Cheap and Easy to Grow Flowers from Seeds

15 Cheap & Easy to Grow Flowers from Seeds

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Flowers often steal the show in home gardens. They add color and texture to any bed or border, often with the showiest flowers being annuals. Buying from plants can be expensive, especially when it comes to annual flowers that need to be replaced each spring. A much more affordable option is to grow flowers from seed.

For this list, I’ve gathered some of my favorite flowers that are easy to start from seed and add a splash of color to your garden. The list is a mix of common annuals and perennials, many of which bloom in the first year. Any of these plants is perfect for beginner gardeners looking to save money or kids who want to learn about the lifecycle of flowers.

15 Cheap & Easy to Grow Flowers from Seeds

Best Flowers to Grow from Seed for Your Garden

1. Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums - Flowers Easy to Grow From Seeds
Beautiful and edible, nasturtiums are a great addition to your flower bed or your vegetable garden (this companion plant will repel some pests). The flowers and leaves have a spicy flavor and are a beautiful garnish to any dish. Easy to grow and drought tolerant, this is a great flower to grow with kids who are learning to garden.

Nasturtiums do best direct sown in the garden after your last frost date. They’re annuals in most zones but will reseed without any effort.

Type: Annual

Recommended Varieties: Jewel Mixture, Dwarf Jewel, Black Velvet

Light Requirements: Full Sun

2. Sunflowers

Sunflowers Easy to Start from Seed
Nothing amazes me more each summer than watching a seed grow from a little seedling into a giant 6 foot plus sunflower. But there’s more options than just the traditional giant sunflower. There’s plenty of color variations, heights, and sizes of flowers. I enjoy growing mixes of yellow, red, and orange sunflowers along the sunny side of my garage. They’re also perfect along fences or to form a garden border.

Plant directly in the garden, but make sure to protect seeds and shoots from birds and squirrels. Rabbits may also enjoy eating young sunflower plants.

Recommended Varieties: Mammoth Grey Stripe Sunflower (for edible seeds), Evening Sun Sunflower (for red color)

Type: Annual

Light Requirements: Full sun

3. Black-Eyed Susan

Black-Eyed Susan Easy to Grow Perennial Flower from Seed
This classic yellow flower, known also as rudbeckia, is easy to grow from seed as long as you get an old fashion open-pollinated variety. Some of the newer and fancier varieties don’t grow true to seed.

Start indoors about 6 to 8 weeks before your last frost date. The seeds will germinate better if you stratify them in a refrigerator for four weeks before planting. You can also direct plant into your garden once daytime temperatures are consistently over 60F. Black-eye susans will also self seed if not dead headed in the fall.

Recommended Varieties: Classic Yellow Black-Eyed Susan, Vine Blend (Thunbergia alata)

Type: Perennial

Light Requirements: Full Sun

4. Marigolds

Marigolds Cheap Flowers Grown from Seeds
Marigolds are a favorite flower of the vegetable gardener and while they’re cheap to buy at the nursery in the spring, they’re even cheaper to grow from seed. For your vegetable garden, Marigolds will attract polinators as well as beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings. They’re low maintenance and help add a beautiful border to raised garden beds.

Start seeds indoors about four to six weeks before your last frost date. Once they’re planting in a sunny spot they will really take off.

Recommended Varieties: Crackerjack, French Sparky Mix

Type: Annual

Light Requirements: Full Sun

5. Calendula

Calendula Flowers Easy to Grow from Seed
Another easy to grow but beautiful flower, Calendulas offer varieties of daisy-like orange and yellow flowers. I like to grow mixes and enjoy a variety of colors. It’s perfect for flower beds or containers and can be started indoors or direct sown. Expect flowers to appear in 6 to 8 weeks and continue blooming through the fall.

While they’re an annual in most gardening zones, Calendulas will easily reseed themselves if you don’t cut down the flowers at the end of the season.

Recommended Varieties: Pacific Beauty Mix, Ball’s Orange

Type: Annual (Perennial in zones 9 to 11)

Light Requirements: Full sun to part shade

6. Blanket Flower

Grow Blanket Flowers from Seed Cheap and Easy
Another beautiful wild flower-esq option, I really love two toned red and yellow Blanket Flowers. These flowers are low maintenance and add a lot of bright color to your garden. They’re easy to grow from seed and can be direct sown or started indoors.

Plant in the garden after danger of frost has passed or start indoors 4-6 weeks before last frost date. Blanket flowers need light to germinate so barely cover the seed with soil.

Recommended Varieties: Blanket Flower, Red Mesa

Type: Perennial

Light Requirements: Full Sun

7. Cleome

Cleome - Flowers to Grow From Seed
If you’d like a low maintenance annual with a unique appearance, consider the flower Cleome. Also known as spider flower or grandfather’s whiskers, this plan grows clusters of whispy flowers atop long stems. It works well in wildflower gardens and will easily self seed year after year. Plant directly in the garden after the danger of frost has passed: just sprinkle the seeds on the soil and cover with a thin layer of dirt.

Recommended Varieties: Spider Blend, White Cleome, Violet Cleome

Type: Annual

Light Requirements: Full Sun

8. Zinnias

Zinnia Flowers Grown from Seed
One of my absolute favorite annuals to plant in the garden, zinnias offer a range of beautiful colors in bold flower heads. They’re perfect as cut flowers or just to enjoy in your garden bed. Many of the fluffier varieties remind me of dahlias without the high maintenance needs.

The general recommendation is to start zinnias outdoors once the air and soil temperatures are above 70 degrees, but we usually started them under grow lights indoors and transplant when the weather is warm enough.

Recommended Varieties: California Giant, Peppermint Stick Zinnia, Thumbelina (dwarf variety)

Type: Annual

Light Requirements: Full sun

9. Columbine

Columbine Perennial Flowers Grown from Seed
One of my favorite flowers in the garden, Columbine does take two years to flower after growing from seed, but it’s worth saving the money if you want to have a lot of it in your garden. While you may know the classic blue Columbine, this flower actually comes in a variety of colors, including beautiful two toned options.

Start seeds indoors a month before your last frost date. The seeds do best if cold stratified for 3 to 4 weeks before planting. Lightly cover the seeds with soil as they need light to germinate. Sow directly in the garden in spring to early summer.

Recommended Varieties: Giant Star Mix, Blue Star Columbine, Colorado Blue Columbine

Type: Perennial

Light Requirements: Full Sun to part shade

10. Celosia

Celosia Cheap Flower to Grow from Seed
Related to amaranth, Celosia adds color to your garden with a constrasting texture and flower shape. Many varieties look like a feathery plume while others have an appearance closer to coral. Many people grow them to use as cut flowers in bouquets.

We recommend starting celosia seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before your last frost date. Do not transplant to the garden until nighttime temperatures are consistently over 50F.

Recommended Varieties: Scarlet Plume, Sueprcrest Mix

Type: Annuals

Light Requirements: Full Sun

11. Shasta Daisy

Shasta Daisy White Flowers Grown from Seed
This classic white flower is easy to grow from seed. White petals, yellow center, and dark green leaves provide a simple addition to any garden bed while attracting polinators.

Start indoors 6 to 10 weeks before you last frost date or plant directly in the soil after danger of frost has passed.

Recommended Varieties: White Shasta Daisy

Type: Perennial

Light Requirements: Full Sun

12. Sweet Peas

Sweet Pea Flower Grown from Seed
If you’re looking for an easy to grow climbing flower to fill a trellis or cover an ugly fence, Sweet Peas are easy to grow with beautiful, fragrant flowers. They are more tolerant of shade than some of the other flowers on this list so they’re a great way to fill in gaps in your garden bed.

Sweet Peas do best directly planted in the garden bed. Plant seeds about an inch deep a few weeks before your last frost date.

Recommended Varieties: Mammoth Mix, Beautiful Royal, Knee High Mix (bushy variety)

Type: Annual

Light Requirements: Sun to Part Shade

13. Cosmos

Cosmo Flower Grown from Seed
Easy to grow from seed, Cosmos can add a variety of colors to your garden bed. I love to buy a mix and plant a bunch together to create the feeling of a wildflower meadow.

Sow seeds indoors 4 to 5 weeks before last frost date or directly in the garden after that date has passed. Cut back by a third after each bloom to encourage continuous growth.

Recommended Varieties: Crazy Cosmos Mix, Sensation Blend, Seashells (tubular flower petals)

Type: Annual

Light Requirements: Full Sun

14. Yarrow

Grow Yarrow Flower from Seed
Another classic wild flower style option, Yarrow comes in a variety of colors to compliment your garden design scheme. This flower is unique as it grows in dense clusters of tiny flowers that still have a big impact.

Direct sow the seeds in fall or cold stratify them in the refrigerator before starting indoors. Press seeds into soil and don’t cover, they need light for germination. Transplant to the garden once well established.

Recommended Varieties: White Yarrow, Gold Yarrow, Red Yarrow

Type: Perennial

Light Requirements: Full Sun

15. Poppies

Cheap and Easy to Grow Poppy Flowers from Seed
Easy to grow and fast to bloom, poppies are great for attracting pollinators to your garden early in the season. Available in a variety of colors, I like planting a mix for variety.

Direct sow in your garden in late fall or early spring. They are great for broadcast spreading if you need to fill a large bed or want to create a wildflower field feeling. While poppies are an annual, if you don’t dead head the plants in the fall they will self seed for the next year.

Recommended Varieties: California Orange Poppy, Corn Poppy (Red), Somniferum Blend

Type: Annual

Light Requirements: Full Sun to Part Sun

After you start your flower seeds, learn how to grow herbs from seeds.

When starting your flowers from seed, save money buy using recycled containers for seed starting.

Check out the easiest fruits and vegetables to grow for beginners.

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