The Easiest Annuals to Grow from Seed

19 Easy Annuals to Grow from Seed

Zinnias. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Tempted by all those flats of annuals at the garden center? Before you toss them in your cart, consider buying seeds instead. You'll get more plants for your money, and you'll have less to haul home. Here's a list of the easiest annuals to grow from seed. To learn more about any of them, just click on their name.

Annual Flowers

Bachelor's button
Morning glories
Poppies (annual varieties)
Portulaca (also called moss rose)
Sweet Alyssum
Sweet Peas

Annual Herbs

Parsley (a biennial, but usually treated as an annual)

How to Start Annuals from Seed

Some of the annuals on this list can be direct sown (planted directly in the garden); others need to be started indoors. Click on the linked names for detailed planting instructions, or refer to the seed packet for more info. If you're just getting started with gardening, direct sown seeds are the hands-down winner. Just plant them as deep as the seed packet instructs, water them regularly, and it shouldn't take long for your new plants to emerge.

While annuals need to be replanted every year, you may not need to plant them after the first year. Many of the annuals on this list self-seed readily. Save yourself some work by allowing your flowers to go to seed at the end of the season (just skip deadheading them), and their seeds will disperse naturally in the garden.

Want a little more control over where things come up?

Then, collect the seeds, save them over the winter, and plant them in the spring. That small effort will save you from having to buy more seeds, and will result in hardier plants, since they'll already be acclimated to your area.

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