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15 Flowers You Can Kickstart from Seed in Late Winter

Girl with sunflower

Dive headfirst into the realm of petals and plant savings! Join us on a journey where we spill the beans on how to kickstart 15 vibrant flowers from seed in the late winter and early spring. From Lupines to Sea Holly, we’re about to unlock the secrets of cultivating a garden that’s not just visually stunning but also wallet-friendly. It’s time to channel your inner plant wizard, witness the thrill of life sprouting in your backyard, and let the blooming bonanza begin! 

Anise Hyssop (Agastache)

Anise Hyssop (Agastache)

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Time to Germination: 10 to 14 days

Anise hyssop, a personal favorite, is a delight for herb gardens and a bee magnet. With its versatile uses in the kitchen – from spicing up salads to tea brewing – this herb deserves a spot in every garden. When planted together in a small cluster, the tiny seeds create a fuller look. After a brief stint in the fridge to enhance germination rates, these seeds, resembling poppy seeds, require minimal fuss. Keep them uncovered as they need light to germinate; mist them daily, and they’ll happily thrive at room temperature. Once established, anise hyssop transforms into a hardy perennial, returning faithfully year after year.

Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)

Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia)

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Time to Germination: 21 to 28 days

Black-eyed Susan, with its vibrant yellow petals and dark central cones, is a garden favorite for pollinators and enthusiasts. As a short-lived perennial, starting it from seed provides a cost-effective solution. Cold stratification for a couple of weeks before planting ensures optimal germination rates. Scatter the tiny seeds about a quarter inch deep, keep them consistently moist, and provide a warm environment for germination. Black-eyed Susans are excellent companions for other garden plants and can be grown from seed to bring bursts of color to your garden.

Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)

Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Time to Germination: 14 to 21 days

Chamomile, a kitchen garden staple, offers soothing blooms for tea enthusiasts. Whether German or Roman chamomile, these tiny seeds, numbering in the thousands per packet, promise a plentiful harvest. Beginning indoors eight weeks before transplanting, these seeds need exposure to light for germination. Sprinkle them lightly on the soil surface, mist regularly, and keep them cool at around 65°F. A bountiful chamomile crop awaits, providing visual delight and the raw material for a relaxing cup of herbal tea.

Coneflower (Echinacea)

Coneflower (Echinacea)

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Time to Germination: 10 to 20 days

Echinacea, with its distinctive cone-shaped centers, is experiencing a well-deserved resurgence. Loved by pollinators and herbalists alike, this perennial can be cultivated from seed. Cold stratification enhances germination rates, and planting the seeds about a quarter inch deep ensures a successful start. When chilled and provided with moist soil and temperatures around 65-70°F, these elegant little flapper skirt-like seeds will grace your garden with their charming presence.

Hollyhocks (Alcea)

Hollyhocks (Alcea)

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Time to Germination: 14 to 21 days

Hollyhocks, known for their resilience, can be a stunning addition to your garden. While mostly biennial, some may bloom in the first year if started early. The seeds, resembling extra-deluxe wheels, require cold stratification and overnight soaking in warm water before planting. A light covering of soil, moisture maintenance, and light exposure ensure successful germination. Though slugs may pose a threat, these charming flowers, with proper care, will enchant your garden year after year.

Larkspur (Consolida ajacis)

Larkspur (Consolida ajacis)

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Time to Germination: 14 to 28 days

Larkspur, the low-maintenance annual cousin of delphinium, brings translucent purple hues to the garden. Starting from the seed is simple:

  • Chill them in the fridge for a few weeks.
  • Plant them in an excellent location.
  • Cover them lightly with soil.

As they mimic nature’s conditions for self-seeding, larkspur seeds ensure a delightful burst of color when soil temperatures cool down. With a knack for handling cold weather, drought, and part shade, larkspur promises an easy yet elegant garden experience.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Time to Germination: 21 to 28 days

Lavender, often associated with maturity and charm, can be started from seed. Patience is critical as the wax-coated seeds require cold stratification for optimal germination. The tiny seeds, reminiscent of nature’s art, need exposure to light and a temperature difference between day and night. Planting them flat and keeping the soil consistently moist, particularly during the long germination period, ensures a triumphant journey from seed to the aromatic allure of blooming lavender.

Love in a Mist (Nigella damascena)

Love in a Mist (Nigella damascena)

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Time to Germination: 10 to 14 days

Love in a Mist, with its wispy blooms in various shades, brings both delicacy and versatility to gardens. As an annual, starting nigella from seed indoors, about two months before transplanting, allows for an extended blooming season. With lower germination temperature requirements, these seeds need light for sprouting. Planting them flat and avoiding root disturbance ensures a continuous display of their charming flowers. Love in a Mist’s easy-going nature makes it a delightful addition to any garden.

Lupines (Lupinus)

Lupines (Lupinus)

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Time to Germination: 14 to 28 days

Lupines, the legumes with miniature bean-like seeds, offer a unique touch to gardens. While mostly biennial, miniature lupines can bloom in their first year. Soaking the roots before planting helps soften their glossy wax coating. Sow them shallowly, keep the soil lightly covered, and maintain consistent moisture. Lupines’ vibrant bicolor flowers add visual appeal and act as a natural repellent to certain pests. Starting them from seed allows immediate blooms and a cozy outdoor living room.

Mallow (Malva)

Mallow (Malva)

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Time to Germination: 10 to 21 days

Mallow, often overlooked, surprises with its short-lived yet visually appealing blooms. Initially mistaking it for an annual, I discovered its perennial nature and diverse uses. The seeds, resembling tiny wheels of cheese, need stratification and light scarification. Indoor starting in late winter or early spring ensures a resilient and drought-resistant plant. Mallow’s crinoline leaves and pink pinwheel flowers add color and contribute to the garden’s biodiversity. Once acquainted, this versatile plant may become a mainstay in your garden.

Pansies (Viola tricolor)

Pansies (Viola tricolor)

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Time to Germination: 10 to 21 days

Pansies are cool-weather favorites with their “faces” and a wide array of colors. Growing them from seed allows custom color combinations and a jump start on the growing season. These tiny seeds, resembling specks of dust, should be surface-sown and gently pressed into the soil. Light is essential for germination, so avoid covering them. Consistent moisture and temperatures around 60°F create an ideal environment for these charming flowers to emerge. Pansies bring a playful touch to early spring gardens and can withstand light frosts.

Salvia (Salvia officinalis)

Salvia (Salvia officinalis)

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Time to Germination: 14 to 21 days

Salvia, an herb with diverse species, adds beauty and utility to gardens. Starting salvia from seed is a cost-effective way to grow this aromatic herb. The tiny seeds, resembling poppy seeds, should be surface-sown, as they require light for germination. Maintaining a warm environment and providing consistent moisture promotes successful sprouting. Whether for culinary use, pollinator attraction, or ornamental purposes, growing salvia from seed ensures a bountiful supply and a visually pleasing addition to your garden.

Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus)

Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus)

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Time to Germination: 7 to 14 days

Sunflowers are a classic garden choice with their radiant blooms and towering stature. Growing sunflowers from seed is a straightforward process. These large seeds, resembling edible sunflower seeds, should be planted directly into the soil. Planting depth depends on the size of the seed, but generally, it’s about 1 to 2 inches. Sunflowers appreciate full sun and well-drained soil. Once they sprout, these cheerful flowers follow the sun, creating a dynamic display in your garden.

Sweet Peas (Lathyrus odoratus)

Sweet Peas (Lathyrus odoratus)

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Time to Germination: 7 to 14 days

With their delicate fragrance and cascading tendrils, sweet peas are a charming addition to any garden. Growing sweet peas from seed allows for diverse colors and varieties. Soak the seeds overnight before planting to soften their hard coating. Plant them in well-draining soil and provide support for climbing. These cool-weather lovers appreciate full sun and regular watering. With proper care, sweet peas reward gardeners with blooms and a lovely, nostalgic scent.

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Time to Germination: 14 to 21 days

Yarrow, with its feathery foliage and flattened flower clusters, is both a medicinal herb and a garden embellishment. Growing yarrow from seed is a cost-effective way to introduce this hardy perennial to your garden. The tiny seeds, resembling grains of sand, should be surface-sown and require light for germination. Yarrow tolerates a variety of soil conditions and is drought-resistant once established. These versatile plants attract pollinators and add a timeless elegance to your garden with minimal effort.

Conclusion

Embarking on the journey of starting these diverse plants from seed opens the door to a world of gardening possibilities. Whether you’re drawn to the culinary delights of herbs, the vibrant hues of flowers, or the ecological benefits of pollinator-friendly plants, nurturing seeds into mature plants is an enriching experience. Tailor your garden to your preferences, experiment with different varieties, and enjoy the unique beauty each plant brings to your outdoor space.

Other Flower Guides from Planet Natural:

24 Orange-Flowered Perennials for Every Zone

13 Enchanting Baby Blue Flowers for Your Garden

Pink and White Petals Parade: 12 Pink and White Flowers to Grow