For many of us, spring is the season to refresh and renew. It’s the time of year to look forward to warmer weather, the sound of birds chirping, and of course, the growth of new plants. Celebrate this wonderful season by growing these seven flowers and enjoy an array of blooms from late spring through to summer.
Flowers to grow in spring
Sunflowers are one of the easiest flowers to grow and will brighten up your garden with their large yellow blooms. The best time to sow sunflower seeds is in spring when the soil starts to warm up. Sunflowers love the sun, so pick a spot in your garden that receives full sun most of the day.
As sunflowers can grow quite large, plant them at least 30 cm apart to give them plenty of room to grow. If crowded or grown in pots, sunflowers will produce a smaller flower and stem. Because sunflowers have a taproot, sow seeds 2 cm deep directly into the garden where they are to grow, rather than planting the seeds into pots and transplanting them after they’ve germinated. Water sunflower seeds daily until they germinate. This will take approximately 10 days. After the seeds have germinated, continue watering them daily and within 8–10 weeks your sunflowers should bloom.
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Marigold flowers are super easy to grow and will light up your garden with a blaze of bright and cheery orange hues. They are excellent for attracting butterflies, bees, ladybugs, and other beneficial insects to your garden.
Marigolds love full sun and soil with good drainage. Sow seeds in spring at 10 cm apart and 1 cm deep. The seeds will germinate quickly in warm weather, usually within a few days, and bloom in eight weeks. Water the plants regularly to encourage thicker growth and more blooms.
To self-seed marigolds, deadhead the blooms and drop them onto the ground. Deadheading will create bushier marigolds and encourage them to bloom for a more extended period.
Marigolds are commonly used as a companion plant in vegetable gardens as they deter pests, but did you know marigolds also help repel mosquitoes? This easy-to-grow annual flower emits a smell that deters mosquitoes, so these flowers are perfect for growing in flower window boxes, pots or gardens around your home.
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Have you tried growing echinacea in your garden? Echinacea is a herbaceous clump-forming perennial with a relatively long blooming season extending from late spring to late summer. This beautiful plant produces unique cone-shaped flowers with raised centres and drooping petals that look stunning in the garden or a vase. If you’re thinking of growing echinacea in your garden this year, it’s time to start getting ready to sow some seeds, as the best time to plant seeds is in early spring.
Sow seeds 17 cm apart and lightly cover with soil, approximately 4 mm. Keep seeds moist by watering them regularly. Seedlings should emerge in 10 to 20 days. Once the seedlings are 5cm tall, transplant them into the garden. Echinacea thrives in full to partial sun, so plant seedlings in a sunny spot in your garden with well-drained soil. Echinacea plants establish deep taproots, so it’s best to plant the seedlings where you want them to grow as once the plant is established, it won’t tolerate being moved. Be careful not to overwater echinacea plants as they will not grow in wet, mucky soil.
Most plants will bloom during the second year, so don’t be discouraged if your echinacea plant doesn’t flower straight away.
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If you want to add colour to your garden, plant zinnias. They’re easy to grow and produce a colourful display of flowers in your garden, including pink, red, purple, orange, yellow, lavender, white and even green. The only colour Zinnia flowers are not available in is blue. They’re also a superb cut flower for those who like to bring their blooms inside. Zinnia’s will bring sunshine to even the cloudiest days.
Sow zinnia seeds in punnets or directly in the garden at a depth of around 5 mm. Water regularly until the seeds have germinated, usually within 10 days from planting. Once the seedlings are 6 cm tall, thin them out to 30 cm apart. Zinnia’s love the sun, so pick a position in your garden that receives direct sunlight most of the day. Depending on the variety of zinnia you grow, you can expect to see blooms within weeks to a month from planting.
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Chamomile is a wonderful herb that produces dainty daisy like flowers that are as pretty as they are useful. Chamomile flowers can be dried and used to make soothing chamomile tea.
Chamomile grows quickly, reaching full bloom within about 10 weeks. Chamomile grows better in rich, organic soil. To grow chamomile from seed, scatter seeds across the top of the soil in a tray or pot, then gently press them into the soil but do not cover the seeds in soil. Water the seeds regularly, and they should germinate within 10 to 14 days. As your camomile seedlings grow, water them once a week. Once the plant has reached maturity, it will be very drought tolerant and require less water to survive. Once seedlings are ready to be transplanted, plant them in a sunny position in your garden. Chamomile plants produce more flowers when it receives direct, full sun. It may not bloom if it’s planted in the shade.
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This delightful, dainty old-school flower is easy to grow and brings cheery blue life to gardens. Forget-me-not’s botanical name, myosotis, comes from the Greek words “mus” for mouse and “otis” for ears, referring to the leaves that are shaped like mice ears.
Forget-me-not flowers a best grown in part shade. We recommend starting seeds in pots with good quality soil that drains well. Sow two to three seeds across the soil surface an inch apart and press the seeds down on the surface to sure they are in contact with the soil. Water seeds daily and they should germinate within 8 to 14 days. Once the seeds have grown their first leaves, transplant them into the garden if you wish. Forget-me-nots love to stay hydrated. In the wild, they grow close to water sources such as rivers and streams, so water them daily and they will bloom profusely.
Forget-me-not flowers only emit a pleasant scent during the night and are odourless during the day, so if you’re growing them in your garden, be sure to wander outside at night to enjoy the scent of your delightful blooms.
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Nasturtiums produce beautiful edible flowers that are incredibly easy to grow. Nasturtium seeds sprout best when the soil is warm, so plant seeds in spring and early summer. You can sow seeds in pots or trays or directly into the ground where they are to grow. Push seeds into the soil about 3 cm deep and 8 cm apart. Seed should germinate in 10 to 12 days. Water regularly, and once they’ve grown, thin them to 30 cm apart.
Nasturtiums need to be planted in a spot that receives full sun to part shade and has good drainage. Water the plant regularly, especially during dry periods. As nasturtiums sprawl out across the ground, they’re great for suppressing weeds and help to keep the soil cool.
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