Think you have a brown thumb? These easy-to-grow flowers will help you gain confidence in the garden. Easy annuals such as sunflowers and zinnias are simple to start from seed, perennials require little care and return year after year, and bulbs are practically foolproof when planted properly. Start with just one easy plant, or select a few and get growing!

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Sunflowers

Zones: Annual

Colors: Yellows, browns, and mixed

Height: 3-16 feet

  • Blooms during summer
  • Most varieties are drought and heat tolerant
  • Attracts bees, birds, and butterflies
  • Thrives in full sun
  • Tolerates most soil types (except water-logged)
  • May require support to prevent breakage

Coneflowers

Zones: 3-9

Colors: Yellow, orange, white, purple, pink, bicolor and more

Height: Up to 6 feet tall

  • Blooms for months
  • Makes great cut flowers
  • Attracts pollinators and birds
  • Sow seeds in spring or fall
  • Likes rich, well-drained soil
  • Tolerates drought
  • Plant in full sun
  • Try Lakota™ Fire coneflower for a colorful mix of shades of red and purple all in the same plant.

Zinnias

Zones: Annual

Colors: Shades of red, orange, yellow, pink, and white

Height: 20-24 inches tall

  • Blooms during summer
  • Varies in shape (daisies, dahlias, spiders, poms)
  • Attracts butterflies
  • Likes rich, well-drained soil
  • Has moderate water requirements
  • Grows best in full sun

Dianthus

Zones: 3-9

Colors: Shades of red, purple, pink, and white

Height: Most 10-20 inches, varieties up to 3 feet tall

  • Showy, fragrant flowers (clove-scented)
  • Blooms from May to August
  • Deer resistant
  • Attractive evergreen green foliage
  • Plant in well-drained soil
  • Grow in full sun to light shade
  • Try the Fruit Punch® series for colorful additions to planters, beds, and borders.

Marigolds

Zones: Annual

Colors: Shades of yellow, red, gold, and mixed

Height: 6 inches to 3 feet tall

  • Blooms spring, summer and fall
  • Grows quickly from seed
  • Helps repel mosquitoes (See 12 Mosquito Repellent Plants)
  • Prefers well-drained soil, grows well in dry or sandy gardens
  • Water well, allow to dry between waterings
  • Should be grown in full sun

Impatiens

Zones: Grown as annuals (can be perennial in Zones 10-11)

Colors: Variety

Height: 6-24 inches tall

  • Blooms non-stop from June until frost
  • Attracts birds
  • Prefers loamy soil
  • Keep soil moist, but not waterlogged
  • Best in part or full shade
  • Try Rockapulco® double impatiens for miniature rose-like blooms

Cosmos

Zones: Annual

Colors: Orange, pink, white

Height: Varieties 18-60 inches tall

  • Blooms spring, summer and fall
  • Grows quickly from seed
  • Helps repel mosquitoes
  • Prefers well-drained soil, grows well in dry or sandy gardens
  • Water well, allow to dry between waterings
  • Should be grown in full sun

Morning Glories

Zones: Annual

Colors: White, purple, pink, red, blue varieties

Height: 6 to 15 feet tall

  • Blooms in late summer or early fall
  • Readily self-sowing — be careful where you plant
  • Attracts birds and butterflies
  • Seeds are highly toxic if ingested
  • Prefers moderately fertile, well-drained soil
  • Water weekly during dry periods
  • Plant in full sun

Sweet Peas

Zones: Annual

Colors: Blue, pink, purple, red, white

Height: 3 to 8 feet tall

  • Highly fragrant flowers
  • Blooms spring through early summer in hot climates, into fall in cooler areas
  • Seeds resemble edible sweet peas but are toxic if eaten
  • Prefers loamy, well-drained soil
  • Keep moist, water at the base
  • Grow in full sun
  • Needs supportive fence or trellis

Nasturtium

Zones: Annual

Colors: Shades of orange, red, yellow, cream

Height: 8-10 feet tall

  • Quick growing and colorful
  • Blooms May until September
  • Edible leaves and flowers (recipe: Pan-Seared Halibut with Nasturtium Butter)
  • Needs well-drained soil
  • Water regularly, but don’t over-water
  • Plant in full sun

Pansies

Zones: Grown as annuals (can be perennial/biennial in Zones 6-10)

Colors: Variety of colors

Height: 6-9 inches tall

  • In warmer climates pansies will bloom throughout winter and early spring
  • Attracts butterflies
  • Likes rich, well-drained soil
  • Needs regular watering
  • Blooms in sun or partial shade
  • Grows best in temperatures 45-75 degrees F

Snapdragons

Zones: Grown as annuals (can be perennial in Zones 5-10)

Colors: White, yellow, pink, red, orange, peach, purple, and violet

Height: 6-15 inches tall

  • Blooms from spring through fall in cool summer growing conditions
  • Attracts butterflies
  • Prefers well-drained soil
  • Water regularly at the base of the plant
  • Best in full sun

Wax Begonias

Zones: Grown as annuals (can be perennial in Zones 10-11)

Colors: Orange, pink, white, yellow

Height: 6-12 inches tall

  • Blooms summer and fall
  • Varieties produce single or double blooms with ruffled or smooth petals
  • Requires fertile, amended soil
  • Water consistently, but don’t overdo it
  • Best in partial sun to shade

Lupines

Zones: 4-8 (often grown as an annual)

Colors: Blue, white, yellow, pink, and purple

Height: Up to 4 feet tall

  • Produces seeds that will self-sow
  • Attracts butterflies
  • Likes average, well-drained soil — best without fertilizer
  • Water deeply and allow to dry in between
  • Loosen soil deeply when planting for its long tap roots
  • Plant in full sun in cool climates, filtered light in hot ones

Fuchsias

Zones: 10-11 (grown as an annual elsewhere)

Colors: Shades of purple, magenta, pink, red, and white

Height: Varieties 1-8 feet tall

  • Can be overwintered indoors
  • Attracts hummingbirds
  • Best in shade (does not like heat, humidity, or drought)
  • Prefers moist, but well-drained soil
  • Prune back to encourage new growth

Geraniums (Pelargonium)

Zones: 10-11 (grown as an annual elsewhere)

Colors: White, pink, red, lavender, purple, magenta, and rose

Height: 3-24 inches tall

  • Low-maintenance color from spring until frost
  • Good for use in window boxes, hanging baskets, containers, or beds
  • Attracts birds
  • Thrives in rich, well-drained soil
  • Watered regularly, but don’t over-water
  • Prefers full sun/afternoon shade in hot climates

Lavender

Zones: 4-9

Colors: Shades of purple and lavender, some white and pink

Height: 20-24 inches tall

  • Blooms late June through August
  • Attracts bees and butterflies
  • Lavandin variety helps keep mosquitoes away
  • Requires well-drained soil
  • Water deeply, but infrequently (drought tolerant)
  • Best in full sun

Dahlias

Zones: 7-10

Colors: Pink, purple, red, orange, yellow, and white

Height: 1 to 6 feet tall

  • Thrives in most climates, although not too well in hot and humid
  • Wide variety of shapes (spiky, single, double, pompon, anemone)
  • Grows in well-drained, sandy soil
  • Plant in full sun
  • Plant tubers in the spring
  • Provide 2 or 3 deep waterings a week after growth emerges above ground

Daffodils

Zones: 3-9

Colors: Yellow, orange, white

Height: 6-30 inches tall

  • Blooms late winter or early spring
  • Plant in beds or containers
  • Plant daffodil bulbs in fall to bloom in spring
  • Provide well-drained soil
  • Likes regular watering in spring and fall
  • Tolerates full sun or part shade

Daylilies

Zones: 3-10

Colors: Shades of Yellow, red, pink, purple, and melon

Height: 12-48 inches tall

  • Flowers continuously over a long period of time
  • Excellent for massing in large areas
  • Tolerant of heat and humidity
  • Plant in spring
  • Grow in rich, well-drained soil
  • Provide deep watering in summer
  • Flowers best in full sun

Ornamental Onions (Allium)

Zones: 4-8

Colors: Lavender, purple, pink, and white

Height: 6-36 inches tall

  • Great for rock gardens, cottage gardens or meadows
  • Relatively resistant to deer, voles, chipmunks, and rabbits
  • Blooms as seasons change from spring to summer
  • Plant bulbs in the fall
  • Provide well-drained soil
  • Grows in full sun
  • Likes dry to medium moisture

RELATED:
How to Start a Flower Garden

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