and come back in a few days to see it growing all on its own? That can happen... Some annual flowering varieties actually prefer being sown where they're meant to grow, and don't require a lot of attention to thrive. Here are our top ten picks for the absolute easiest flowering annuals to grow from seeds!
Used as edible garnishes, as a natural food dye and as cut flowers, Bachelor's Buttons are as gorgeous as they are versatile and practical. Bee friendly and deer resistant, they grow up to 3' tall and are wonderful in cottage and cutting gardens, where they thrive without coddling. They prefer to be direct-sown in a nice sunny spot as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring.
We offer three varieties of Bachelor's Buttons. The Frosted Queen Mixture
is composed of deep blue, purple, pink, rich burgundy and white bi-colors. The intricate artistry of each flower is amazing. Blue Boy
is a beguiling cornflower-blue heirloom that has vibrant ½" to 1" double flowers. Black Ball
's dark burgundy-black flowers are dramatic both in the garden and in bouquets.
This old-fashioned annual is considered a standard in summer bouquets and gardens. Zinnias have come a long way from those of our childhoods. Now they come in extravagantly double- and cactus-flowering forms, and in an ever-growing array of heights and flower sizes. Zinnias may be seeded directly into the garden after the last frost date. Plant them 1/2" deep in well-draining, loamy soil with full sun.
Originally a North American native, it is said that the Mormons scattered Sunflower seeds along their journey to Utah so that others could follow their sunny path months later. Direct-sow in well-draining soil with good sunlight every three weeks after the last spring frost date for continual blooms throughout the summer.
We offer seeds for nine individual Sunflower varieties, two custom mixes, one mix specifically for snacking seeds, and one discounted collection.
Prolific Love-in-a-Mist, AKA Nigella, is an easy-to-grow annual, 18" to 24" tall, with delicate, wispy, star-shaped flowers, narrow, spindly foliage and dramatic seed pods. Its seed pods are widely revered in dried arrangements. Nigella is best direct-sown outdoors although it may be started indoors 6 to 8 weeks before transplanting out after all threat of frost has passed.
Spider Flowers are old-fashioned annuals that were popular in Victorian-era cottage gardens. Just as beautiful in today's gardens, Spider flowers have very broad, spider-like blooms with variably elongated pistils and stamens that create a fireworks-in-the-garden effect. Direct-sow Spider Flowers into the garden after the last spring frost date. Carefree Spider Flowers are easily grown, and once established, they are heat and drought tolerant, and deer resistant.
We offer seeds for three individual Spider Flower varieties and one colorful mix.
Many a gardener discovered their obsession at an early age with a packet of humble marigold seeds. These old-fashioned flowers are oh-so-easy to grow and add reliable color to gardens of every size and style. Rediscover their care-free, aromatic charm, with the added bonus that their flowers are edible! Marigolds are lovely in containers and window boxes. Direct-sow the seed after the last spring frost date, or start indoors 4 to 6 weeks before.
We offer seeds for six individual Marigold varieties and four colorful mixes.
A favorite cottage garden annual from yesteryear, Cosmos is an easy-to-grow self-seeder that thrives in virtually any soil. Prized as a romantic cut flower, Cosmos is now available in a rainbow of vivid colors and an exciting range of unusual forms, patterns and heights! It prefers to be direct-seeded after the last spring frost date in sunny spot. It's happily bee friendly and deer resistant.
We offer seeds for nine individual Cosmos varieties and eight colorful mixes.
A continuous performer from early summer through the first fall frost, these spectacular climbing annuals grow up to 10' tall and begin their show each morning with profuse, trumpet-shaped flowers amongst lush, heart shaped, light-green foliage. It may be direct-sown after the last spring frost date or started indoors 4 to 6 weeks earlier. They prefer full sun, well-draining soil, and lean soil to maximize flower production.
We offer seeds for ten individual Morning Glory varieties and three mixes.
Prized for their sweet-spicy flavor, these mounding heirlooms are among the most widely grown of all edible flowers. And we adore the deep blue-green edible leaves as much as their flowers. We use them as doilies under cheese platters, cakes and individual soup tureens in which the flowers float. Easy to grow in full to filtered sunlight, this beloved annual may be direct-sown after the last spring frost date.
We offer seeds for nine individual Nasturtium varieties and four colorful mixes.
An old-fashioned favorite, this extremely decorative, edible flower, AKA the Pot Marigold, is varying shades of deep saffron-yellow, peach and orange; hence its nickname, The Poor Man's Saffron. Scatter its petals over salads and soups like confetti! Calendula may be direct-sown as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring, or raised indoors as transplants to put out after the last spring frost date.
We offer seeds for one individual Calendula variety and two colorful mixes.