10 easy flowers to grow

Image shows sweet peas, one of the easy flowers to grow
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Do you dream of opening your door onto a fantastic display of flowers in your summer garden, but don’t know where to start - choose some easy flowers to grow and you’re halfway there!

According to a study (opens in new tab), growing flowers is by far the most popular gardening activity, with almost 73% of those surveyed choosing to add some blooms to their outside spaces. Shrubs and vegetable growing are also popular.

So how can you get started on your floral display? Take a moment to consider how much sun or shade your garden gets, and if you know what your soil is like that will also help you to choose the correct plants for your outside space. Easy flowers to grow will sit happily in most soil types and situations. 

You’ll need a few tools - if you plan to start these easy flowers to grow from seed, you might need some compost, and pots or seed trays. A garden fork and spade and hand fork and trowel will be useful. As will a watering can and/or hose. Of course you need to keep your lawn looking good too - check out our guide to the best electric weed eaters (opens in new tab).

Kendall Platt, The Mindful Gardening Coach (opens in new tab), explains the benefit of growing your own flowers, “The main benefit of growing your own flowers, as well as saving yourself lots of money at the local florists, is that you can bring the outdoors inside to brighten up your kitchen or home office space. 

"This can help to lift your mood in the middle of a long Zoom call or as you catch sight of them out of the corner of your eye while making your mid-morning coffee. Your choice of flower color can help to change your mood, with cool blues and purples having a calming effect and bright oranges and hot pinks giving you an energy boost to see you through the rest of the day."

10 easy flowers to grow

1. Sunflowers

Sunflowers, with their oversized blooms, never fail to raise a smile, not least because they are easy to grow. Start seeds off directly in the ground, or in pots of compost - then transplant to your chosen growing spot. The giant varieties are fun to grow in competition with others - who can grow the tallest - and kids will love getting their photo taken next to a flower that towers above them!  There are also dwarf types and those with red or bronze-colored blooms.

Kendall Platt, The Mindful Gardening Coach (opens in new tab), says sunflowers are easy flowers to grow because they “are really fast growing and have good germination rates so are ideal to boost your confidence when growing from seed for the first time. Plus they’ll keep kids with short attention spans engaged.’’

Picture shows sunflowers in pots, which are an easy flower to grow

Sunflowers can be an easy flower to grow, making them a popular choice for beginner gardeners.  (Image credit: Getty Images)

2. Aster

Did you know there are more than 250 varieties of aster – daisy-like blooms that will always find a home within a garden. They are mostly easy to grow - so whether you want a tiny alpine plant to grow in a rockery, or a tall flower to add structure to your outside space, there will be an aster to fit the bill. They flower late in the summer and into fall, so are perfect for filling gaps left by summer blooms.

3. Morning Glory

Blue is an unusual color in the gardening palette, so Morning Glory’s bright blue trumpet-shaped flowers are a real find. Easy to grow, simply sow seed in the ground where you want them to flower. 

Kendall Platt says Morning Glory are easy flowers to grow because they are “climbing plants so they take up minimal ground space provided they are given support to scramble up. They will also be quite happy growing in containers, either up supports or trailing down out of a hanging basket.’’

4. Coneflower

The coneflower’s botanical name, Echinacea, will be familiar to fans of natural remedies, as it is used to treat the common cold. These plants grow quite tall - between 2ft and 4ft, with a 2ft spread, so fill space nicely in a border. The flowers, which look rather like shuttlecocks, come in purple as well as red, white, pink, orange, and even green.They also attract birds and butterflies.

5. Sweet peas

These aptly named flowers have the most delicious scent. This annual climber will weave itself around any nearby supports - plant near a seating area so that you can make the most of its perfume.

Kendall Platt says that sweet peas are easy flowers to grow because they “will tolerate light frosts, so in some gardening regions the seeds can be sown in December and the plants planted out in the garden at the end of March, saving you time during the busy spring months and meaning you get an early crop of gorgeously scented flowers.’’

6. California Poppy

What the expert says…

Kendall Platt says, “Being presented with a bunch of homegrown flowers is sure to elicit a smile from even the most seasoned hostess, as the thought and effort you have put into growing and creating it cannot be rivaled. Lastly, adorning your front door with a wreath covered in homegrown seasonal bulbs and flowers will be a very welcome sight as you arrive home at the end of a long day.’’

These delicate, nodding orange blooms (Eschscholzia californica) bring color in their native Sierra Nevada each spring, and they can do the same in your own back yard! They are most suited to informal planting - in a cottage garden, for instance - and do very well in poor soil in full sun. Remember to deadhead (pull off withered flowers) regularly to keep them flowering.

7. Marigolds

These sunny little annuals come in hues of yellow, gold, orange and red, and will flower happily from spring through to fall. They grow quickly from seed and prefer well-drained soil, in a sunny spot. They can also help to repel mosquitoes!

8. Zinnias

Butterflies love this easy to grow annual. These summer-blooming plants come in all colors from white through yellow, orange and pink - and a variety of different flower shapes. Pop in a sunny spot - they do like a richer soil if possible.

9. Dianthus

This is a good-value plant that flowers from May right through the summer. They like well-drained soil but don’t mind if they are in full sun or in a shadier spot. The dainty flowers cover all shades of pink and white, and they will keep blooming as long as you deadhead regularly. These easy to grow perennials often have a wonderful clove scent, and look most at home in cottage garden-style planting.

10. Cosmos

Cosmos grow quickly from seed and will quickly reach heights of between 18 and 60 inches, so they are a great choice for a flower border where you want to add height and structure. They have large, papery flowers in shades of white, pink and orange, along with feathery leaves. They are happy in a sunny spot with well-drained soil.

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Naomi MacKay has been a freelance writer and editor for the past 20 years. She previously made the move from local newspapers and consumer technology magazines into the gardening press as Assistant Editor at Garden Answers magazine, and has also worked for the Royal Horticultural Society, and writes garden columns for a number of publications.

With contributions from