Easy Growing Seeds

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easy growing from seeds

If you want to develop your Green Thumb, start with these easy growing seeds. You can be surrounded by flowers, vegetables and edibles easily and affordably .

Most, if not all, of these prefer full sun exposure. More importantly, I call these “easy to grow” because they need no preparation, can be grown easily from seed, sown directly into the garden or container soil. It can also be fun to start them indoors in starter cups, so they’ll be jump-started for Spring and Summer.

Annual Flowers from Easy Growing Seeds

Annuals are those plants that can survive usually only one season of growing, flowering, and seeding. Now, it is quite possible that they reseed themselves and you can see them come up year after year. Also, these annuals produce seeds that are easy to harvest. Collect these easy growing seeds and save them for planting next year! It’s possible that you’ll buy a packet of these seeds once and never have to buy them again.

Sweet Peas

sweet peas among one of the easiest flowering plants to grow
Fragrant, fast-growing, beautiful. Image: Sam Saunders, flickr

The king of easy to grow flowers, that bloom from easy growing seeds. I’ve had displays of sweet peas growing in my gardens for years. The perfume from the blooms is absolutely captivating, and I use the term perfume for good reason. They are very hardy seedlings: Many times I’ll find sweet peas sprouting where I grew them the previous year. If you want maximum flowering from your sweet pea plants, pinch off the flat seed pods that grow out of flower buds. Towards the end of summer, harvest the seeds from the pods and save them for next Spring.

Poppies

easy to grow poppy seeds
Poppies are terrific easy growing seeds. Note the thin cone shape in the center, that’s a poppy bud. Image by author

Poppies are frequent additions to wildflower seed packets. Their vibrant bright orange color makes them stand out. They can grow to 24″ in height, and complement all sorts of other flowers. Like many perennials in this list of easy growing seeds, they’re not real picky about soil quality. Deadhead the dried, spent blooms for long blooming times.

Snap Dragons

snap dragon is very easy to grow from seed
A cherished childhood memory, Snap Dragons please everyone. Profuse bloomers, very hardy, tolerant of many environments. Image by author

Snap Dragons are one of the first flowers I remember as a child. My mother demonstrated how their petal-soft flower heads look like little dragon heads. Also amusing: by pinching the flower base just so, you can make their jaws open and close.

Snap Dragons can be as hardy and persistent as sweet peas: Frequently, I enjoy a little display of Snap Dragons where they were the previous year. At the end of summer, their seed pods are numerous. You can usually take a whole stem at once with many seed pods attached. Their seeds are teeny tiny, and when you sow them, make sure to just sow 3 – 5 seeds in each position. You’ll always have these easy growing seeds every spring and summer.

Petunias

Many municipal public hanging flower displays are created using petunias
Petunias are everywhere in public displays. There’s a reason for this: they’re prolific bloomers, and they’re quite hardy. Image by author

One of my very favorite flowering annuals. Petunias can bloom prolifically if you actively dead-head the crispy flower blooms. They only increase in volume through the warm months, they attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, they make sublime hanging basket displays. No summer has gone by for me in the past 20 years without having some trailing petunias.

petunias easy to grow for summer
Epic hanging gardens can be made easily with enough Petunias. Image by author

Petunias have small pods that are full of seeds, and you can collect them at the end of summer. The seeds are pretty small, much like SnapDragon seeds. And, there are usually a number of pods per stem. To create a profuse hanging basket like the one above, saturate a hanging basket’s soil with Petunia seeds, keep moist and in the sun.

Nasturtium

nasturtium easy to grow

Nasturtium flowers are also ridiculously hardy flowering annuals and are easy growing seeds. So, I admit that while I find them pretty to have around, and beneficial for pollinators, I’ve never been excited to grow them. Until I discovered that they are crazy lovely if grown as trailers. They can also be made to ‘climb’ a structure. Simply train their long, ivy-like growth up and around a fixture, it’ll be a garden feature. Another easy to grow from seed flower that delivers big time and requires very little.

Cosmos

Cosmos annual flowers are easy to grow from seed
Cosmos harken back to a simpler time. They’re classic rustic wildflowers.
Image by author

Cosmos look terrific when planted in a large clump together. They’re easy growing seeds that are really best just sown directly into your garden. They’re not picky and they’ll reward you all through the warmer months with cheery blooms and lacy foliage below.

They also move very nicely in the wind. Pollinators go crazy for cosmos. They’re very hardy plants: I’ve had Cosmos grow from seed, like. in spaces between driveway concrete slabs. Cosmos

Perennial Flowers from Easy Growing Seeds

Perennials are those that can survive through the winter and “come back.” They do this by developing their underground root structure, or rhizome. Their rhizome, like most other herbaceous rhizomes, can survive under the ground. You can help them stay viable for years by adding a generous topping of mulch to help them through the cold months.

Usually (not unlike homo sapiens ) perennials increase in size as they get older. And, don’t forget to harvest the seeds in the fall and save them for planting next Spring! These flowers grow so easily from seeds for me, they’re practically weeds.

Milkweed

easy growing seeds include swamp milkweed butterfly attractor
I’ve become a fan of Milkweeds. Butterflies, hummingbirds, and all pollinators love visiting Milkweeds. Image by author.

I bought a milkweed plant at retail a few years ago. It quickly became one of the features of my new garden. (Read my full article about growing Milkweeds from seeds.) I love that they grow tall (5′) and produce lovely flower heads that attract all the bees, hummingbirds, moths and butterflies. During their growing months, before they reach their top height and flower, they resemble bamboo: narrow but strong stalks with narrow, long leaves.

When Milkweed seedpods are ready to harvest, you’ll know! They’ll burst like this! Image, H. Zell, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When their season is over, they produce seed pods that are bursting with downy-covered seeds.

Mexican Sunflower

mexican sunflowers perennial easy growing from seeds

This is a new perennial flower to me. I was searching for another hardy, sun-loving, drought-tolerant medium sized bushy plant to install along an elevated rockery fence line. This might be one exception to the easy rule: I’m having more luck with starting their seeds in seedling cups and housing them in a mini greenhouse. However, note that Mexican Sunflowers were the first seeds to sprout among the other dozen varieties I started the same week. When they have grown a few inches tall with at least four leaves, I then have transplanted them to a somewhat permanent container.

I’ve also noticed that they develop vigorous rooting. So, plan to have them in their seedling cups for 8 weeks at most. They will really want to spread out as they approach a few months in age.

Another fun fact: Mexican Sunflowers’ stalks feel velveteen! They feel like a very soft, stubbly stem.

mexican sunflowers easy seeds to grow
Mexican Sunflower seedling starts planted center of this picture. These are about two months old. Starting them in cups initially got them going strong.
Image by author

Lupine

Lupines are native in many areas, and frequently grow wild. Image by author

You might see Lupines growing wild where you live. That fact makes them a shoo-in for making my list of easy growing seeds. They come in colors of purples and yellows that I know of. Again, a very hardy perennial, some Lupines are growing in my front yard that I sowed last summer. I gave up on that seeded garden bed because it was a very hot, dry summer. I didn’t want to pay the water department employees just from my water bill.

lupines are wild native flowers and are very easy to grow in your garden
Rogue, neglected Lupine seeds sprouting and growing just fine a year later, thank you. Image by author

Lupines are the first to emerge in the spring in large scale. They are large and bushy, so give them lots of room. They attract all pollinators and even gorgeous butterflies.

Rudbeckias (Black Eyed Susan)

easy perennial to grow from seed rudbeckia or black eyed susan
A classic addition to all gardens is the Rudbeckia. Image by Daryl_Mitchell, flickr

Used to be called “Black Eyed Susans,” Rudbeckias are similar to daisies. Their bright yellow petals and dark brown seed clusters sit atop strong, thin stems with narrow green leaves. Before flowering, Rudbeckias are large, lush, green mounds. Rudbeckia is a great complement to just about any flower grouping. They grow to about 3′ high, and 3′ in width. They bloom in the deep Summer, are drought-resistant, and are again very hardy. Collect its prickly long seeds in the Autumn to add more of these beauties to a garden the following Spring!

Dianthus

dianthus or sweet william easy growing seed wildflowers
Dianthus, some varieties are called “Sweet William,” simply cannot be stopped. They bloom in early Summer and what’s great about them is the variety of colors. Image by author

Dianthus are frequent additions to wildflower seed mixes, and are thus easy growing seeds. They are indeed perennials, and will grace your garden with vibrant spots of color for years. Indeed, you’ll see them bloom in different colors and heights. Plant once, water modestly, and enjoy for years. The pollinators will hover over them all day long.

dianthus easy to grow seeds attract all pollinators and butterflies

Oh, and grand butterflies like this female Tiger Swallowtail investigated a lone Dianthus flower in my front yard for, like, 30 minutes on a recent sunny day.

Vegetables from Easy Growing Seeds

Now, scientifically speaking, any vegetable that contains its own seeds is technically a fruit. Did you know that just about any fruit or vegetable you buy at the grocery store can be seeded or regrown?

Cucumbers & Zucchini

Yep, a fruit, cucumbers are among the easy growing seeds. How many times have neighbors and co-workers gifted loads of surplus cucumbers and zucchini? Save your next bottle of commercially-produced pickles for the pickle juice, slice up cukes, boil them for about 60 seconds in the pickle juice, and you’ve got yourself an $8 jar of fresh pickles!

Green Onions

Bonus: While I’ve not grown them from seeds, they are very easy to propagate. If you save the rooted end of green onions and replant in a convenient pot indoors, you’ll have fresh green onions for months. Just snip off a few lengths (they’ll grow back) for your next salad or baked potato.

Pumpkins

For me, pumpkins grow quite readily. Pumpkins definitely are easy growing seeds. The challenge I have is keeping thieving squirrels from running off with young tennis-ball size pumpkins. Remember, pumpkins are in the squash family, and make a delicious, healthy, nutritious side dish in the fall and winter.

Beets

grow beets from seeds very easily
“Detroit Red” Beets flourishing in my raised garden container. Image by author

I admit, I am not a fan of eating beets. I should say, the only beets I’ve eaten came from cans. Beets grow very easily – the bigger problem is to space them adequately in the garden so you don’t have to waste seedlings growing too close. Their tops are very edible, too, at least when young. When you thin the seedlings out, save their tasty green tops and add to a salad. They have a very mild taste, almost like spinach.

Edibles

Here are some herbs and seeding plants that are very economical to grow yourself. You’ll also have the extra convenience of never running out of these edibles.

Basil

grow your own basil from seeds
Fresh basil from your garden: Nothing is better. Image by author

When I was a semi-professional baker, I loved making my own pizza crusts and breads. There is nothing better than your own pizza with olive oil, fresh tomatoes, cheese, covered with sprigs of basil you picked from your own garden minutes before.

It takes basil a few weeks to get started, but they can grow very quickly and profusely. It’s great to have basil growing at arm’s reach. Basil you buy at the grocery store needs to be used within a week, tops, or it goes into the compost pile. If anything, you’ll probably have too much basil, so blend any surplus up in olive oil and freeze for later. There’s actually an established method of harvesting basil so the plant (practically) never stops giving. See this video: “The more you harvest them (properly) the more they’re going to grow.”

Catnip

Get some catnip started, and when they mature, pinch and crush some leaves in your hand. The aroma is practically an anti-anxiety medication. Image by author.

Catnip is a very fragrant herb that makes a great herbal tea. Its aroma is therapeutic, reducing anxiety and stress. And, you’ll never have to buy your cat commercially prepared catnip again. See what your cat thinks of fresh catnip. Historically, our cats have gone absolutely bonkers for fresh green catnip plants. And, it’s not just for cats.

Cilantro

cilantro can be easily grown from seeds
Cilantro is an acquired taste in my experience, but I adore it now. Image by author.

Here’s the good thing about growing cilantro. You’ll always have it available, it won’t go bad (how many times have you found a produce bag with a green clump of cilantro you forgot about?) and because it’s fresh, it’s extra delicious. It needs to grow in full sun and prefers moist soil. Also, the seeds need to be thinned out after a few weeks for best results. Like basil, cilantro should be grown in its own separate container.

Sunflowers

mammoth head sunflowers grown in any garden from seed
Has anyone not grown sunflowers at least once in their lives? Image by author

There can’t be a list of easy growing seeds without including sunflowers. Sunflowers are fun to watch grow as they reach higher and higher! But, the seeded sunflower head can be roasted with a big slab of butter and seasoned with salt and pepper for a unique appetizer. I, however, like to save the seeds on the heads to give back to the birds and squirrels that come to my backyard in the cold months. Growing your own beats buying birdseed and seeds at retail.

growing sunflowers is easy from seed
This sunflower is on the verge of blooming! Nothing is more fun in the garden than big ol’ sunflowers in the summertime. Image by author

There are so so so many varieties of sunflower seeds. Sunflowers and their seeds have been made in every color, every height, and every application. The “Mammoth” sunflower variety is widely known; they grow over 6′ tall and their seed heads weigh a pound. Try a dwarf-style sunflower: What’s cool with this variety is that many blooms come off of one stem, like the sunflower in this image below. And the seeds that they give, yep, save them for a whole new garden next Spring!

growing dwarf sunflowers from seeds
A “dwarf” variety of sunflower. Note the many buds per stem! Image by author

Sunflowers do pose a couple of unique challenges. The large, tall growing ones could very well need some support: their massive heads can be difficult for the plant to hold up. Plan on providing some bracing near the top of the stalk. Also, wildlife can be impatient, and squirrels and hungry birds might not wait until you dole out the seeds, they might loot the sunflower seeds before they’re truly ripe.

Wrapping it Up

Unleash your inner gardener and cultivate an oasis with these easy growing seeds. Enjoy harvesting and saving these abundant seeds, ensuring a bountiful garden year after year while indulging in the delightful scents and vistas they provide.

Photo of author

Author

After years of denying it, Donald finally admits one passion in life is gardening. More specifically: growing seeds, plants, flowers and edibles and helping them to be the best possible. Neighbors call him a Green Thumb. He lives in Western Washington with his wife of 24+ years and three cats.

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