Winter blues got you down? Conquer cabin fever with 5 stunning, zero-effort flowers you can grow from seed for your cut flower garden before spring!
As the freezing temperatures and snow swirl outside, I’m dreaming of vibrant summer blooms dancing in the breeze. Are you thinking about it too?
Those beautiful flowers could be sprouting right under your roof this very winter! Even if you don’t have a greenhouse, you can transform your home into a seed-starting wonderland, ready to burst with life come spring.
And don’t worry if space is tight!
Winter sowing is a magical trick where you tuck seeds into recycled planters that lets you tap into the power of frost to gently coax them to life outdoors taking up zero space inside your home.
The key to starting seeds in winter with success is choosing ones that germinate and grow with ease. But where do you start? Which plants should you choose?
As an avid gardener with lots of growing experience, I’ve got my favorites among a pack of easy-care flowers to grow that I start from seed every winter.
Here are my five fabulous, low-maintenance flower friends who are super easy to grow from seed in the winter!
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Seed Starting in Winter
Winter doesn’t mean we have to wait until spring to get our hands back in the dirt! While the world outside sleeps under a blanket of snow, you can be nurturing your garden and planning for an explosive summer bloom from the cozy comfort of your home.
Whether you choose the predictable rhythm of grow lights or the thrill of winter sowing, one thing is certain: seed starting in winter is a great way to get your garden groove back!
So grab your seeds, your grow lights (or milk jug greenhouses!), and some energy. Let’s grow!
Benefits of Starting Seeds During the Winter
Sure, the leaves may be crispy and the ground is frozen, but there’s magic brewing beneath the the deep freeze of winter. Forget hibernating like a bear – winter seed starting ignites a vibrant revolution in your gardening soul! Here’s why:
- Jumpstart your season by miles! Forget late-arriving nursery plants – your winter-sown seedlings strut into spring, ready to rock and bloom months before store-bought options. Imagine a kaleidoscope of bouquets erupting weeks earlier, your garden humming with life as the rest of the world thaws.
- No more nursery limitations! Yearn for that rare delphinium or the hard-to-find cosmos your grandma raved about? With starting seed indoors or winter sowing, the world of seeds becomes your oyster. Track down those hard to find varieties online, and watch your personal paradise come alive with unique flowers you wouldn’t have the opportunity to grow.
- Budget Gardening: Put your wallet back in your spring coat pocket! Seeds are a fraction of the price of ready-made plants, meaning your winter sowing spree translates to blooming savings (and bragging rights!). Stretch your garden budget further and watch your floral bounty explode without breaking the bank.
- Beat the winter blues with a dose of soil therapy! Even when snow blankets the ground, winter sowing lets you dive into the earthy goodness. The simple act of nurturing tiny seeds, watching them sprout, and envisioning their summer splendor is a guaranteed mood booster. It’s gardening therapy in a pot, a reminder that life flourishes even in the coldest months.
- Self-Satisfaction: There is a lot of satisfaction and joy in the journey of starting a garden from seed to flower.
Seed Starting: 5 Simple Flowers to Sow This Winter
Before we begin, I want to mention that there are a lot of low-maintenance flowers and plants to choose from. But these are my go-to picks of the easiest flowers to grow from seed because they germinate with ease, are tough as nails in the garden, and are low-maintenance blooms to boot.
Before I share my short list, there are a lot more flowers that I’d rank on my list of the easiest flowers to grow for your cut flower garden from seed. But if I were new to seed starting in winter or wanted no-fail seeds to start with?
These are my top 5.
Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus)
Imagine dragon-like faces grinning in a rainbow of colors – that’s the magic of snapdragons! These colorful, long-blooming beauties thrive in containers or borders, adding cheer from early summer to fall.
Cool temperatures and well-draining soil are their happy place. Snapdragons are deer-resistant flowers that will likely need support as they grow in your garden so try using trellis netting or grow-through support hoops like these. I suggest adding support when you plant them so it’s set and forget but at a minimum, you’ll want to establish a good support system when the plant is about a foot tall.
Keep in mind that because snapdragons prefer cooler temperatures, they won’t thrive as well in summer. But leave them be. As the temperatures cool, they will rebound and bloom again in fall providing lots of fresh cut flowers for fall arrangements and centerpieces.
Snapdragons can be started by seed indoors or through the winter sowing method.
Like tiny works of art, celosias bring drama and texture to any garden. Feathery plumes or brain-like florets in fiery crimson, pinks, purples, gold, and orange – they’re heat lovers with a diverse soil palate. Think architectural flair meets sunshine bliss with these gorgeous blooms!
Not only are they super easy to start from seed and grow in general, but I’ve also found that celosia reseeds well here. Although it is a flowering annual in my hardiness zone, it returns yearly with ease from self-sowing. So they are a little less work in the long term once they take a hold in your garden.
Celosia can be started from seed indoors (follow the seed packet directions) or direct sowed in the garden after all danger of frost has passed.
Zinnia flowers are classic summer charmers and are practically synonymous with easy-care gardening. From petite pom-poms to giant dahlias, zinnias paint your garden in a dizzying array of colors and sizes.
Fast-growing, pest and disease-resistant, and happy even in poor soil, they’re perfect for beginners and seasoned green thumbs alike. I typically grow about 10 different varieties every year because they are so diverse, look incredible in bouquets and make my heart sing each time I pass by them in the gardens.
Zinnias are pollinator-friendly too, so you’ll see butterflies grabbing the nectar often during the growing season. These cottage garden flowers are high on my list of plants to grow in general, and you can’t go wrong including them in your garden design this year. So, unleash your inner artist, start some zinnia seeds, and let the zinnias bloom!
Zinnias can be started by seed indoors (follow the seed packet directions) or direct sowed when all danger has passed.
Long-lasting beauty on a budget? Say hello to strawflowers! These papery wonders in vibrant hues like orange, pink, crimson, and lavender hold their color even after drying, making them perfect for everlasting arrangements.
Drought-tolerant, low-maintenance, and blooming from summer to fall, they add a touch of cottage-style, rustic charm to any garden.
Strawflowers are easy to start from seed indoors, are tough as nails in the garden, but may need additional support to keep the blooms upright. Read the seed packet to learn the height at maturity and start staking taller flowers when you plant.
Strawflower seed can be started indoors (follow seed packet directions) or directly sown outside after all danger of frost has passed.
Ah, the intoxicating fragrance of sweet peas wafting on a summer evening is pure enchantment! These elegant climbers grace your garden with cascading tendrils adorned with exquisite blooms in pink, purple, white, and even bi-colors.
While they need a little more TLC (they need strong support), their heavenly scent and graceful beauty make them more than worth the effort.
I start my sweet peas from seed through the winter sowing method and they do much better than starting those seeds indoors and hardening them off after. And I plant them along my garden fences in the potager garden where they seem to really thrive.
Wildlife loves to nibble so they’ll need some protection from rabbits, deer, and groundhogs. I use this deer repellent that is systemic and helps repel rabbits, voles, groundhogs, and other critters too.
Sweet peas can be started indoors or by using the winter sowing method. In my garden, I prefer to winter sow them because it saves me indoor seed starting space, there’s no hardening off process, and they seem to be stronger seedlings when started this way in my zone 6b garden.
Easiest Flowers to Grow from Seed That Didn’t Make My Short List
Since I am a huge flower addict and don’t want to stop at my top 5, here are a few more simple flowers you can start from seed this winter that are easy to germinate and grow!
- Bachelor’s Buttons
- And so many more!
Quick Seed Starting Tips
Ready to nurture your floral wonderland? Here are some secret tips to get you started.
- Seeds! Source high-quality seeds from reputable places – happy seeds make happy gardeners. I love to order from Floret Flowers, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Select Seeds, and Renee’s Garden.
- Potting mix: Well-draining is key! Choose an organic potting mix specifically formulated for starting seeds. This is the one I use.
- Bring Sunlight Indoors: Winter days are short, so give your seedlings a boost with grow lights.
- Water wisdom: Consistent moisture is essential, but avoid overwatering – think damp, not soggy. And always water from the bottom instead of overhead.
- Space matters: Thin those seedlings to prevent overcrowding and give them room to spread their wings.
- Patience is a virtue! Germination and growth take time, so enjoy the journey and watch your green miracles unfold.
Winter may hold the world in its icy grip, but with these five easy-care flower friends and a sprinkle of TLC, your home can be a haven of blooming hope for the next flower gardening season.
So, grab your seeds, unleash your inner plant whisperer, and let’s paint the spring garden with a symphony of color! I would love to hear how your seed starts are doing during the season too… so don’t forget to share your seed-starting adventures and floral triumphs in the comments below – together, we can make this winter bloom!
And hey, for even more blooming inspiration, don’t forget to check out more gardening inspiration for a treasure trove of gardening tips, tricks, and resources!
More About Easy-Care Flowers to Start From Seed This Winter
Do you start seeds during the winter too? If so, what are your favorite plants to start from seed? Which easy flowers to grow are your favorites? I would love to know more in the comments below.
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- I like to use a good-quality, potting soil, garden soil, compost, and perlite when planting. While I make my own compost, you can easily buy it ready-made for use.
- I have used this deer repellent with great success. But now, I’m all about this deer repellent that is systemic instead of topical. This means the plant takes it in as opposed to it just smelling bad. If you want to minimize the work and not use repellents, choose plants that are deer-resistant from this list.
- Hands down this is my favorite hand-weeding tool. You can use it to get underneath roots and loosen soil, and it cuts down on the weeding time because you work much faster.
- But I also love this long, stand-up weeding tool to really get around roses from afar.
- I use this organic fertilizer for roses because the blooms are more prolific and it’s organic.
- And I use this organic fertilizer for my vegetables and herbs in the potager garden.
- You’ll need a sharp set of pruners when working with plants and flowers. I buy a few so I can stash them around.
- I use these garden snips to deadhead and cut flowers from my gardens.
- Where pest and disease problems are concerned, if I need to, I generally use this insecticidal soap or neem oil to help control infestations depending on the issue. When using, only apply when pollinators are less active.
- This is my go-to bait for slug and snail problems with my hostas and dahlias.
- This is my favorite set-and-forget slow-release fertilizer for houseplants, annuals, and container gardens.
- Whenever I stake my peonies or other plants, I generally use these grow-through garden supports because they work really well and keep the blooms upright.
- I use this collapsible bin ALL THE TIME. It is invaluable when working in the beds as it’s light to carry around and folds flat for easy storage.
- Drip irrigation set on a timer is your friend! I love these for my planters, window boxes, and hanging baskets.
- And this four way hose bib allows you to split one spicket into four!
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If you’ve always dreamed of bringing country charm to your home while creating a beautiful, relaxing space, I got you! Learn how to grow flowers in even the smallest of spaces with my easy-care, low-maintenance approach.
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Want to learn more about me?
I’m a master gardener who’s been gardening and growing things for over 25 years and author of the best-selling book, The Bricks ‘n Blooms Guide to a Beautiful and Easy-Care Flower Garden. With a deep passion for gardening, I enjoy helping others find their inner green thumb with all things plants and flowers, as well as finding ways to bring the outdoors inside their homes.
Get the inside scoop about my background as a master gardener, education, and experience, as well as why I started blogging here.