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How to Plant Flowers from Seeds

How to Plant Flowers from Seeds

Store your seeds in a cool, dry and dark location. Most seeds have a long shelf life, but heat and moisture will cut that life short. Dedicate a drawer or cabinet to storing your seeds where you can also house your gardening journal close at hand for dreaming, planning and preparing.

As many experienced gardeners are aware, planting flower seeds is a relatively simple task; but like any worthwhile endeavor, it does have its challenges. The following steps are designed to assist the home flower gardener in establishing a successful – and stunning – flower garden for years to come! Variety specific planting guides can be found at the bottom of the page.

Step One: Decide When to Plant Flower Seeds

It is a pleasant surprise for many gardeners to learn that flower seeds can be successfully installed at various times throughout the growing season. Though spring is the most common and conventional time of the year to sow flower seeds; successful results can also be achieved by planting in summer and fall as well. This seasonal versatility is a great advantage to the flower gardener and brings many diverse benefits and possibilities.

Spring Planting

For most temperate regions of the United States, spring planting is best carried out within a month or so after the final frost of the winter season. The exact date will naturally vary based on your region and the severity of the winter season. The important thing is to not ‘jump the gun” and plant too early; if seeds are installed prior to a late-season frost, they will be lost for the season and will need to be re-seeded.

Summer Planting

Summer planting is advisable for cooler areas where temperatures don’t hover at 80 degrees or more for long periods of time.

Fall Planting

Though it may seem unusual to plant flower seeds in fall, it is actually the preferred time of year for many seasoned wildflower gardeners.The main benefit: a jump-start in bloom the following spring! However, if you do decide to plant your seeds in the fall, the trick is to do so after the first killing frost of the season and when the ground is almost frozen to eliminate any chance of germination. Use caution when considering the best time to plant as weather patterns can never be guaranteed.

Step two: Where to Plant Flower Seeds

It may sound obvious enough, but choosing the most advantageous site on your property is a very important determinant in the eventual success of your flower garden. The most important factors to consider in this regard are the amount of average daily sunlight, the relative quality of the soil, and the accessibility to a water source like a hose or a sprinkler.

Though many flowers do tolerate some filtered shade – and a few actually thrive in it - the vast majority are definitely sun-lovers and will likely demonstrate the strongest bloom where exposure is greatest. Therefore, the general rule of thumb when considering the optimum planting site on your property is “the more sun the better”. This naturally means that areas with little or no tree coverage and as little obstruction from any structure such as a house, garage, or barn are best.

Lastly, when choosing the best site for your seed installation, the availability of a steady watering source is helpful, but not usually necessary. In most regions and during most seasons, natural rainfall will be sufficient to provide the water necessary for a successful bloom. However, if you live in a particularly arid region, are planting during drier months, or are simply experiencing prolonged drought, it will definitely be to your advantage to water your site every other day or so for the first few weeks after planting until root growth is established.

Step Three: How to Plant Flower Seeds

This is an absolutely vital step in the installation of any successful flower seed project. Though it may sound tempting to randomly cast your seeds into thin air and hope they will sprout, it is simply a waste of time and money to do so on a site that has not been properly prepared for planting. Though many flower seeds are tenacious by nature – others are delicate and need pampering. Therefore, the best rule of thumb is to always remove as much unwanted debris from the site as possible before planting.

There are several ways to effectively remove existing growth and cultivate your soil, and the size of the site will typically be the deciding factor in which method is ultimately chosen. For smaller sites, a rake, hoe, or shovel is often sufficient to do the trick of removing unwanted grass, weeds, etc., while for larger sites, a roto-tiller is often the preferred method. Regardless of what tool or machine is used, the important thing to remember is that the more growth that can be removed, and the more the soil can be loosened, the better the environment for which your seeds to ultimately thrive.

So now you’ve got some sweat on your brow and you’re ready to plant! There are many effective installation techniques, but again, the size of the project will probably determine which makes the most sense for you. The two methods that are probably most advisable for the home-owner are 1) the old fashioned hand-broadcast method (for smaller jobs), and 2) the use of a rotary or “cyclone” seeder (for larger jobs).].

The former involves simply scattering the seed evenly over the site by hand, while the latter accomplishes the same results through the use of a hand-cranked spreader that can be purchased relatively cheaply at any garden center. Regardless of which sowing method you choose, we strongly recommend mixing your seed with regular “sand box” sand at a ratio of about 5 parts (sand) to 1 part (seed). This allows for more even distribution and also provides a convenient way to mark which portions of the site have been seeded and which have not. This is not a required method for a successful planting, but most will find it a simple, affordable, and practical step after sowing, we recommend that you lightly compress your seeds into the soil – no more than a ½ inch - so as to protect them from birds, wind disbursement, etc. The key here is to compress them, but not bury them. If the site is of a manageable size, you can accomplish this by simply walking over the portion that’s just been seeded, or if it’s a larger area, you might want to use a standard seed roller; often used when planting grass seed.

The bottom line is: work the soil as best you can, but don’t panic when some weeds sprout along with the flowers!

Step Four: How to Care for Flower Seeds

There is little to do, besides sitting back and enjoying your flowers, once the seeds have been sown. There are a few things you can do, however, to keep the blooms looking their best. Regular weeding of the area will keep the nutrients in the ground going to your flowers. During dry spells, make sure the flowers stay watered. When the blooming season is coming to a close, dead head spent blooms to promote future growth.

Variety Specific Guides

How to Plant
Ageratum Seeds

How to Plant
Alyssum Seeds

How to Plant
Amaranthus Seeds

How to Plant
Asclepias Seeds

How to Plant
Aster Seeds

How to Plant
Aubrieta Seeds

How to Plant
Baby Blue Eyes Seeds

How to Plant
Baby's Breath Annual Seeds

How to Plant
Baby's Breath Perennial Seeds

How to Plant
Bee Balm Seeds

How to Plant
Bells of Ireland Seeds

How to Plant
Birds Eyes Seeds

How to Plant
Birdsfoot Trefoil Seeds

How to Plant
Bishop's Flower Seeds

How to Plant
Black Eyed Susan Seeds

How to Plant
Blanket Flower Seeds

How to Plant
Butterfly Flower Seeds

How to Plant
Calendula Seeds

How to Plant
California Bluebell Seeds

How to Plant
California Poppy Seeds

How to Plant
Candytuft Seeds

How to Plant
Canterbury Bells Seeds

How to Plant
Carnation Seeds

How to Plant
Catchfly Seeds

How to Plant
Celosia Seeds

How to Plant
Chicory Seeds

How to Plant
Chinese Houses Seeds

How to Plant
Chinese Lantern Seeds

How to Plant
Chinese Pinks Seeds

How to Plant
Clarkia Seeds

How to Plant
Cleome Seeds

How to Plant
Coffee Seeds

How to Plant
Coleus Blumei Seeds

How to Plant
Columbine Seeds

How to Plant
Coneflower Seeds

How to Plant
Coreopsis Seeds

How to Plant
Cornflower Seeds

How to Plant
Cosmos Seeds

How to Plant
Creeping Thyme Seeds

How to Plant
Dahlia Seeds

How to Plant
Daisy Seeds

How to Plant
Dames Rocket Seeds

How to Plant
Delphinium Seeds

How to Plant
Fivespot Seeds

How to Plant
Flax Seeds

How to Plant
Forget Me Not Seeds

How to Plant
Four O'Clock Seeds

How to Plant
Foxglove Seeds

How to Plant
Gayfeather Seeds

How to Plant
Globe Gilia Seeds

How to Plant
Godetia Seeds

How to Plant
Hollyhock Seeds

How to Plant
Hyacinth Bean Seeds

How to Plant
Impatiens Seeds

How to Plant
Johnny Jump Up Seeds

How to Plant
Lacy Phacelia Seeds

How to Plant
Larkspur Seeds

How to Plant
Lemon Mint Seeds

How to Plant
Lobelia Seeds

How to Plant
Love in a Mist Seeds

How to Plant
Love in a Puff Seeds

How to Plant
Lupine Seeds

How to Plant
Maltese Cross Seeds

How to Plant
Marigold Seeds

How to Plant
Mexican Hat Seeds

How to Plant
Money Plant Seeds

How to Plant
Morning Glory Seeds

How to Plant
Moss Rose Seeds

How to Plant
Nasturtium Seeds

How to Plant
Nemophila Seeds

How to Plant
New England Aster Seeds

How to Plant
Ornamental Cabbage Seeds

How to Plant
Ornamental Pepper Seeds

How to Plant
Painted Tongue Seeds

How to Plant
Pansy Seeds

How to Plant
Passiflora Seeds

How to Plant
Peanut Seeds

How to Plant
Penstemon Seeds

How to Plant
Periwinkle Seeds

How to Plant
Petunia Seeds

How to Plant
Phlox Seeds

How to Plant
Poppy Seeds

How to Plant
Primrose Seeds

How to Plant
Rose Mallow Seeds

How to Plant
Sage Flower Seeds

How to Plant
Snapdragon Seeds

How to Plant
Standing Cypress Seeds

How to Plant
Starflower Seeds

How to Plant
Statice Seeds

How to Plant
Strawflower Seeds

How to Plant
Sunflower Seeds

How to Plant
Sweet Pea Seeds

How to Plant
Sweet William Dianthus Seeds

How to Plant
Toadflax Seeds

How to Plant
Tobacco Seeds

How to Plant
Verbena Seeds

How to Plant
Virginia Stock Seeds

How to Plant
Wallflower Seeds

How to Plant
Wild Blue Iris Seeds

How to Plant
Yarrow Seeds

How to Plant
Zinnia Seeds