from the employee owners at Gardener's Supply Co.

Perennials to Grow from Seed

I can’t help but cringe when I browse the perennial section of seed catalogs and see finicky flowers like Himalayan blue poppy without any comments about the challenges of starting them from seed or how many years it will take the plants to bloom. Some perennials are notoriously finicky to grow from seed; others are as easy to grow as cosmos and zinnias.

Shasta daisies

I can’t help but cringe when I browse the perennial section of seed catalogs and see finicky flowers like Himalayan blue poppy without any comments about the challenges of starting them from seed or how many years it will take the plants to bloom. Some perennials are notoriously finicky to grow from seed; others are as easy to grow as cosmos and zinnias.

What follows is my list of 10 perennials that you can start from seed — and expect blooms the first year. For detailed growing instructions, read the article Grow Perennials from Seed.

  • Large-Flowered Tickseed (Coreopsis grandiflora)
  • Maiden Pinks (Dianthus deltoides)
  • Catmint (Nepeta nervosa)
  • Oxeye, False Sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides scabra)
  • Blanket flower (Gaillardia x grandiflora)
  • Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)
  • Rose campion (Lychnis coronaria)
  • Gaura (Gaura lindheimeri)
  • Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum)

3 Comments

  1. February 3, 2011    

    That is so true! The same should be said for vegetables. Like celery and asparagus are so hard to grow from seed as well! Takes a lot of patience.

  2. February 3, 2011    

    Yes, I feel for new gardeners that try to grow finicky vegetables and flowers. I imagine many people try something once and decide that they have “black thumbs,” when even the most experienced of us gardeners would find a particular plant difficult to grow. (As much as we try to offer information that helps new gardeners be successful, the allure of the Himalayan Blue Poppy is hard to resist!) –Suzanne DeJohn

  3. Maree
    March 2, 2011    

    I’ll admit it – my first seed starting adventure as an adult was to start a Himalayan Poppy . . . I’d seen fields of them in England, how hard could it be?? Soo discouraging . . . now I only start the ‘easy’ ones recommended by gardeners I know and trust like Suzanne.

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