Choosing some of the easiest flowers to grow provides an amazing confidence boost to beginner gardeners still learning the tricks of the trade. Even if you make a few mistakes, these low-maintenance, forgiving flowers usually adapt easily and continue to look happy and healthy. Some actually prefer to be left alone. Best of all, these easy-to-grow flowers represent all the colors of the rainbow, so you're sure to find a flower that sparks joy.
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Once you drop daffodils (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) into the soil, they'll reward you with cheerful yellow blooms on stems about 8 inches high first thing in the spring for three to five years. They grow best in zones 3 through 8. Fertilizing and watering these low-maintenance flowers are optional, but they do appreciate consistent moisture when growing. Choose a sunny and well-drained area to grow daffodils. When the leaves start to turn yellow, you can cut them at ground level.
If you're looking for a flowering plant that will thrive while being completely ignored, a daylily (Hemerocallis spp.) is the perfect choice. This tough plant flowers in virtually any type of soil in USDA zones 4 through 9. All it needs is a sunny location, and it will grow and flower consistently. It's typically unbothered by pests or disease, but deer do enjoy eating these flowers. A variety of flower colors is available, including a fiery orange that looks stunning as cut flowers.
Zinnias (Zinnia elegans) produce globe-shaped, multicolor flowers that attract numerous pollinators, including butterflies, and they make excellent additions to cut-flower arrangements. As an annual flower, zinnias must be planted every year. They grow best when sown directly outdoors instead of being transplanted. Zinnias grow rapidly, with sprouts appearing within a week. Fertilizing zinnias isn't strictly necessary, but they should be watered during dry spells.
A dense planting of marigolds (Tagetes spp.) creates a cheerful ground cover with a practical twist: These flowers are known to ward off pests in the vegetable garden and are often planted as a border around tomatoes in particular. Even if you choose to grow them on their own, you'll be rewarded with long-lasting, heat-loving flowers. Place marigolds in full sun for best results and select a species or variety that works well for your soil. Some are more drought tolerant than others, for example, and some are easier to start from seed. Most marigolds are annuals but will self-seed on their own, eliminating the need to replant them year after year.
Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) are annual flowers that form a gorgeous carpet of color when planted in close proximity. In fact, a dense planting will produce taller growth in impatiens. They come in a variety of colors and are often bicolor too. Although impatiens are some of the easiest flowers to grow thanks to their fast growth habit and burst of color, they do require consistent moisture. You'll know you've gone too long between waterings if the leaves begin to look dry. Impatiens grow fine in part shade, and they may overwinter in zones 10 and 11. In all other zones, transplant young impatiens directly into the garden rather than sowing seeds.
You don't have to plant a rose bush to enjoy sophisticated deep-red flowers in your garden. Try geraniums (Pelargonium spp.) for a beginner-friendly experience instead. These vibrant plants often have attractive bicolor leaves as well. Varieties can grow as small as 4 inches tall and 6 inches wide or as large as 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide. They can be grown as perennials in zones 10 and 11, but they are grown as annuals elsewhere. Geraniums prefer to have the soil dry out between waterings and do best in full or partial sun. Deadhead old blooms to encourage new flowers throughout the season.
7. Morning Glories
Morning glories (Ipomoea spp.) are vigorous, vining plants that only open their white, purple or blue flowers early in the morning. Morning glories are almost too easy to grow; they self-seed easily and may spread throughout the garden if left unchecked. This low-maintenance plant just needs occasional watering during dry spells. It doesn't need fertilizer, and in fact, it may not produce many blooms if it is fed too much. Plant morning glory seeds in a location that gets full sun for best results. Morning glories grow in USDA zones 3 through 10.
Pansies (Viola × wittrockiana) are easy flowers to grow as long as you follow a couple of guidelines. First, purchase young pansies from your local garden center rather than starting them from seed. Second, incorporate pansies into your spring or fall garden but skip planting them during summer. Other than that, pansies require no special treatment to keep them flowering for a long time. Give them water, sun and average-quality soil, and they'll reward you with cheerful bicolor blooms in USDA zones 2 through 9. The only major pests for which to watch are slugs.
9. Sedum or Hylotelephium
Sedum refers to many different species and varieties in the Sedum genus, some of which are now classified in the Hylotelephium genus instead. The flowers on Hylotelephium spectabile in particular are large and showy, displaying a beautiful pink or peach color on top of succulent leaves. This plant prefers a sunny location in average-quality soil, and it won't keel over during a dry spell. It also grows in clay, rocky and sandy soils. As a perennial, Hylotelephium is as close to a "plant it and forget it" flower as you can get. It grows best in zones 3 to 9.
Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) are colorful and versatile warm-weather plants. They can be grown as perennials in zones 9 to 11 but must be replanted in early summer in cooler zones. Fortunately, nasturtiums germinate easily and quickly even in poor soil, and they require no fertilizer. Their trailing growth habit makes them perfect as a ground cover or as a climbing vine. Nasturtiums are often included in vegetable gardens because they're completely edible. However, some gardeners prefer to plant nasturtiums in a separate area of the yard due to their tendency to attract tons of aphids.
11. Sweet Peas
Despite a confusing name, sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus) are grown in zones 2 through 11 for their fragrant flowers, not for their inedible pods. The white, purple, pink, red, yellow and blue flowers blossom on a vigorous vine in early spring. To keep sweet pea plants as happy as can be well into late summer, plant them in a location that receives afternoon shade. Mulch the roots well. Although sweet peas don't require much attention, they do need a touch of patience since they're slow to germinate.
Do you want to add color to a shade garden? Plant a begonia! Begonias (Begonia spp.) produce luxuriant flowers in sophisticated oranges, pinks and reds on top of dark foliage. They prefer partial shade and tolerate dry soil better than they tolerate wet soil. Begonias can be grown outdoors year-round in zones 9 and 10. In all other zones, consider growing them in containers so they can be brought indoors during the winter. They do well indoors thanks to their compact size and preference for part shade.
- The Old Farmer's Almanac: Growing Nasturtium
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Hylotelephium spectabile 'Brilliant'
- The Old Farmer's Almanac: Growing Pansies
- The Old Farmer's Almanac: Growing Morning Glories
- The Old Farmer's Almanac: Growing Geraniums
- The American Daffodil Society: Guidelines for Growing Daffodils
- Longfield Gardens: 5 Tips For Growing Daylilies
- The Old Farmer's Almanac: Growing Marigolds
- White Flower Farm: A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Sweet Peas
- The Old Farmer's Almanac: Growing Impatiens