Easy To Grow Flower Seeds: The Best Starter Flower Seeds For New Gardeners

By: Tonya Barnett, (Author of FRESHCUTKY)

Like any new hobby, learning to garden requires patience and a bit of trial and error. Though some types of plants are more difficult to grow than others, novice growers can ensure that they have the best chance of success with minimal advanced planning. Selecting beginner flower seeds will be key in learning more about growing your own garden, as well as in the creation of a beautiful outdoor space.

Best Flower Seeds to Start With

When beginning to garden, planning a new growing season can feel quite exciting. With so many available options, it is easy to overestimate one’s own abilities. It is for this reason that many suggest starting small, with only a few different varieties of easy to grow flowers seeds. Flower seeds for beginners most frequently refer to those which are easy to handle, germinate readily with little attention, and those which do not require frequent care from the grower after planting. While these may sound like limiting factors, choices of flower seeds are actually quite abundant.

Among the best flower seeds to start with are annuals. Annuals are types of plants which grow, flower, and produce seeds all within the same season. Many perennial flowering plants can also be grown from seed but may need more advanced skill to be successful. Growing flower seeds for beginners is an excellent way to get children involved in outdoor learning experiences and help to nurture an interest in the outdoors.

Easy to Grow Flower Seeds

  • Amaranth– Amaranth are prized for their unique, colorful foliage and large seed heads. Large plantings offer growers a beautiful summer display which lasts into fall.
  • CelosiaVarious types of celosia are great starter flower seeds for those looking for ornamental options which offer dynamic visual interest. Odd, crested flowers and plumes in a wide range of bright colors make these plants highly appealing in the landscape.
  • CosmosMany easy to grow flower seeds, like cosmos, can be directly sown into prepared garden beds. Cosmos flowers are most commonly offered in bright orange or shades of white, pink, and purple.
  • MarigoldsMarigolds are exceptionally popular among vegetable gardeners who wish to implement companion planting techniques. Marigolds are frequently referred to as the best beginner flower seeds to start with tomatoes.
  • SunflowersSunflowers are a fun plant to grow, regardless of garden size. From small dwarf varieties to those which are exceptionally tall, bright, and vibrant sunflower blooms are a quintessential plant of summer.
  • ZinniasZinnia seed comes in a wide range of colors. These plants are especially attractive to bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. This makes them ideal for growers who wish to attract pollinators to their yard space.

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17 Easy-To-Start Seeds for Beginner Gardeners

Treehugger / Allison McAdams

Starting your own plants from seed is easy. If you've tried in the past without success, give these 17 seeds a try this year. Growing your own garden from seed can be less expensive than buying seedlings from the garden center, and cheaper than buying produce from the supermarket.

Bachelor's Button (Centaurea cyanus)

These blue flowers look like miniature carnations and tend to attract butterflies. Sow the seeds directly in your garden bed after the final frost of spring. Or you can start them roughly six to eight weeks before your projected last frost date, and then transplant the seedlings into your garden once the weather warms. They will flower from mid-summer until the first frost of fall and require very little care from you besides watering during prolonged dry spells. Collect the brown seed pods at the end of the season to plant in your garden the next year.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11 (annual)
  • Color Varieties: Blue
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Needs: Average, medium moisture, well-draining

Nigella (Love in A Mist)

Nigella is an incredibly easy plant to grow. Simply scatter nigella seed across a patch of bare soil and let it look after itself! With jewel-like flowers and delicate ferny leaves, nigella is much tougher than it looks. As the flowers fade, this pretty plant will set seed for the following year. What could be simpler!

Seed starting happens in two stages: germination and growing. Germination is the sprouting stage, when the root and leaves emerge from the seed. You won't need light at this stage because it occurs under the soil, but you will need gentle warmth (not harsh heat). You can provide heat by using special heat mats. These will keep your seedlings about 10 degrees F warmer than the air temperature, allowing for faster germination. Once you see green sprouts about ½-inch tall, you need plant lights. You can remove heat mats as long as the room temperature is between 60-70 degrees F.

While water is essential for plant growth, overwatering is the most common cause of seedling failure. Sow seeds in an evenly pre-moistened mix. It should be moist but not soaking wet. Loosely cover the container to hold in humidity while seeds germinate, allowing for some air circulation. Burpee’s seed-starting kit lids are designed perfectly for this! Remove the lid after 50% of seeds have sprouted. Once plants are up, they need more light and air circulation to thrive.

Zinnias (Zinnia spp.)

If you like the look of dahlias but don’t want the fuss, grow zinnias. This is the way to go if you want an entire cutting garden of ruffled blooms from one packet of seeds. Zinnias are eager to germinate and perform in your summer garden, but the trick in getting them to grow is to give them warm conditions. They will wither away from damping-off fungus in your cold spring soil. Plant them outside about the time you set your tomatoes out when evening temperatures average 60 degrees Fahrenheit. You can start them indoors a month before​ the last frost if you desire earlier blooms.

The many cultivars of zinnia are derived from one of several species:

Zinnia elegans (common zinnia): Plants 1 to 4 feet tall on hairy branching stems produce flowers ranging from daisy-like single blooms to dense pompoms (depending on variety).

Zinnea angustifolia (creeping zinnia): With many low-growing varieties, creeping zinnias also have narrower leaves than the common zinnia.

Zinnia grandiflora (Rocky Mountain or prairie zinnia): This group includes small narrow-leaved plants about 6 inches tall with yellow-orange flowers.

Zinnea haageana (Haage's zinnia or Mexican zinnia): These are narrow-leaved plants up to 2 feet tall with 1-inch flower heads containing yellow rays and orange center disks.

  • USDA Growing Zones: True annual grown in all zones
  • Color Varieties: Red, yellow, orange, pink, rose, lavender, purple, green, white
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Needs: Moist, well-drained soil

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