Best Flower Seeds for the Garden [Review]

Growing flowers from seed is a risky enterprise. Waiting for flower seeds that don’t germinate, or worse, that don’t grow well can mean a lot of wasted time and, to be honest, a lot of heartache.

If you’ve never grown your own flowers before, let me share this: once the shoots sprout up from the soil and spread their tiny, adorable leaves, you will become very attached to them and you will care very much that they reach their full, beautiful potential.

Time, effort and mental energy make garden flower seeds a big investment, even though they’re less expensive than buying nursery stock. To ensure your baby plants thrive and bloom in this uncertain world, you need to stack the deck in your favour. This review of the best flower seeds will show you what to plant to ensure your care and your patience result in the healthy flowers you’re hoping for.

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Flowers for Garden


A big part of stacking the deck is knowing what flowers to plant. A little research here can save you a lot of heartache later. Before you start picking out plants, know the conditions in your hardiness zone and your region, plus the growing conditions in your own flower garden.

How sheltered is your garden? What kind of soil do you have? Does your garden get morning or afternoon sunlight (or both)? What kinds of pests will you need to be on the watch for? The more you know about your garden, the more informed choices you can make.

Once you know what kind of home your garden will provide for your flowers, you can match it up with the perfect garden flower seeds. The seed packet is an invaluable source of information for everything your plant needs, so read it closely before you buy. It will tell you when to start the seeds, what kind and amount of sunlight, water, soil and temperature they need to thrive, how long they take to reach maturity and how they should be planted.

You should develop a garden plan, not just to make sure the garden looks lovely, but to make sure each species will get the space, light and shade that it needs. Some species help each other out, so make companion planting a factor in your garden. Your taller plants, for example, will offer shade to your lower plants.

Also consider your own growing experience in your planning. The human element can make or break this project. If you’re a rookie gardener looking for summer flowers that are easy to grow, consider marigolds, zinnias, sunflowers, nasturtiums and cosmos. If you want spring flowers, bulbs are your friend. Daffodils and hyacinths are almost foolproof, and are iconic flower bulbs for the garden in spring. For summer bulbs, think about daylilies, dahlias, gladiolas or allium.

Don’t forget you can also plant flower seeds for pots, too. Pots can open up options for moving plants around to maximize sun exposure or to shelter delicate blooms. Calendula, petunias, celosia and impatiens all take well to pots and give any garden a big kick of colour.

Best Perennial Flower Seeds


MySeeds.Co French Forget Me Not

A big package of French forget me not flower seeds for garden, for memorial tributes or for wedding favours. These are easy to plant garden seeds, flowers that reliably bloom and overall healthy plants.

Features & Benefits

  • 5″ x 2″ package
  • 50,000 seeds
  • 1 oz.
  • Planting instructions on label

Pros

  • Non-GMO
  • Heirloom variety
  • Large quantity

Cons

  • Occasional report of seeds not germinating

Editorial Review

These forget me nots, from mother and daughter run company MySeeds.Co., come in a large package, which makes it perfect for those wanting to grow this quaint garden flower in bulk. This company offers many perennials in this quantity, but we chose their forget me nots for their versatility and for how easy they are to grow.

As outdoor flower seeds, they’re very low-maintenance, grow profusely and self-seed. In terms of versatility, their delicate blooms are lovely in everything you could use them for. In addition, forget me not seeds make excellent favours for weddings or showers, or memorial tributes for funeral guests to go away with. As favours, gifts or garden blooms, these seeds are a charming option.

What Others Are Saying

People who grew these flowers loved the value they got for their money. They generally reported that when planted, they sprouted quickly and turned into healthy, beautiful blooms with very little effort. Those who used them for wedding favours or for funerals appreciated how cost-effective it was to create personalized seed packets.

Some would-be-growers had less luck with these and reported that their seeds either didn’t germinate or failed to grow.

Also consider: Floret Flowers. Family run and committed to sustainable organic growing practices and local flowers, it’s easy to get behind them as a company. Their specialty flowers are even easier to get behind. The catalogue features so many unique and lovely finds that we wouldn’t presume to pick for you, but we liked their Yarrow Summer Berries for its many gorgeous shades.

Best Wildflower Seeds for Garden


Renee’s Garden Seeds Carefree Annual Wildflowers Scatter Garden

A resealable container of mixed flower seeds for garden, yard or any area you want naturalized. Includes spring and summer blooming wild flowers in a wide colour palette.

Features & Benefits

  • 7″ resealable container
  • 2.3 oz.
  • Covers 600-700 sq. ft.
  • Growing instructions on label

Pros

  • Wide range of species and colours
  • Flowers bloom through spring and summer

Cons

  • Annuals only
  • Some growers found the mix too “weedy”

Editorial Review

This wildflower seed mix features a variety of annual wild flower seeds, including candytuft, baby blue eyes, five spot, Chinese houses, African daisies, California poppies, California bluebells, Shirley poppy, bird’s eyes, godetia, clarkia, globe gilia and tidy tips. 

You can expect 9-16 days to germination with this blend, a fantastic feature for those who like flowers with a staggered bloom time.This variety ensures that spring, summer or fall, something beautiful will always be coming up. As a bonus, some varieties, like the poppies, will self-seed.

Its generous portion of seed covers a large area and is a great way to fill out a large garden quickly, although the resealable container also makes it easy to keep some back for next year. Its beautiful container is a nice addition to a gardening bench or seed shelf.

What Others Are Saying

Users often found these seeds easy to plant and to grow with typical maintenance. They thought the flowers themselves were gorgeous and also enjoyed that the container itself is so lovely. Some users reported that the mix included a higher percentage of grasses than they’d hoped for and a few felt the wildflowers were too weedy for their tastes. 

Also consider: Native Seeds/SEARCH. They’re a small seed conservation organization that focuses on open-pollinated, landrace and heirloom varieties native to the American southwest. Their wildflower collection is diverse and they offer a variety of fantastic mixes. Plus, you’ll support their mission to increase biodiversity, sustainable farming and Indigenous food sovereignty in the southwest.

Best Sunflower Seeds


Raw Earth Colors Dwarf Sunflower Seeds

A generous count of non-GMO sunflower seeds. This variety of sunflower is compact, classic and very easy to grow, making it perfect for novice growers.

Features & Benefits

  • Resealable package
  • 100 seed count
  • 0.81 oz.

Pros

  • Non-GMO
  • Compact variety

Cons

  • No growing instructions included (although they are on the website)

Editorial Review

Specializing in microgreens, hydroponics and seeds for home gardens, Raw Earth Colors offers these sunflower seeds for gardening flowers or for microgreens and sprouts. We liked them as flowers for their reasonable size and classic appearance. These flowers are showy but compact. They feature large heads with the classic yellow fringe and a lovely greenish tinge to their centres. The seeds germinate within 5-10 days.

Raw Earth Colors does offer a mammoth variety, as well. We chose their dwarf sunflower seeds because these seeds are incredibly easy to grow and are, perhaps, more functional garden flowers for florists and gardeners than mammoth varieties of sunflower. Mammoth varieties are impressive, but if you’re going to use them as cut flowers, you do not want to climb a ladder every time you want to harvest one.

What Others Are Saying

These flowers come very highly rated. Growers loved how quickly these flowers germinated (3 days seemed to be the average), along with the high rate of germination. People generally found them easy to grow and, unsurprisingly, loved how beautiful the flowers were once they’d bloomed. As is typical, there were the occasional reports of the seeds not sprouting, but by and large, growers were happy with their purchase and with their sunflowers.

Also consider: Worker-owned Johnny’s Selected Seeds. Their collection of sunflowers is extensive. You can choose something branching, something colourful, something open pollinated, something pollenless, the works. Their site lets you filter your search for cut flower varieties and you can browse their fun sunflower chart to compare the features of each variety they offer.

Best Flower Seeds for Bees and Butterflies


Mountain View Seeds Bee Pollinator Wildflower Seed Mixture

This mixture’s range of gorgeous flowers are favourites with people and pollinators alike. Its bulk size lets even rookie gardeners grow a successful bee garden.

Features & Benefits

  • 2 lbs.
  • Covers 700 sq. ft.
  • 39% annual; 61% perennial
  • Planting instructions on label

Pros

  • Nice variety of blooms
  • Mixture of perennials and annuals
  • Covers a large area

Cons

  • Butterfly mix is separate
  • Not non-GMO

Editorial Review

With 22 varieties of bee flower seeds in a range of colours and bloom times, this mixture has enough to keep gardeners, as well as bees, very happy. Easy to grow, hardy and easy to maintain, this is a fantastic blend for people who want their garden to do its part to help bees and other pollinators.

Its generous amount of seeds lets growers who want their gardens to have a naturalized look (or at least, to have a naturalized section of their garden) develop a thriving wild aesthetic with little effort.

Mountain View Seeds offers a separate “Hummingbird & Butterfly” mix for those who want seeds for flowers that will attract those species. It features the same coverage, with 25 varieties of flower: 21% perennials and 79% annuals.

What Others Are Saying

People who planted this mixture were pleased by how quickly the seeds germinated, how much of space they could cover with a single package and how long-lasting the flowers were. They especially appreciated that the mixture contained so much in the way of perennials. Reports of seeds not germinating were rare and most people really liked this product.

Also consider: Botanical Interests’ I Love Pollinators mix. It’s a blend of annuals and perennials that create habitats for all kinds of pollinators. With bachelor’s buttons, hollyhock, zinnias, sunflowers and more, the mix is as beautiful as it is beneficial. The best part is that 100% of sales goes to the Pollinator Partnership, an organization dedicated to pollinator conservation.

Best Bedding Flowers


Sweet Yards Seeds Sweet Pea Seeds Royal Mix

A bulk package of sweet peas with a lovely mix of standard colours. Easy to grow and care for, these GMO-free seeds are perfect for those who want a lot of flowers in a range of colours.

Features & Benefits

  • Resealable container
  • 1 oz.
  • Covers 25 sq. ft.
  • Full planting instructions on the label

Pros

  • Seeds are guaranteed to germinate
  • 100% GMO-free

Cons

  • Rare reports of the mix blooming in a single colour

Editorial Review

Although Sweet Yards Seeds has an extensive catalogue, we chose their sweet peas because these are easy spring flowers to plant, because they sprout quickly and because there’s just something wonderfully nostalgic about sweet peas. They make beautiful cut flowers and will produce more blooms as you cut them.

This is a nice mix for any florist growing their own stock. It lets gardeners grow a lot of one flower in a variety of colours. Sweet Yards Seeds stands by their plants and flowers – these come with a guarantee that they’ll germinate within 30 days, and germinate they do.

They’re very healthy seeds that grow quickly and stay strong, even in challenging climates. As a note, Sweet Yards Seeds is also committed to offering only organic vegetable seeds in their catalogue, which we love.

What Others Are Saying

Growers who used this seed were impressed with the high rate of germination and the number of healthy plants they ended up with. Even novice gardeners report having success with these sweet peas. Unsurprisingly, growers raved about the fragrance of these sweet peas and loved that it reminded them of their grandmothers’ gardens.

The occasional person found that their seeds did not germinate or came up in only one colour. Rarely people discovered too late that the seeds have an expiry date, which is a helpful reminder to others that these are fresh seeds and they’re best if planted when you get them.

Also consider: Sustainable Seed Company. Focused on organic, heirloom varieties, their mission is to foster sustainable planting, harvesting and seed saving practices. The catalogue features many rare, heirloom and heritage varieties. Their Organic Sunshine Flashback Calendula is especially worth a look for its sunny and striking demeanour.

Best Flower Plugs


Harris Seeds

Harris Seeds’ plug and liner programs offer a huge selection of young plants from a range of suppliers. A great option for larger growers or for those looking for a specific flower that’s not easy to start.

Features & Benefits

  • Works with a few different suppliers
  • Bulk orders
  • Offers plugs as well as liners

Pros

  • Large catalogue
  • Free shipping over $150

Cons

  • Expensive, compared with growing seeds
  • Minimum order required

Editorial Review

Harris Seeds has plug and liner programs with a few different suppliers. The catalogue is immense and a lot of fun to look through. In addition to being able to choose from thousands of varieties of plants, you can also choose your preferred stage of maturity and pick from a range of tray and cell sizes.

Plugs are typically sold wholesale to retailers or growers. If you buy plugs, you can expect to be required to make a sizeable minimum order, so this isn’t a great option for small growers. That said, if you can split with another grower or some friends who want a large number of flowers for the garden outside, the minimum order becomes less of a roadblock.

A Note on Flower Plugs

Seeds take up a lot of space if you’re starting them in a greenhouse and not everyone wants to spend the energy and time waiting for little ones to germinate. If you’re short on time and space, or if you want to purchase garden flowers ready to plant, flower plugs might be a good option for you.

Although they’re generally more expensive than growing from seed, flower plugs can be more cost-effective for some types of flowers. With some seeds, flowers simply take a long time to come to maturity (flowers like lisianthus, for example). And with other flowers, seeds are finicky. Sometimes the difficulty germinating them makes it a better bet to spend the money on plugs than to spend the time and effort on, for example, begonias, that might not grow.

Bottom Line


Sweet Yards Seeds Sweet Pea Seeds Royal Mix

For the healthy plants, the value and the guarantee, our top pick is Sweet Yards Seeds Sweet Pea Seeds Royal Mix. We always appreciate a company that’s confident enough in their product to guarantee it.

We also loved these sweet peas. Beautiful, abundant and simple to grow, these flowers are rewarding to novice and experienced grower alike. Since they grow up, that leaves you space for other varieties of lower-growing flowers.

With these sweet peas, your garden will be full, vibrant and sweet smelling. Wait – who’s that on the patio? Oh, it’s you – enjoying a nice glass of wine and gazing out over your lush, beautiful flower garden. It’s perfect. Well done.

Image credit: Francesco Gallarotti

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