31 Self-Seeding Annuals for Effortless Garden Color

Are you tired of replacing your annual ornamentals? We’ve got you covered. Here, gardening expert Melissa Strauss shares 31 of our favorite self-seeding annuals that will return year after year.

A display of celosia flowers in a variety of hues, ranging from striking reds and deep crimson to sunny yellow, vibrant orange, and regal purple. The lush green leaves beneath add a contrasting backdrop to this kaleidoscope of colors.


Perennials are pretty, but when it comes to big-time garden color, annual plants add a lot of personality and visual appeal. Sadly, they can also be time-consuming and costly. Fortunately, many stunning flowering annuals will reappear each year if allowed to go to seed

These wonderful self-seeding plants not only save time, they also save money. Allowing your annuals to self-seed means that you can skip over the big expense of new plants every year and still have a garden that’s bursting with color and personality. 

Allowing your self-seeding plants to go to seed is one of the easiest ways of planting new seeds. All you have to do is resist the urge to pull those plants until their seed pods have ripened and released their seeds. Nature will do the rest! Here are 31 stunning self-seeding annuals to save time and money in your garden.

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 A lush green landscape featuring an array of green cosmos flowers blooming abundantly under the sun's gentle rays. The green foliage complements the flowers, creating a harmonious and serene environment.
Highly attractive to pollinators and butterflies, cosmos flowers boast a long blooming season.
botanical-name botanical name Cosmos
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 1’-6’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Cosmos are wonderful flowers that serve many purposes. They are highly attractive to pollinators and will have butterflies visiting in droves to feast on their sweet nectar. These pretty flowers are low maintenance and create a lot of color with their long blooming season which begins in early summer and lasts until the first frost. 

If you want an all-purpose flower, cosmos make excellent cut flowers, as well. Cutting your cosmos will encourage them to produce even more blooms. Plant these seeds in full sun and keep the soil moist until they are established. Once established, they are drought-tolerant and require very little maintenance.

Morning Glory

A close-up of a morning glory flower reveals delicate blue petals in intricate detail. The blurred background gently showcases lush foliage, adding depth and contrast to the stunning floral composition.
The Morning Glory is a low-maintenance flowering vine that self-seeds easily.
botanical-name botanical name Ipomoea
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 15’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

I love a good flowering vine, and morning glory makes it easy to plant and walk away. In fact, you may want to deadhead this vine before it goes to seed because of how prolifically it reseeds itself.

Morning glories show off their beautiful flowers in the cool mornings, closing when temperatures rise. On cloudy days, morning glory truly shines, as the lack of sun exposure will keep them open all day. ‘Heavenly Blue’ is a luminous variety with cornflower blue, trumpet-like blooms with a cool white throat. 


A vast expanse of red-orange poppies dances gracefully, swaying atop their slender, elongated stems. Amidst this sea of color, delicate blue flowers add a contrasting touch, creating a picturesque tapestry of nature's beauty.
These flowers feature quirky seed pods that scatter seeds naturally when dried.
botanical-name botanical name Papaver somniferum
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 24”-36”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-7

Poppies bring big, bold, gorgeous colors to the landscape, and most types self-seed freely and reliably. They make great cut flowers and are naturally deer-resistant and drought-tolerant. Plant your poppies in full sun and fertile, well-drained soil for the best results. The bowl-shaped flowers will attract pollinators and look stunning in a floral arrangement. 

In addition to beautiful and unique flowers, poppies have quirky and attractive seed pods. Allow them to dry on the stems and either pop the tops off and give them a little shake or let nature run its course, and the wind will help to scatter your poppy seeds.

If you harvest the seeds, know that poppy seeds prefer to be directly sown, so no worries about starting seeds indoors. Just toss them in the garden in the fall and allow them to vernalize over winter.


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 to partial shade
height height 24”-48”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

For a mass of colorful blooms from summer through frost, coreopsis delivers every time. In warmer climates, they can even bloom well into the winter. Deadheading your plants will keep them producing bushels of blooms that draw pollinators like a magnet. To let them go to seed, simply let the flowers dry on the stem. 

Coreopsis are versatile plants that can be happy in full sun or partial shade. Their stems will get a bit leggy in partial shade, but the flowers are very lightweight and don’t weigh down the slim stems. They are drought and heat-tolerant and make nice cut flowers, as well. 


A close-up reveals a cluster of delicate pink alyssum flowers, their petals forming a captivating bloom. Illuminated by gentle light, the flowers exude a soft, radiant glow, creating a picturesque scene of natural beauty and tranquility.
A versatile ground cover native to the Mediterranean, alyssum blooms from spring to frost.
botanical-name botanical name Lobularia maritima
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 4”-9″
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

Sweet alyssum is a delightful little plant that makes a wonderful ground cover. It can be grown as an annual in almost any climate, but it will reseed reliably in zones 5-9. Native to the Mediterranean region, alyssum begins blooming in spring and continues until the first frost. Planting them in a space with afternoon shade will keep them blooming through the hotter months

Initially, plant your alyssum seeds in fall for blooms in late winter and an extra long blooming season. Newer varieties have been bred for increased heat and drought tolerance. Temperatures over 85°F (29°C) will start to slow down flower production, so a bit of afternoon shade in summer will help keep flowers on your alyssum.

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China Aster

Pink and ruffled China aster flowers delicately bloom, their petals unfurling gracefully amidst dense green foliage. In the blurred background, a profusion of these delicate blooms emerges, creating a picturesque tapestry of vivid hues.
Deadhead China asters to control self-seeding and enjoy their long vase life.
botanical-name botanical name Callistephus chinensis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 24”-36”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

China asters are fast growing and bloom for a long period, from late spring through the fall. Flowers are most commonly shades of purple or blue, but they can also be pink or white, depending on the variety.

Sow your seeds a week or two after the last expected frost, and after they sprout, give them some mulch to protect their shallow root systems. Asters like to be kept moist, so planting them in partial shade may help to keep them looking good during the heat of summer. 

This plant can self-seed aggressively, so it’s a good idea to deadhead, leaving only a few flowers to go to seed at the end of summer. China asters have an excellent vase life, so cutting them for floral arrangements will help keep these plants in check and control how many plants you will have next season.

Bachelor’s Button

An extreme close-up reveals the delicate details of a bachelor's button flower, featuring blue petals. Deep purple stamens curl gracefully, contrasting beautifully against the flower's intricate structure, creating a captivating botanical portrait.
These flowers are appreciated by pollinators despite being considered invasive in some regions.
botanical-name botanical name Centaurea cyanus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 12”-36”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Also known as cornflowers, which is where the color cornflower blue originated, bachelor’s buttons are hardy little plants that can grow in a wide range of climates and soil types. They are drought tolerant, and while blue is certainly the most common color, it is far from exclusive. These flowers come in many shades of purple and pink, as well as white.

Bachelor’s button plants self-seed so well that they are considered invasive in some states, but they are quite pretty, and if they aren’t invasive in your area, they truly make a wonderful addition to the garden. They require little to no maintenance, and pollinators appreciate their presence, as well. 


Orange calendula flowers stretch upwards on delicate green stems, exuding natural elegance. Each slender petal gracefully unfolds, capturing the essence of nature's beauty in its intricate design and vibrant hue.
A versatile and beneficial plant, Calendula’s orange and yellow flowers attract useful insects.
botanical-name botanical name Calendula officinalis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1’-2’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Calendula is a wonderful and useful plant that produces pretty orange and yellow flowers and attracts a host of beneficial insects to the garden. It is often referred to as pot marigold. However, the two are not closely related. The leaves and flowers are edible and are often used in salads or as garnish. A preparation made from the plant is also commonly used to treat cuts and scrapes. What a great little plant!

Calendula self-seeds well and sometimes escapes from the garden, but it will not overcrowd native plants, so it is not considered invasive. Plants are happy in full sun or partial shade and are quite drought-tolerant. The flowers are great for cutting, and deadheading will keep your calendula blooming all summer long. 


Fuchsia-hued celosia flowers stand out against their foliage, characterized by green leaves accented with pink edges. Resembling the flamboyant crest of a rooster, these unique blooms captivate with their intricate form and vibrant color palette.
With unique, flamboyant blooms resembling cockscomb or flames, celosias are versatile plants for gardens.
botanical-name botanical name Celosia
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 4”-36”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

If you’re not familiar with the name celosia, you’ve probably heard this plant referred to as Cock’s Comb due to the appearance of certain varieties. Other types of celosia produce flowers that are flamelike or resemble fuzzy little fingers. These amaranth relatives of amaranth look unique and make a statement in the flower garden. 

Celosias make great cut flowers and add a really interesting element to a floral arrangement. Their leaves are edible and have a mild, spinach-like flavor when cooked. Celosia self-seeds freely, but the seedlings are easy enough to pull up wherever they are unwanted. Leaving them to go to seed will feed birds and your garden, too! 


Fuchsia pink dianthus flowers capture the sunlight's warmth and glow, radiating an aura of natural beauty. Slender stems gracefully uphold these delicate blossoms, offering support and elegance as they sway gently in the breeze.
This is a short-lived perennial in zones 6-9 but functions as a spicy-scented annual elsewhere.
botanical-name botanical name Dianthus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 4”-36”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-9

Dianthus, a genus that includes the ever-popular carnation, is technically a short-lived perennial, but it is only reliably perennial in zones 6-9. Elsewhere, dianthus is a spicy-scented annual that can self-seed if its flowers are left on the plant.

It’s difficult because they make such excellent cut flowers, but it’s worth leaving a flower or two at the end of the season to see these beauties pop back up in spring. 

These sturdy plants prefer full sun and well-drained soil. Most varieties have fragrant flowers, with clove-like being a common way to describe the aroma. Their pretty ruffled petals and ease of care have made these very popular garden plants.


A cluster of feverfew flowers, featuring delicate white petals surrounding a prominent yellow center, stand out against a soft backdrop. The blurred background reveals a lush tapestry of additional feverfew blooms and verdant foliage.
Popular since Victorian times, feverfew blooms from summer to frost.
botanical-name botanical name Tanacetum parthenium L.
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 1’-3’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-8

This sweet little flowering herb has been popular since its use in Victorian gardens. It is technically a short-lived perennial, so individual plants will leave for two to three years, but it self-seeds very well, so once you plant this herb in your garden, it will stick around for a long time. The masses of small white flowers on feverfew have earned it the nickname bride’s buttons.

Deadhead your feverfew throughout the summer to keep the flowers coming. The more you cut, the more this plant will produce. Feverfew will bloom from summer through the first frost, and if you leave some flowers on the plant near the end of the blooming season, it will self-seed nicely. 


A cluster of marigold flowers with golden petals gleaming under the sun, emitting a warm, inviting fragrance that captivates the senses. Each bloom boasts delicate layers of velvety softness.
These self-seed when their seed heads are allowed to dry before the first frost.
botanical-name botanical name Tagetes
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 1′-4′
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Marigolds are a much-loved garden staple. These phenomenal flowers are great for adding color to the garden, and they repel some types of flies that can be harmful to other plants. In addition to their functional and ornamental usefulness, marigolds are also edible and make a stunning garnish or addition to baked goods

We don’t typically consider marigolds self-seeding, but they are indeed. A month before you expect the first frost, stop deadheading your marigolds and allow the seed heads to dry on the plant. They will burst open and drop their seeds, and you should see some baby plants pop up in spring. 


A close-up captures delicate impatiens flowers, their soft petals unfurling gracefully amidst leaves. The blossoms, a mesmerizing spectacle, transition from a pristine white hue, gradually deepening into a crimson.
For vibrant color in your garden, consider Impatiens, which thrive in partial shade.
botanical-name botanical name Impatiens
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to full shade
height height 6”-30”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Impatiens are attractive flowering plants that prefer partial shade and are perennial in zones 10-11, but elsewhere they will self-seed if their seed pods are left on the plant. Something to bear in mind with these plants is that hybrid varieties won’t always breed true, and you may get a few surprises in their place, but that can be a good thing.

These are mounding plants, and they are not aggressive about self-seeding. Impatiens look stunning in a mass planting. They need rich, moist soil, and in exchange, they will provide a great deal of color from summer until the first frost. 


 A close-up of purple petunia flowers in full bloom, showcasing delicate petals with intricate patterns. The deep purple centers of the flowers stand out prominently, exhibiting intricate veiny textures that add depth and allure to the floral composition.
Versatile and diverse, petunias thrive in various gardens with a preference for fertile soil.
botanical-name botanical name Petunia
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 6”-18”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Petunias are fast-growing, low-maintenance sun lovers that thrive in garden beds and containers. Sadly, they are only perennials in zones 10-11. They will, however, self-seed in cooler climates if you allow them to go to seed. Much like impatiens, hybrid varieties will not always breed true, so it’s difficult to say what your new flowers will look like.

With so many beautiful varieties available, there is a petunia for every garden. Petunias like fertile soil and a moderate amount of water. They bloom best in mild weather, so don’t worry if your petunias slow down their blooming mid-summer. They will bounce back when the weather cools off in fall


 A snapdragon stem showcases pink flowers, each petal unfolding gracefully under sunlight. In the backdrop, a lush greenery creates a soothing blur, accentuating the vividness of the blossoms and inviting nature's embrace into focus.
These tender perennials bloom best in temperatures between 40°-70°F (4°-21°C).
botanical-name botanical name Antirrhinum majus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 6″-36″
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Snapdragons are tender perennials in zones 7-11 but may self-seed in cooler climates where they are grown as annuals. They are cool weather bloomers that prefer temperatures between 40°-70°F (4°-21°C) and will stop blooming for a time midsummer but usually bloom again in fall as long as they survive the hot summer weather.

Plant your snapdragons in partial shade with morning sun for best results. This will help to keep their roots cool during the hottest months. These plants are very resilient despite their delicate appearance and can even survive a light frost or two once established. They are one of my favorite flowers for the cutting garden. 


A close-up of a white strawflower, its slender petals delicately arranged. Behind it, various species of flowers bloom, featuring white petals with yellow centers, complemented by the graceful presence of slender leaves.
Perennial in zones 8 to 11, strawflowers boast papery bracts ideal for cutting and drying.
botanical-name botanical name Xerochrysum bracteatum
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1′-5′
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Perennial in zones 8 to 11, strawflowers are a marvel with their unique, papery bracts that make excellent cut flowers and even better dried flowers. Strawflowers retain most of their color when dried. Plant your seeds in spring for blooms that start in early summer and continue until the first frost.

Strawflowers do self-seed and are most successful in mild climates, although they may still seed themselves in cold climates if they don’t have to contend with weather that is cold and wet. These plants prefer dry weather and average, well-drained soil.

Sweet Pea

A sweet pea vine showcases a delightful array of purple and blue flowers, their hues dancing in harmony. The vine bathes in the warm sunlight, creating a picturesque scene of nature's beauty.
Annuals in all zones, sweet peas display surprising cold tolerance.
botanical-name botanical name Lathyrus odoratus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 4′-6′
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-10

Sweet peas might surprise you with their amazing cold tolerance. However, they are annuals in all zones. They self-seed very well, though, and all you really need to do is leave a few flowers to dry on the vine. In mild climates, sweet pea seeds may sprout in late fall and grow through the winter, as they can tolerate temperatures as low as -5°F (-21°C).

These climbing vines like to have a structure to climb, and they flower prolifically from early spring until early summer. Cutting the flowers or deadheading will help to control how aggressively this plant reseeds itself. The flowers smell wonderful and have a great vase life. 

Hyacinth Bean

Green hyacinth beans gracefully hang in a mesmerizing display, swaying gently from their delicate stem. In the blurred backdrop, lush greenery creates a natural canvas, enhancing the vivid allure of the dangling beans.
With amazing vigor and heat tolerance, hyacinth bean produces beautiful purple flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Lablab purpureus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 10’-25’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

This is one of my favorite flowering vines because of its amazing vigor and heat tolerance. I garden in zone 9, and things get pretty steamy here in summertime. Hyacinth bean stands up to heat and drought and produces the prettiest purple flowers that smell great and look great in a floral arrangement.

You can plant hyacinth beans just about anywhere. I’ve pulled up volunteers and transplanted them with tons of success. They do self-seed aggressively, but the seedlings are easy to spot with their purple stems and veining on deep green leaves. Removing most of the seed pods will help to control the spread if you only want a few vines.


Brown and elongated amaranth flowers bask in the warm sunlight. Beneath, verdant leaves of the same plant stretch out, absorbing the golden rays, creating a vivid scene of nature's beauty.
Commonly grown for food, amaranth also offers ornamental varieties with edible leaves.
botanical-name botanical name Amaranthus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 2′-8’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Amaranth is commonly grown as a food source, but there are wonderful ornamental varieties as well. The young leaves are edible, and some varieties, like Burgundy, have gorgeous garnet-colored leaves that make an impression when added to a salad or sauteed. The flowers are large and have a fuzzy texture. 

If left on the plant to dry, the flowers will go to seed, and they self-seed well. Plant these in a spot where other, smaller plants won’t have to compete for nutrients. Most varieties grow quite large, and they are heavy feeders. They make a spectacular cut flower, and the seeds are edible as well. 


A close-up of a blue borage flower, its delicate petals adorned with glistening water droplets, catching the warm rays of sunlight. Nestled beside it, fuzzy buds promise future blooms.
A self-seeding plant, borage thrives in various soils and light conditions.
botanical-name botanical name Borago officinalis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1’-3’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Borage is another self-seeding plant with edible flowers. In this case, those flowers have a mild cucumber flavor, and they are commonly sugared and used as garnish for baked goods. The bright blue flowers are also a favorite for many species of bees, making it an excellent addition to the pollinator garden

Plant your borage seeds in full sun to partial shade. This plant isn’t picky about soil and rarely needs fertilizer. It does self-seed aggressively in some climates, so deadheading will help prevent more borage than you know what to do with. The leaves are also edible but are best picked young as they get a bit hairy as they mature.


A cluster of viola flowers showcasing white and purple petals, each adorned with yellow centers. Surrounding the blossoms, dense green leaves provide a verdant backdrop, enhancing the beauty of the blooms.
These cool-weather plants thrive in temperatures as low as 0°F (-18°C).
botanical-name botanical name Viola
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 3”-12”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-8

Violas are cool-weather flowering plants that have edible flowers and surprisingly good frost tolerance. In fact, these flowers will keep blooming in temperatures as low as 0°F (-18°C). They can continue to bloom in summer if given enough shade, but they much prefer the cooler temperatures of spring and fall. 

Plant your violas in containers or the ground in rich, loamy, moist soil that is slightly acidic. The more you cut the flowers, the more the plant will produce. Some varieties have long, straight stems and make beautiful cut flowers with a pleasant fragrance. Violas self-seed readily.


A close-up of a nasturtium flower, adorned in red-orange hues, glistens with dew drops. The blurred background reveals a tapestry of more nasturtium flowers and leaves, creating a harmonious scene.
With attractive leaves resembling lilypads, nasturtiums are fast-growing edible flowers that attract pollinators.
botanical-name botanical name Tropaeolum majus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1’-10’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

If edible flowers are your thing, nasturtium is a plant you’ve just got to have in your garden. In our opinion, the large, colorful, delicate flowers belong in every salad bowl. The attractive leaves resemble lilypads, and are edible as well. They have a green and peppery flavor. Nasturtiums are fast-growing and sturdy, and while people like to eat them, rabbits and deer do not.

Nasturtiums work well in the ground or a container and look lovely spilling over the edge of a raised bed. They attract pollinators and make great companions in the vegetable garden. Plant in spring as soon as the ground is workable, and you will have flowers from spring until the first frost. If you leave the seed pods at the end of the season, this plant will self-seed readily. 


A close-up of sunflowers, their golden petals basking in the warm sunlight, radiating a joyful glow in the garden. Each flower stands tall, its intricate center displaying a rich tapestry of deep yellows and browns.
Iconic in summer gardens, sunflowers attract bees and offer edible seeds.
botanical-name botanical name Helianthus annuus
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 1′-10′
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

These summer beauties tower over the garden, beckoning for bees to come visit and help all of your other flowers grow. From the small to the very tall, sunflowers make a statement, and they make amazing cut flowers, too. Sunflowers are edible to humans and animals and can be prepared in some delicious ways. 

Sunflowers self-seed quite well. The only issue you might run into is that everyone loves to snack on sunflower seeds. If you’ve ever tried growing sunflowers from seed, you’ve probably learned the hard way the lengths to which squirrels will go to find these seeds. If you can manage to keep birds and other critters away through the winter, you might see some sunflowers popping up in spring. 


Flowering Tobacco

Lavender and trumpet-shaped flowering tobacco blossoms soak up the sun. The blurred background hints at lush greenery, creating a serene backdrop for the delicate and colorful blooms in the foreground.
A delightful annual, flowering tobacco produces numerous star-shaped, fragrant flowers.
botanical-name botanical name Nicotiana 
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height up to 8’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

Who knew tobacco flowers were so delightful? Flowering tobacco is a lovely annual that produces a great number of star-shaped, wonderfully fragrant flowers from summer through fall. The plant is perennial in zones 10-11 only and grown as an annual elsewhere, but it does self-seed. Allowing it to go to seed is the best way to keep this plant in your garden.

Flowering tobacco will bloom best in full sun but can survive in partial shade. The flowers come in shades of white, yellow, green, red, and pink, and most types are strongly scented. They prefer rich soil, taking in a lot of nutrients, and they self-seed readily. The seedlings are easy to find and pull if this plant gets out of hand. 

Viper’s Bugloss

Viper's bugloss flowers, vivid in purple hue, bask in the warm sunlight. The rich foliage that envelops them enhances the picturesque scene, adding depth and contrast to the blossoms.
These flowers attract bees with their blue flowers and continuous nectar production.
botanical-name botanical name Echium vulgare
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 1’-3’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 4-8

This close relative of borage has similar, signature blue flowers that are exceptionally attractive to bees, which see ultraviolet light. This plant continues producing nectar all day, as opposed to only in the morning, like most plants. This makes it one of the most popular plants where pollinators are concerned

Much like borage, viper’s bugloss self-seeds readily, at times, maybe a bit too much. This is at least somewhat because of the plant’s attractiveness to bees. You can deadhead to cut down on the number of seeds dropped if you want to keep this plant in check. 


An Ursinia flower in close-up, showcasing its orange petals, which are slender and gracefully arranged. The flower's center, also vividly orange, radiates with warmth, drawing attention to its delicate beauty amidst nature's tapestry.
A vibrant and low-maintenance plant, Ursinia thrives in well-drained soil.
botanical-name botanical name Ursinia
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 1′-2′
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-11

It’s surprising that ursinia is not a more well-known plant because it adds a ton of color to the garden and is exceptionally low maintenance. Planted in spring, this plant will be established by summer. It’s heat and drought-tolerant. It grows in a mound with fernlike foliage and brightly colored flowers that cover the plant for months in summer. 

Plant your ursinia seeds in rich, well-drained soil and keep them moist until they are established. The flowers are bountiful and easily self-sow, so you are certain to see these plants return year after year. 


Blue larkspur flowers stand in full bloom. Behind them, tall grasses sway gently, their blurred outlines lending an air of soft tranquility to the scene, inviting serene contemplation amidst nature's embrace.
To manage larkspurs, deadhead most flowers to control self-seeding.
botanical-name botanical name Consolida regalis
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 2’-3’
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 5-9

Larkspur is a lovely look-but-don’t-touch kind of flower. These tall, cool-colored flowering plants are toxic, so wear gloves when you plant them or deadhead them. Despite their toxic nature, larkspurs are quite beautiful to look at and self-seed readily. 

If you want to keep self-seeding to a minimum, simply deadhead most of the flowers, only leaving a sprinkling of seeds on the plant to reseed for next year. Plant seeds as soon as the ground is workable for flowers that bloom in late spring and summer. 

German Chamomile

A cluster of German chamomile flowers, flourishing along delicate green stalks, graces the scene. Their pure white petals encircle sunny, button-like centers, radiating tranquility and natural beauty in a serene botanical display.
A versatile plant, chamomile serves various purposes, from soothing teas to natural mosquito repellent.
botanical-name botanical name Matricaria recutita
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 1′-2′
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-8

Chamomile is a great little plant to have. It has an amazing number of uses, from soothing teas to potpourri. It even makes a decent mosquito repellent when brewed like a tea and applied to the skin. The flowers dry nicely, and they make an excellent filler for cut flower arrangements.

Plant your seeds as soon as the ground is workable, but don’t bury seeds deeply. Lightly press them into the soil. These seeds need sunlight to germinate. They freely self-seed, and some types of chamomile are considered invasive, but German chamomile is not. 

Black-Eyed Susan

A close-up of black-eyed Susan flowers, their petals gleaming in radiant yellow hues. At the heart of each blossom lies a dark, button-like center, accentuating the flower's striking contrast and natural beauty against the backdrop of greenery.
Underrated Black-Eyed Susans thrive in sunny spots, growing up to five feet tall.
botanical-name botanical name Rudbeckia hirta
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 2′-3′
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 3-7

Black-eyed Susans are underrated, in my opinion. These are such incredible growers, and when planted in a sunny spot, they produce an amazing number of flowers in a relatively short time. Growing up to five feet tall, these plants branch out and beckon to droves of pollinators. 

Perennial in zones 3-7, it will come back from the roots, and outside of that area, you can reliably expect these plants to self-seed. They make wonderful cut flowers, and the plants are so easy to care for. They are drought and heat-tolerant, as well. 

Baby Blue Eyes

A profusion of baby blue eyes flowers, their delicate petals elegantly blooming amidst verdant foliage. Each petal starts as a pristine white and gradually transforms into a soothing, soft blue hue, creating a captivating visual gradient.
A stunning US West Coast native, baby blue eyes thrives in wildflower gardens.
botanical-name botanical name Nemophila menziesii
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun to partial shade
height height 4″-6”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

This US West Coast native is a beautiful addition to a wildflower garden and makes a breathtaking groundcover. It’s nice in containers as a filler plant and is all-around a pretty little plant that stands out from other low-growing flowers. Only six inches tall, baby blue eyes are known for their glowing blue flowers with incandescent, white throats.

Baby blue eyes bloom between spring and summer when there is a lull between the cool and warm weather plants. It can be planted in full sun or partial shade, though it flowers most profusely in full sun. Under the right conditions, this plant self-seeds and can become a lovely colony. 


A close-up of a blue love-in-a-mist flower, revealing its delicate petals and feathery leaves. In the blurred background, another flower from the same plant and a variety of leaves add a captivating depth to the image.
With feathery foliage and colorful blooms, love-in-a-mist makes a quirky garden addition.
botanical-name botanical name Nigella papillosa
sun-requirements sun requirements Full sun
height height 24”-36”
hardiness-zones hardiness zones 2-11

This last flower is a quirky and fun flower, but it is not edible, so don’t let curious pets near this one. Love-in-a-mist gets its name from the feathery foliage that stands out around the flowers. The foliage is delicate and lovely, adding a lot of texture to the flower bed. The flowers can be pink, purple, and white, but the most popular shade is blue

Love-in-a-mist makes a great addition to the cut flower garden and is perfect for a prairie or wildflower garden. It flowers best in full sun but will grow in partial shade. If planted in fall in mild climates, you will see blooms from spring through fall. The summer heat may cause them to stop blooming for a time. 

Final Thoughts

With all of these stunning self-seeding annuals, who can choose? Selecting self-seeding plants for your garden can save a lot of time and money that would be put into replacing other non-self-seeding annuals year after year. Just remember to leave some flowers on your self-seeding plants at the end of the season and keep a lookout in the spring for new plants!

Growing cactus from seeds. Close-up of young sprouted cacti in a pot under sunlight. The plant produces upright, oval bodies with small spines. These cacti exhibit a vibrant green coloration.

Cacti & Succulents

Can you Grow a Cactus from Seed?

If you’re looking for a new gardening experiment or want to fill your home with cacti in a cost-effective way, growing from seed is the answer. Gardening expert Madison Moulton explains whether you can grow cacti from seed and how to get it right.

A vibrant, colorful garden border curves around a manicured lawn, creating a visually appealing contrast. The border is packed with a variety of flowers in shades of pink, purple, red, and white, including petunias, impatiens, and verbena.


How to Start a Flower Garden From Scratch: 7 Expert Tips

If you see a flower garden in your future but aren’t sure where to start, we have some great advice to set you on the path to success. In this article, gardening expert Melissa Strauss shares some of the hurdles to creating a flower garden and how to get on the right road to a garden filled with color and life.

A meadow full of colorful blooms beckons diverse pollinators.


How to Start a Pollinator Garden

To boost productivity in your garden and support local pollinator populations at the same time, you need a pollinator patch in your backyard. No matter your garden size, you can make a big impact by following these easy steps.

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.


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.