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34 Easy to Grow Flowers for Your Garden

Flowers gladden the heart and perk up the spirit. While vegetables and ornamental leaf plants are desirable, nothing can quite compare to a lush bed of beautiful blooms. They aren’t necessarily difficult to grow, either. Many originated as wildflowers that grew in fields and woodlands, and easily adapt to growing in beds, borders and even in lawns.

  1. Althea


    Available in a variety of colors, this woody flowering shrub is also called Rose o’ Sharon. Readily grows almost anywhere, and has a spreading habit. It can be kept in check through a combination of pruning and mowing. Tolerant of deer, drought, and can be grown in full sun or partial shade almost anywhere.

  2. Aster


    Daisy-like perennials with starry-shaped heads, this hearty grower produces a profusion of colorful blooms. Originally from Eurasia, it is now grown in flower gardens around the world. Size, height, and color vary by species, so you could have an entire flower garden of asters. They are excellent for late fall color, blooming when other blossoms are beginning to fade. Hardy in U.S. growing zones 4-8. To overwinter, plant in rich, well-drained soil. Cut back to a few inches above ground and mulch with straw or leaf matter. Asters can be grown as an annual or container plant in other zones.

  3. Azaleas


    Members of the Rhododendron family, these low-growing shrubby bushes put on a profusion of blooms in early spring. They can be propagated from seeds or cuttings. They prefer to grow in shaded areas, and are therefore excellent for heavily shaded lawn and garden areas. Pliny the Elder wrote of an army that was invading Turkey as having been defeated after eating honey from bees that fed on Azaleas. (They apparently do not affect the bees.) But have no fear of poisoning your neighbor’s honey – for the honey to be affected, the bees must feed exclusively on Azaleas or other members of the Rhododendron family. In some areas, such honey is used medicinally.

  4. Bachelor Buttons

    Bachelor Buttons

    Also known as Corn Flowers. They love sun, and grow well in most temperate growing zones. Start your bachelor buttons in fertile soil that is moderately moist. Once they have established, they need little care, and will self-seed year after year unless dead-headed before self-seeding. They were once used in courting gentlemen’s lapel, hence the name “bachelor button.” In colder climates, they can be treated as annuals and grown from seed each year.

  5. Begonia


    Originating in the tropics and subtropics, begonias are often grown as a container plant in more temperate or northerly climates. They tolerate a great deal of neglect, in fact almost require it since, for good root health, the potted plants need to dry out almost completely between watering. For this reason, clay pots are recommended as containers for these tropical beauties. In more warmer areas, they can be grown out of doors. They can develop a dormancy period during wintry seasons, even when cultivated indoors.

  6. Bergamot


    Monarda fistulosa or monarda didyma, not to be confused with the Bergamot orange. Also called bee balm, horsemint, or Oswego tea, bergamot produces ragged flower heads of a light purple or lavender color, sometimes shading over into pink or red. Often used in tea or herbal medicine, all parts of the bergamot herb are edible by humans, but the individual petals of the bloom are the part most often used. Bees love it, and it makes a beautiful part of any bee garden. It is a hardy grower and will do well in most temperate climates, readily self-seeding.

  7. Black Eyed Susan

    Black Eyed Susan

    A hardy grower native to most parts of the United States, this distinctive yellow flower with its dark, cone-shaped center can be seen growing along roadsides, in fence rows or in meadows. More recent hybrid plants have additional colors. The original is largely self-seeding, but the hybrids might not breed true the second season. Black-eyed Susan loves full sun, but will tolerate some shade. An established bed should self-seed year after year.

  8. Butterfly Weed

    Butterfly Weed

    Nothing will light up your landscaping like a patch of butterfly weed. As the name implies, Asclepias Tuberosa, otherwise known as butterfly weed, is a native North American flower that can be found in fields and beside roads. You can obtain seeds from most seed catalogs, as well. It is a staple for butterfly gardens because the multiple tiny blossoms are perfect for a butterfly’s long proboscis.

  9. Calendula


    This bright orange or yellow flower should not be confused with marigolds, even though its blossoms are similar in appearance. Calendula has many uses, including medicinal. According to WebMD (, it can be used to heal wounds, bring down inflammation, as a mouth wash (especially for sore gums or other lesions), bring on the menstrual cycle, and as a foot wash. Calendula petals that have been plucked from the stem can be added to salads or used to make tea.

  10. Cannas


    This showy, brightly colored flower from the tropical Americas is grown from large bulbs. They require warm weather, but northern gardeners can enjoy its display of brilliant petals by planting the bulbs in the spring when all danger of frost is past, and then digging them up again in the fall before real cold weather occurs. The leaves are almost as attractive as the blooms, making them an excellent background plant for an annual bed.

  11. Chicory


    Light blue flowers and lacey green leaves make this a pretty plant for your garden. The leaves and buds can be eaten as a salad or dried to be used as a tea. The roots are sometimes minced, dried and used as a substitute for coffee. Chicory grows wild in Europe, and has become naturalized in the United States, Australia, and several other countries around the globe. Requiring little attention, it happily grows where it is planted, just like its cousin the Dandelion.

  12. Cosmos


    Cosmos are a traditional cut flower for informal home bouquets and drying. It is a slightly tender annual, and must be seeded anew in most areas. Cosmos are native to southern Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. They like fertile soil that is kept moist but is well-drained. They can sometimes be grown in containers, but it is recommended that you plant dwarf varieties for container gardening.

  13. Cone Flower

    Cone Flower

    Echinacea purpurea, sometimes called purple coneflower, has long been a traditional medicinal. However, like many medicinal plants, it has also been hybridized to create beautiful blooms in a variety of colors. They love full sun. They will tolerate poor soil, but will produce more blooms and be healthier if grown on a richer mix. Like many flowering herbs, they do not require a lot of attention once started. If the heads are left on the stalks after blooming, the flowers will self-seed.

  14. Daffodils


    Plant bulbs in the fall for spring blooms. Daffodils vary from the classic yellow narcissus blossoms that herald the beginning of spring to exquisite paperwhites. Once established, they will need little care to give year after year of beautiful blooms.

  15. Daisy


    Daisies are remarkably easy to get started and will spread rapidly. Dead-heading to prevent wild seeding and sinking a metal barrier at the edge of the bed is advised if you do not want daisies just about everywhere. They love full sun, and are not fond of wet feet, so overwatering could eliminate a patch of daisies. In areas where the weather is too cold or the growing season too short, daisies can be grown in pots.

  16. Dahlias


    Plant the tubers in the early spring, and treat as a tender annual in areas that have cold winters. They are a member of the tuberose aster family, the same group that includes daisies, asters, sunflowers, and chrysanthemums. Where winters are mild, the bulbs can be left in the ground. If you have bitter winters, the tubers can be dug up and replanted in the spring. They like a moderately rich, well-drained soil.

  17. Marigolds


    Purple dianthus are also called sweet Williams. Sweet Williams are biennial and will self-seed. When planting dianthus, provide a rich, well-drained seedbed that includes slow-release fertilizer, such as a good compost. Another type of dianthus is called “pinks”. The original or heirloom plants tend to have a short blooming season, often in late May or early June in the midwestern United States, or in comparable northern hemisphere gardening areas.

  18. Dandelions


    These bright little flowers are often treated as a weed in lawns and gardens. They are super easy to grow, are durable in most climates, and are completely edible. They are high in antioxidants and beta-carotene. The leaves can be eaten as a bitter green, the yellow blossom petals can be added to salads, made into jelly or fermented for wine. Dried, ground dandelion root can be used as a naturally caffeine-free coffee substitute. Not recommended for people who are allergic to daisies.

  19. Day Lilies

    Day Lilies

    Hemerocallis fulva is the original day lily, and it is completely edible from blossom to its little tuber roots. Keep in mind that day lilies are not a true lily, so be sure you have the right plant before sampling. With that said, if you like using a straw, but want to avoid the stigma of the ubiquitous plastic straw, the dried stalks work great for this. As for growing, tuck some fresh day lily tubers in a moderately rich soil in a location that gets plenty of sun and adequate water. They grow across the U.S. from Florida all the way to Canada. They are the closest thing ever to foolproof gardening.

  20. Four O’Clocks

    Four O’Clocks

    If you want showy blooms late in the afternoon up into the night, four o’clocks are perfect. Available in a variety of colors, they readily grow from seed. Although they die back in winter, they readily reseed themselves, and can quickly become an invasive weed if not monitored. They like moderately rich mulch, but will grow nearly anywhere including in partial shade. Be sure to deadhead if you do not want four o’clocks taking over the rest of your yard and garden.

  21. Gladiolus


    A member of the iris family, these tall, spiky blooms make a lovely showing in midsummer after the spring and early summer blooms have faded. The flower stalks can be flattened in a high wind, and might need to be staked. The bulbs can be set out in the spring shortly after the first frost. They like sun and moderate water.

  22. Hollyhocks


    An excellent background plant because of their height, they produce large, round leaves and tall stalks adorned with blooms that look like a dancer’s full skirt. Hollyhocks are biennial, and might not bloom the first year they are planted. They are one of the few plants that will do well when planted near a black walnut tree as they are immune to juglone, the chemical leached into the soil by black walnuts.

  23. Hyacinths


    Beautiful purple or pink flowers than give off a heavenly aroma. Plant the bulbs in the fall, about 4 inches deep, before the first frost. They will bloom in spring, shortly after snowdrops and jonquils. They like a rich, well-drained soil but require little care once established.

  24. Irises


    For spring blooms, plant tubers in the fall. Irises grow in planting zones 3 through 10. They like a deep, rich soil with a neutral pH, but are generally tolerant of soil types and temperature. Once established, they need little watering or other attention although they will need to be weeded. Available in a wide variety of colors and types.

  25. Marigolds


    Tagetes erecta, patula, or teniufolia. Hardy annuals that require little care. They can be grown from seed or purchased as bedding plants. Often used to add color to seasonal plantings, they provided colorful blooms throughout most of the summer. Marigolds make good companion plants since they repel certain underground pests. Sometimes confused with Calendula, tagetes are not edible.

  26. Morning Glory

    Morning Glory

    This name includes more than 1,000 species of the family Convolvulaceae. Another name for morning glory is bindweed. It is easily propagated from seed, but in warm or temperate climates can quickly turn into an invasive pest. Properly restrained, it can be an attractive mass of color on a trellis or pergola.

  27. Nasturtiums


    The name means nose wrinkle because of their distinctive odor. Often used as companion plants, the flowers, and young leaves are edible. They have a peppery taste when added to salads. Nasturtiums do not transplant easily, but are not difficult to grow from seed. They like rich soil with moderate amounts of water.

  28. Pansies


    Sometimes called heart’s ease, these lovely flowers look as if their blooms have faces. They are easiest to grow as bedding plants, and will bloom profusely in spring and fall. They don’t do well in heat, but are resilient in moderately chilly temperatures. Pansies are another edible flower. They have a mild minty flavor.

  29. Peonies


    Hardy in zones 2-8, peonies are a perennial spring flower. Their big, full heads make a showy mass of pastel color, and their foliage creates a nice spot of green the rest of the year. They are susceptible to ants and aphids. They like a rich garden soil, but will tolerate poorer soils. They do not do well in boggy areas, preferring good drainage. Aside from weeding, they need little care.

  30. Marigolds


    They are finicky to grow from seed, but can be used as annual bedding plants. They like to be a little on the dry side. Avoid overwatering. Like marigolds, they are available in an endless array of colors, but tend more toward the pastel end of the spectrum. They are susceptible to aphids, leaf miners, mold, and rot. Keeping the bed a little dry will help with this.

  31. Sunflowers


    What is not to love about beautiful sunny disks swiveling on their stalks to trace the passage of the sun? Native to North America, they are so easy to grow in temperate climates that they are often a child’s first garden project. Toward the end of the growing season, they can become top-heavy as their centers fill with ripening seeds. Bamboo stakes can help keep them upright. Nets can protect the heads from birds, who love them, too.

  32. Sweet Peas

    Sweet Peas

    Soak the seeds for a few hours before planting, or start them in peat pots and set them out, pot and all. A vining member of the legume family, sweet peas are delightful trained over a trellis, fence or pergola. They like a cool, well-mulched rich soil that is moist but not too wet. Sweet Peas can grow in and around all manner of garden décor to brighten up your garden.

  33. Violets


    Can there be a more delightful groundcover than a layer of violets? They frequently can be found growing wild in woodland areas. Viola odorata, wild violets, can be broadcast seeded in much the same way as grass seed, or a carpet of violets can be started by planting started seedlings. They readily self-seed, and make an attractive, low growing carpet of springtime blooms and soft, broadleaf green in summer.

  34. Zinnias


    Another kitchen garden staple for cut flowers or for drying to be used in winter arrangements. Zinnias are easily grown from seed, or they can be started early in peat pots. In most climates, they are best treated as annuals. They are subject to few pests, are heat resistant, and extremely easy to grow

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