24 Flowers to Sow Early in the Season

Can’t wait for spring to start gardening? We’ve assembled a list of our favorite flowers you can sow early this season. Join organic farmer Jenna Rich as she goes through each of them and highlights our favorite things about each of them.

A beautiful display of alyssum flowers and lush leaves creates a picturesque scene. The flowers boast captivating shades of purple and white, blending harmoniously amidst the verdant foliage, offering a delightful spectacle of natural beauty.

Baby, it’s cold outside, but the time for sowing seeds is just around the corner! Many flowers germinate better in cooler temperatures, can be winter sown, or should be started indoors before outside temperatures warm up.

Grab your cell trays, seeds, and heat mats, and let’s discuss 24 of our favorite flowers you can sow early with success

Our Favorites:

Sweet Alyssum

Our Rating

Oriental Nights Sweet Alyssum Seeds

Bells of Ireland

Our Rating

Bells of Ireland Seeds

Black-Eyed Susan

Our Rating

Spanish Eyes Black-Eyed Susan Vine Seeds

‘Oriental Nights’ Sweet Alyssum

A close-up reveals purple ‘Oriental Nights’ Sweet Alyssum flowers, delicately perched on slender stems. In the blurred backdrop, a plethora of these captivating purple blossoms extends, enhancing the enchanting allure of the floral scene.
This alyssum attracts pollinators with a sweet-scented ground cover suitable for containers.
botanical-name botanical name Lobularia maritima
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 2-8 inches
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

This colorful ground cover will bring all the pollinators to your yard with its alluring, sweet fragrance. It does well in containers and window boxes, will sprawl across rock walls, and will serve as a weed suppressor around small shrubs and perennials.

The violet shades of ‘Oriental Nights’ will complement the oranges and yellows in your garden, pairing well with zinnias and marigolds. If you’re in a mild climate, try fall sowing for winter blooms.

Sow seeds outside one to two weeks before your last frost date or indoors about four to six weeks beforehand. Sweet alyssum readily self-seeds, so you can also winter sow them. It will survive as a perennial in zones 5-9. Otherwise, you can sow it each year and treat it as an annual or rely on its dropped seeds for next season’s plants. 

Tall Maximum Blend Snapdragon 

a colorful array of snapdragons are planted together in a garden bed.
For ‘Tall Maximum Blend’ Snapdragons, start seeds indoors eight to ten weeks before the last frost.
botanical-name botanical name Antirrhinum majus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 12-36 inches 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-10

Did you know snapdragons bloom heaviest in cooler temperatures? That’s right, this gorgeous blend of pink, bright yellow, red, and purple stalks will be among the earliest annual flowers to bloom. There’s plenty of food for bees, and they will add beauty to the green landscape in the spring. They’re edible and deer-resistant to boot.

Sowing indoors eight to ten weeks before your last frost is recommended. The seeds are fairly small, so sprinkle them over the top of a strip tray full of tamped-down seed-starting mix. Gently push them into the soil and add light vermiculite for moisture retention. Bottom water to keep seeds in place. 

Snaps should be ready to step up into larger pots in about four weeks. Harden them off properly before transplanting them out, and provide staking if necessary. 

Zeolights Calendula (Pot Marigold)

An orange Zeolights calendula flower in close-up, its delicate petals gracefully arranged to catch the warm sunlight. The blurred backdrop reveals lush green foliage, accentuating the flower's natural beauty
With multi-layered bronze petals transitioning in color, ‘Zeolights’ calendula resembles a small dahlia.
botanical-name botanical name Calendula officinalis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 12-24 inches 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

This gorgeous variety of calendula resembles a small dahlia, with multi-layered bronze petals that transition in color with maturity. Its tinged peachy pink petals and deep maroon center make ‘Zeolights’ unique. 

Add this multi-purpose beauty to a cottage, pollinator, or cutting garden. It can be direct sown or started indoors. The ideal soil temperature for good germination rates is 68-85°F (18-29°C). 

Although you may see some damage on young leaves, calendula is especially frost tolerant when seeds are direct sown in the fall or late winter for spring blooms. They acclimate to the climate and can protect themselves in the event of a late spring frost. If starting them indoors, do so 4-6 weeks before your last frost date. Transplant before the taproot becomes too large to avoid transplant shock. 

Diablo Cosmos

A close-up photo of three Sulfur Cosmos plants in full bloom. The flowers are a vibrant orange-yellow color and have a daisy-like shape with multiple ray florets surrounding a central disc floret. The blurred background appears to be a green hedge, which provides a soft backdrop for the vibrant Sulfur Cosmos flowers.
Cosmo flowers can be sown directly or winter-sown for spring blooming.
botanical-name botanical name Cosmos sulphureus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun 
height height 2-3 feet
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

The first cosmo flower blossoming is a sure sign that spring has arrived. Each fall, I leave a small patch of cosmos to self-seed so I can enjoy seeing them pop up after the snow has melted. They’ll provide beauty through the first frost with very little maintenance besides some possible staking. 

‘Diablo Cosmos’ has bold, sunshiny petals ranging from golden to orange to deep red-orange and thick protruding centers. Pollinators love these guys. They’re drought-resistant and were an All-America Selections winner in 1974

Sow them directly outside when the soil is at least 60°F (16°C), or winter sow them to come up when they receive the signal from Mother Nature in the spring. They are easy to transplant. Pro tip: Try intercropping them with annual vegetables for pollination assistance. 


Numerous feverfew blooms and foliage soak up the radiant sunlight, casting a picturesque scene. The petite flowers boast delicate white petals encircling cheerful yellow centers, creating a captivating contrast against the lush green leaves.
A chamomile-like flower, feverfew has been traditionally used for medicinal purposes.
botanical-name botanical name Tanacetum parthenium
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun 
height height 12-36 inches 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-8

Feverfew is a small, chamomile-like daisy-type flower on tiny little stems with unique, spiky foliage that has long been used medicinally to fight headaches, fevers, insect bites, and general aches and pains. 

This short-lived perennial volunteers easily, so you might find it popping up in places you didn’t plant it. It’s nicknamed the midsummer daisy for its long-lasting blooms, and when properly deadheaded, new blooms are constantly encouraged. Use them fresh or dry them for crafting or everlasting bouquets. 

Starting new plants inside is recommended. Sow seeds eight to ten weeks before the last frost by just pressing them into the seed-starting mix surface. Be patient, as it takes 14 to 21 days for germination. Keep the soil moist and place the tray in a somewhat warm place. 

Orange Wonder Snapdragon 

A vibrant close-up captures the delicate pink petals of 'Orange Wonder' snapdragon flowers, bathed in the warm glow of sunlight. In the backdrop, blurred clay pots lend a rustic charm, adding depth to the floral composition.
Start Orange Wonder Snapdragon indoors eight to ten weeks before the last spring frost.
botanical-name botanical name Antirrhinum majus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 12-36 inches 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 7-10

This unique bi-colored snapdragon is sure to be a garden showstopper. Pair ‘Orange Wonder’ with deep maroon and wine-colored snaps for a stunning single-variety bouquet. Add them to a border as a beautiful way to attract pollinators to your vegetable garden. 

Deadhead plants often to allow them to branch out and encourage new blooms.

As we learned earlier, snaps will bloom prolifically in cooler temperatures, so start them indoors eight to ten weeks before your last anticipated spring frost. Transplant them outdoors when the soil has warmed up. Space them at one foot apart. 

Johnny Jump-Up Violas 

Johnny Jump-Up Violas, small purple flowers bloom vividly amidst lush green foliage, illuminated by the warm rays of sunlight. In the center of each flower, a radiant yellow hue draws attention, contrasting beautifully with the surrounding purple petals.
Adaptable and easy to grow, violas thrive in various climates.
botanical-name botanical name Viola tricolor
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 3-10 inches 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-9

Violas are an easy-to-grow, prolific flower that are easily adaptable to many different climates. You’ve likely seen them in pots at rest stops off the highway and creeping along rock gardens; they aren’t fussy. It’s no surprise our Botanical Interests community adores them!

The possibilities for Johnny Jump-Ups are endless. They’re edible, adorable, deer-resistant, and perform well in containers. Float them in a cocktail, garnish a charcuterie board with them, or toss seeds out underneath small trees. 

Johnny Jump-Ups volunteer easily and have been known to pop up through snow. If you deadhead them, they’ll last all season. We recommend sowing them outdoors four to six weeks before your last frost date in cold climates or midsummer for fall blooms. Mild climate growers can sow them in late summer for blooms in the fall, winter, and early spring. 

Shades of Blue Larkspur 

A cluster of 'Shades of Blue' larkspur flowers, gracefully upheld by slender. These larkspur blooms captivate with their gentle, soothing blue tones, evoking a sense of tranquility and serenity in the garden.
These larkspurs have five-petaled flowers in various violet-blue shades.
botanical-name botanical name Consolida regalis 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun 
height height 3-4 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

If you love creating bouquets with flowers grown in your yard, you must add spikes of ‘Shades of Blue’ larkspur to your lineup. They display shades of white, pale, sky, and dark violet-blue. Grow them in mass for a striking display of five-petaled flowers. Stems can grow to four feet and may require staking.

Larkspur is deer-resistant and forms lovely seed pods in the fall that can be dried in place and used in fall bouquets or put on display alone. However, take caution if you have pets, as all parts are toxic if ingested. 

Larkspur will germinate in 10-15 days when buried just below the soil surface. We recommend you sow it outside four to six weeks before your last spring frost when the soil can be worked. Alternatively, sow them in the fall in prepared garden beds before your first fall frost. 

Storybrook Blend Canterbury Bells 

Towering 'Storybrook Blend' Canterbury bells rise gracefully, their slender stems adorned with vivid blooms peeking through verdant leaves. Clusters of white, pink, lavender, and purple hues create a picturesque harmony.
Sow seeds of ‘Storybrook Blend’ Canterbury bells indoors eight to ten weeks before the last frost.
botanical-name botanical name Campanula medium 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 12-36 inches 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-9

‘Storybrook Blend’ Canterbury bells are sure to add a fancy feel to your backyard garden. Bell-shaped flowers in shades of white, pink, purple, and blue alternate on tall, sturdy stems. 

Add these babies to a colonial or cottage garden or alongside shrubs for support. In warm regions, they’ll appreciate access to afternoon shade

Sow seeds two to four weeks after your last frost date or two months before. Ideally, soil temperatures are at least 60°F (16°C). Start indoors eight to ten weeks before the last frost. Light is required to germinate, so press seeds into the soil surface and bottom water to avoid displacing seeds. When started indoors, you may see blooms in the first year. Plant new bells each year to replace the ones that die off after two years. 

‘Tiny Tim’ Sweet Alyssum 

A detailed close-up captures the delicate beauty of white 'Tiny Tim' Sweet Alyssum flowers, showcasing their intricate petals and soft hues. Below the blossoms, the blurred leaves create a subtle backdrop.
These flowers emit a honey-scented fragrance, attracting pollinators and beneficial insects.
botanical-name botanical name Lobularia maritima 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 2-8 inches
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

‘Tiny Tim’ puts the sweet in sweet alyssum. These small clusters of white flowers put out an alluring honey-scented fragrance in the summer that attracts people and pollinators alike. It’s also known to bring beneficials like hoverflies to the garden. 

You can grow alyssum as a groundcover tightly packed under annual vegetables, in hanging baskets, or as a garden border. It looks lovely spilled over retaining walls, in a fairy garden, or filling in cracks of rock walls and patio steps. Flowers are edible and can be used to adorn summer salads and desserts. 

Press seeds gently into the soil surface when sowing outside one to two weeks before the last possible frost date or when soil temperatures are at least 60° (16°C). In mild climates, you can sow seeds in the fall for a winter bloom. 

Swiss Giants Blend Pansy

Swiss Giants Blend pansies, displaying petals in striking hues of yellow and purple, contrasting beautifully against their dark centers. Each petal exudes delicate textures and intricate patterns, capturing the essence of nature's artistry in full bloom.
A beloved heirloom, ‘Swiss Giants’ pansies thrive in cooler weather.
botanical-name botanical name Viola wittrockiana
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 6-9 inches 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 6-10

‘Swiss Giants’ is the mother of most pansies you see cultivated today! Plant them alongside your fall-planted bulbs for a bright spring treat of cheerful faces popping up out of the snow. 

This heirloom won an AAS award in 1933 and is still widely sown and loved today. It’s often seen on cheese boards, in summer salads, and planted along garden borders. They’re reliable, prolific, and easy to care for. 

Pansies bloom heaviest in cooler weather, so sow these directly outside four to six weeks before your last frost date in cold climates. In mild regions, sow them in late summer for winter blooms or winter sow them in late winter. 

Blue Boy Bachelor’s Button 

A close-up of a 'Blue Boy' Bachelor’s Button reveals intricate details of its delicate blue petals. Illuminated by the sunlight, the petals gleam with a captivating azure hue, creating a picturesque scene of natural beauty and tranquility.
These are vibrant annual flowers loved by chefs and pollinators.
botanical-name botanical name Centaurea cyanus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun 
height height 12-36 inches 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

A fan favorite among chefs, pollinators, and annual flower enthusiasts, bachelor’s buttons are prolific bloomers and can grow just about anywhere. ‘Blue Boy’ blooms are a vibrant blue-violet, and grow on tall, sturdy stems. Plant them in mass or with other summer annuals. 

Expect to see bachelor’s button pop up each season as it self-seeds readily. Harvest when you first notice a show of color for the longest vase life. 

Sow directly outdoors one to two weeks before your last frost date to provide cold stratification. Alternatively, try winter sowing them! 

Plains Coreopsis 

Plains coreopsis flowers bloom vividly, their golden petals radiating against a soft, blurred backdrop of feathery foliage. Each blossom boasts a captivating contrast, with yellow petals embracing deep red centers.
A bi-color annual wildflower, ‘Plains coreopsis’ is a North American native.
botanical-name botanical name Coreopsis tinctoria 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 24-48 inches 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

This gorgeous bi-color annual boasts deep magenta centers with bright yellow petal tips and wispy foliage. ‘Plains coreopsis’ is a wildflower heirloom native to North America. It’s deer, drought, and heat-resistant, and attracts pollinators. 

These guys consistently can survive on rainfall alone, requiring very little maintenance. Deadheading will encourage new blooms, and they should be spaced to allow 12-18 inches of spread. Fertilizing in the spring should suffice, though it really isn’t needed at all. 

Sow seeds either outside one to two weeks before your last frost date or inside six to eight weeks before your last frost date. Seedlings should emerge in 5-10 days. 

Little Sweetheart Sweet Peas 

A cluster of lavender-hued Little Sweetheart Sweet Peas bask in the warm sunlight, their delicate petals unfurling gracefully. In the blurred backdrop, a tapestry of additional blossoms and lush green foliage adds depth to the serene garden scene.
A dwarf variety of sweet peas, ‘Little Sweetheart’, is ideal for small spaces.
botanical-name botanical name Lathyrus odoratus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 8-14 inches 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-10

If you don’t have tons of space for the typical vining sweet peas that require trellising, this dwarf variety is for you. Blooms are smaller, and the plants perform well in window boxes, containers, or hanging baskets. They’re lightly scented and come in muted tones of cream, red, and purple. 

‘Little Sweetheart’ attracts pollinators like vining sweet peas but works better for growers with small spaces. One member of our community planted them against a fence and said they were beautifully supported by their cosmos. We agree that’s a great combination! 

We recommend sowing outdoors when soil temperatures are 55-65°F (13-18°C), about four to six weeks before your last frost date. Enjoy the prolific blooms and sweet tendrils this variety offers. 

Precious Pollinators Flower Mix 

A close-up reveals a cluster of white crucifix orchids gracefully poised on slender stems. Among them, green buds promise the imminent arrival of new blooms, adding a sense of anticipation to the serene composition.
A diverse blend of pollinator-friendly plants, this supports garden health with continuous blooming and easy growth.
botanical-name botanical name Assorted species 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun 
height height 1-6 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

This incredible blend of pollinator attractants includes smooth aster, borage, cosmos, dill, lance-leaved coreopsis, lemon bee balm, naughty marietta marigold, milkweed, phacelia, purple coneflower, red clover, scarlet sage, queen mix sunflowers, and California giant zinnias. 

Pollinators are a crucial part of all gardens and are required to help a backyard oasis thrive. The blend we have created offers diversity in size, shape, color, and root system, making it easy to grow just about anywhere. There will be something blooming all season. 

‘Precious Pollinators’ should be sown directly outside two to four weeks before your last frost date. If temperatures are expected to plummet and you want to be safe, save half the seeds to be sown a week or two later. 

Beaujolais Sweet Peas 

The intense fragrance of ‘Beaujolais’ sweet peas makes them ideal cut flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Lathyrus odoratus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 8 foot long vines
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-10

While many sweet peas offer sweet, pale colors, ‘Beaujolais’ sweet peas boast a deep, bold burgundy wine. They will pop against bright oranges ‘Zeolights’ calendula and ‘Diablo’ Cosmos in the early season. 

The intense sweetness of the fragrance makes sweet peas an amazing cut flower. Deer will stay away, and pollinators love them! Long vines may require a trellis. 

We recommend sowing seeds directly outdoors four to six weeks before your last frost date. Protection from critters may be necessary. In more mild regions, sow them in late fall for late winter or spring blooms. 

Gloxiniiflora Blend Foxglove 

Tall clusters of 'Gloxiniiflora' foxglove flowers stand gracefully in a lush garden, casting vivid hues against the green backdrop. The tubular blossoms flaunt a captivating blend of purple and white, adding a touch of elegance to the floral ensemble.
Foxgloves, particularly the ‘Gloxiniiflora’ variety, boast vibrant shades and large, open-faced flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Digitalis purpurea
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 3-5 feet 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

You don’t want to miss out on these bold shades of pink, yellow, red, and orange. ‘Gloxiniiflora’ foxgloves are an amazing cut flower, larger and more open-faced than some other cultivars, making it a joy for large pollinators to feed on. 

This variety performs best in part shade, so don’t be afraid to sprinkle seeds around the base of a large tree. As a biennial, you may notice it popping up in new places each year in your garden, great for “naturalized” areas that don’t require much maintenance. Plants will produce foliage only in year one and bloom in the second. 

Sow outside one to two weeks after your last frost date. Light is required for germination so barely push seeds into the soil surface and allow 14-21 days to germinate. Winter-sown foxgloves may be stronger and more resilient to inclement weather and not require staking.

Sensitive Plant 

A close-up of sensitive plant leaves, showcasing their unique texture and green color. The delicate leaflets fold in response to touch, a fascinating adaptation. The background features a soft blur of surrounding leaves
The sensitive plant can be grown indoors from seeds after soaking for 24 hours.
botanical-name botanical name Mimosa pudica 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 12-20 inches 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 9-11

The sensitive plant has quite the personality for a houseplant. Afforded the ability to react to changes in temperature, light, and touch, this tropical fern-like plant has medium-green foliage and makes a lovely companion in an east-facing window. 

Small, pink flowers bloom in the summer, but it looks lovely all year long. Sow indoors at any time after soaking seeds for 24 hours. Lightly bury the seeds, and a heat mat can be used to speed up germination, which may take up to three weeks

Grandiflora Starry Eyes Blend Phlox

 Vivid clusters of crimson, pink, and purple phlox flowers bloom gracefully, showcasing nature's palette. In the backdrop, a blurred expanse of lush green leaves and purple blossoms adds depth and tranquility to the scene.
This summer stunner withstands cold spring temperatures and attracts pollinators.
botanical-name botanical name Phlox drummondii
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 6-15 inches 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Our community raves about the hardiness and prolific blooms of this summer stunner. They tolerate cold spring temperatures and will bloom all season in cooler regions. In hot areas, flowering may slow down during the peak of summer, returning in the fall. Pollinators will phlox, er, flock to it. 

‘Grandiflora Starry Eyes’ includes a variety of cheerful colors including pale blue, pink, red, purple, along with cream and pink bi-colors. 

We recommend germinating seeds indoors in a cool, dry place, which may take two to three weeks, or outdoors two to four weeks before your last frost date. Phlox is also a great winter sowing option! 

Bonita Top Blue Aster

Bonita Top Blue Aster flowers showcasing lush stems and leaves. The petals gracefully layer, shifting from pristine white to shades of mesmerizing purple. In the background, the blurred foliage highlights the abundance of these captivating plants.
With full-double blue-violet flowers, these asters thrive with a shallow root system.
botanical-name botanical name Callistephus chinensis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 24-36 inches 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

These two-inch, full-double blue-violet flowers are a joy to grow. Their dark stems and cheerful yellow centers are lovely in the garden and have a great vase life when harvested. Florists love them for their strong, upright growing habit.

Asters are shallow-rooted, so mulch can be added to help retain moisture. Don’t overcrowd them to avoid fungal diseases. 

We recommend sowing seeds indoors six to eight weeks before your last frost date after a cold treatment of two to three weeks. Light is required for germination, so do not cover seeds. Keep seeds on a heat mat set to 70°F (21°C) and the soil moist until germination, which can take up to two weeks. 

California Bluebells 

A close-up reveals deep purple California bluebells attached to a brown stem, showcasing intricate details of the petals and foliage. Bathed in the sunlight, the flowers exude a vibrant hue, capturing the essence of nature's beauty in its purest form.
These plants thrive in tough conditions, making them easy to grow.
botanical-name botanical name Phacelia campanularia 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 8-16 inches 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-10

Also called desert bluebells, California bluebells are extremely tough and easy to grow. They don’t mind drought conditions or cold weather and will tolerate frost. 

We recommend pairing these deep blue-violet annuals with violas for a real statement and growing them alongside your veggies to attract pollinators. They’ll also look awesome, filling in space in rock gardens, between rock walls, and throughout annual flower beds in masses. Size will vary depending on your local soil fertility, water, and sun exposure. 

In mild climates, sow these heirloom California bluebells in the late summer and fall for spring blooms or two to four weeks before your last frost directly outdoors into prepared garden beds. Barely cover the seeds and you should see germination in 5-10 days. Thin so they’re spaced at six inches. 

Bells of Ireland 

A close-up of green-hued Bells of Ireland flowers, showcasing their unique bell-shaped blooms. The green color radiates freshness and vitality, making them a striking addition to any floral arrangement or garden landscape.
With its apple-green calyx and white flowers, Bells of Ireland requires patience to grow.
botanical-name botanical name Moluccella laevis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 24-36 inches 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Bells of Ireland takes patience to germinate and grow, but it’s worth it! The unusual apple-green bell-shaped calyx and tiny white flowers look incredible bundled together on their own, and their tall stems serve well as a cut flower bouquet filler. Straw-colored, dried foliage can be used in everlasting bouquets.

Roots are sensitive to transplanting, so we recommend direct sowing or sowing seeds in biodegradable pots to avoid shock. Seeds require a cold period. Try winter sowing them. Alternatively, you can refrigerate them for one to two weeks before sowing in the soil once temperatures have reached at least 50°F (10°C). 

Plants will readily self-seed but will not survive the winter, making it a “half-hardy” annual

African Bride Love-In-A-Mist 

A solitary African Bride Love-In-A-Mist, showcasing its white petals and feathery leaves, gracefully positioned against a lush green background. Tall and deep crimson stamens stand out amidst the white petals, adding a striking contrast.
This is a hardy plant with striking blackish-purple centers, cream-colored petals, and fern-like foliage.
botanical-name botanical name Nigella damascena
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun 
height height 18-24 inches 
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

The contrasting blackish purple centers, cream-colored petals, and airy fern-like foliage and bracts of ‘African Bride’ are stunning in a cutting or pollinator garden. Plant it in a place receiving south or west-facing sun. Don’t let its wispy appearance fool you; ‘African Bride’ can sustain hot, dry conditions as well as cold nights. 

Pro tip: Dry the dark seed pods and add them to everlasting bouquets or save the seeds for next year. 

Sowing outdoors directly is highly recommended, as roots do not do well when transplanted. Sow seeds two to four weeks before your last frost date and continue sowing every few weeks for a continuous supply. In warm regions, seeds sown in early fall will produce blooms in early spring.

Spanish Eyes Black-Eyed-Susan Vine 

Three Spanish Eyes Black-Eyed-Susan Vine flowers, their peach petals contrast beautifully against the lush foliage. Each flower boasts a striking black center, adding depth and intrigue to the garden landscape.
A colorful vining flower called ‘Spanish Eyes’ is best planted after the last frost.
botanical-name botanical name Thunbergia alata
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 3-8 feet long vines, may reach up to 20’ in frost-free growing regions
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 10-11

‘Spanish Eyes’ is a unique blend of gold, peach, coral, red, and magenta blooms with dark brown or black centers resembling a sunset. 

Enjoy them in a corner garden, or add them to hanging baskets on your front porch. Our community loves this vining beauty, raving about its ability to grow up and along just about anything: gutters, rock walls, porch handrails, and potted trellises. 

Outdoor sowing is recommended. Sow seeds one to two weeks after your last frost, when the soil temperatures have reached above 65°F (18°C). If you start indoors, sow seeds six to eight weeks before the last frost and use biodegradable pots to avoid transplant shock.

Final Thoughts

If you’re anxious to start flower gardening now, you’re not alone. Sow some or all of these flowers early for a joyous and abundant spring and summer garden.

Close-up of a flowering Reine des Violettes Rose bush in the garden. This classic rose variety is characterized by large, fully double blooms. The blossoms feature a rich, velvety texture and exhibit a stunning shade of purple, exuding a sense of royalty. The petals gracefully unfold, revealing a symmetrical form that adds to the rose's overall charm. The Reine des Violettes Rose is complemented by dark green, glossy foliage that serves as a lush backdrop to the regal blooms.


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A large flowerbed displays marigolds, sunny daisies, and red snapdragons.


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A collection of potted plants, carefully arranged to create a lively display. The crimson, green, pink, and purple hues of the leaves interweave, forming a visually captivating composition that adds a burst of color to any space.

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