These Are the 10 Easiest Flowers to Grow From Seed

closeup of red-orange flowers in garden with pink, yellow, and purple flowers in background against green trees and grass

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Growing bright, colorful flowers is one of the joys of having a garden, whether you're planting in your backyard, in planters on your patio or fire escape, or in a window box. Even better, many of the most beautiful flowers are easy to direct seed or start indoors—and it's more budget-friendly than buying seeds, too. Here are some of our favorite flowers that are easy to grow from seed.

01 of 10

Sunflowers

closeup of sunflowers in sunny garden

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  • Botanical Name: Helianthus
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Type: Moist, well-drained soil
  • Soil pH: 6.0 - 7.5

There are dozens of types of sunflowers, from low-growing cultivars with multiple blooms to towering varieties with big, sunny flower heads—and they're some of the easiest, most low-maintenance flowers you can grow.

Plant seeds an inch deep and about six inches apart, and if you'd like blooms throughout the summer, stagger plantings every two weeks.

Sunflowers reseed readily, so choose a spot where you won't mind them coming back next year.

02 of 10

Calendula

closeup of orange calendula flowers with green leaves and stems

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  • Botanical Name: Calendula officinalis
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Type: Rich, well-drained soil
  • Soil pH: 6.0 - 7.0

Cheery calendula flowers offer a pop of orange or yellow to your flower bed. Plant seeds every six inches and cover them with a half-inch of soil after your area's last frost date in spring. Calendula reseeds easily from season to season.

03 of 10

Celosia

closeup of pointy red celosia or cockscomb flowers with green leaves

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  • Botanical Name: Celosia
  • Sun Exposure: Full to part sun
  • Soil Type: Rich, well-drained soil
  • Soil pH: 6.0 - 6.5

Celosia is a member of the amaranth family. and its greens are cooked and eaten in parts of Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Start celosia seeds indoors about a month before the last frost, then transplant outdoors once night temperatures are above 50 degrees.

04 of 10

Nasturtiums

closeup of red and yellow nasturtiums in golden sunlight with big green leaves and bee

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  • Botanical Name: Tropaeolum majus
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Type: Well-drained soil
  • Soil pH: 6.5 - 7.5

If you love using edible flowers to decorate salads, cheese boards, and other dishes, nasturtium is the perfect plant for you. Its slightly spicy flowers and leaves are tasty, and its large seeds are easy to plant. Direct sow nasturtium seeds outdoors after your area's last frost date about one inch deep and 10 inches apart.

05 of 10

Marigolds

overhead view of big round yellow and orange marigold flowers with feathery green leaves

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  • Botanical Name: Tagetes
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Type: Moist, well-drained soil
  • Soil pH: 5.5 - 7.5

Marigold seedlings are sold by the six-pack at just about every nursery, garden center, and hardware store each spring, but they're easy and even more affordable to grow from seed. In colder climates, start marigold seeds indoors four to six weeks before your last frost date; in warmer areas, they can be direct seeded outdoors after danger of frost has passed.

06 of 10

Cosmos

magenta, pink, and white cosmos flowers with yellow centers, brown stems and green feathery leaves in garden

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  • Botanical Name: Cosmos
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Type: Moist, well-drained soil
  • Soil pH: 6.0 - 6.8

Bright, colorful cosmos add liveliness to any landscape. Direct sow cosmos seeds outdoors after your last frost date, or start them indoors four to six weeks before the last frost date for your area. Sow seeds a quarter-inch deep, then thin seedlings to 12 to 18 inches apart once they're a couple of inches tall.

07 of 10

Cleome

closeup of purple, pink, and white cleome flowers with green stems and leaves below

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  • Botanical Name: Cleome
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Type: Well-drained soil
  • Soil pH: 6.0 - 7.0

Also called spiderflower for its leggy growth habit and long, spindly blooms, cleome is one of the most distinctive garden flowers you can grow from seed. Simply sprinkle seeds on the soil after danger of frost has passed and cover them with a thin layer of soil (no more than a quarter-inch). Cleomes reseed readily, so choose a site where you'd like to see them year after year.

08 of 10

Zinnias

magenta, red, yellow, pink, and white zinnia flowers with green stems and leaves

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  • Botanical Name: Zinnia
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Type: Rich, well-drained soil
  • Soil pH: 5.5 - 7.5

Zinnias grow best when they're direct-seeded outdoors, but you'll want to wait until air and soil temperatures hit 70 degrees or above. Plant zinnia seeds a quarter-inch deep, following spacing instructions for the variety you've chosen. These flowers are beautiful in an ornamental or cutting garden, as they're hardy enough to be cut for bouquets.

09 of 10

Purple Hyacinth Bean

closeup of purple hyacinth bean flowers and pods growing on old metal fence

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  • Botanical Name: Lablab purpureus
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Type: Rich, well-drained soil

Gardeners typically grow this vining annual plant for its pink and purple blooms, but the young, unripe bean pods are cooked and eaten in some tropical parts of the world (note that uncooked pods are toxic). They make a beautiful addition to a fence, pole, or trellis. Soak seeds in water overnight before planting one inch deep and six inches apart outdoors once danger of frost has passed.

10 of 10

Sweet Peas

closeup of red, purple, and pink sweet pea flowers with green stems, leaves, and tendrils

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  • Botanical Name: Lathyrus odoratus
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • Soil Type: Rich, well-drained soil
  • Soil pH: 7.0 - 7.5

Sweet peas are available in a variety of bright colors, but these garden favorites offer an attractive fragrance as well as appearance. Plant sweet peas in late spring once soil temperatures are at least 50 degrees. The night before planting, soak seeds in water overnight to support speedy germination.