There is nothing better than color in the garden, whether it’s in container plantings or in the ground, annuals or perennials. And if you like starting your own plants before transplanting them in the garden, we’ve got good news for you — there are numerous flowers that take well to this, and it’s quite easy to do.
What we’re talking about is starting flowers from seed, then transplanting them into your garden.
Why start flowers from seed?
If you like saving money, starting flowers from seed is for you. If you like being a part of the entire life cycle of a plant, this is also for you. And if you’re an avid DIYer, this is really for you. Starting flowers from seeds allows you to be hands-on in your garden, giving you an amazing sense of accomplishment and connection.
What flowers should I start?
There are annual flowers and perennial flowers. Annuals live for just that one growing season, then die. Don’t be sad; they can live on in your compost pile. Perennials live for a number of years, but are typically dormant in the wintertime. Here are some suggestions of each type that you can easily grow from seed in a pot now, then transplant in your garden later. Hint: The larger the seed, the easier to start.
- Annuals: Although fast-growing annuals like sunflowers, zinnias, and calendulas will all grow from seed started in a pot or seeding tray, it’s their fast-growing Ninja skills that make them better suited to direct sowing in the ground from the beginning. Because they grow so quickly, they develop deeper roots early on and don’t like being disturbed. So if you want to start annual flowers in pots and then transplant them, go for annuals like marigold, morning glory, cosmos, ageratum, celosia, and gomphrena.
- Perennials: Remember that because perennial flowers are longer-lived than annuals, some can take much longer to bloom when started from seed. We’re talking a couple of years here. So, if your goal is to start perennial flowers from seed in order to have blooms in your garden this year, focus on those that will deliver the goods — coreopsis, dianthus, oxeye, blanket flower, gaura, yarrow, and shasta daisy. Perennials grown from seed also take a bit longer to germinate, so don’t worry if you don’t see them poking their heads out of the soil during the first week.
When do I transplant them into the garden?
Keep in mind that the larger the flowers grow in their container, the more difficult time they will have enjoying a transplant. They’ve put down their roots and are happy where they are, thank you. So aim to transplant anytime after they’ve developed a couple of sets of true leaves (the first two pairs you’ll see aren’t true leaves — start counting after those appear), but your best bet is to read up on a particular flower’s preferences from the beginning to ensure success.