8 easy flowers for beginner gardeners to grow
Whether you’ve just moved out and want to create a garden oasis to enjoy or you simply want to add a splash of colour to your home by growing a pot of flowers on your windowsill, try these eight varieties of flowers. They’re low maintenance, easy to grow and produce beautiful blooms – no green thumb required!
Sunflowers are one of the most recognisable blooms with their splendidly bright yellow petals and lush green stems. These annuals are low maintenance and easy to grow which makes them a perfect flower for beginner gardeners.
Sunflowers thrive in full sun and can tolerate most soil types that have good drainage. They add a splash of colour to any garden and are a perfect cut flower for the home. It’s hard not to smile at the sight of sunflowers in full bloom!
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A garden favourite, marigolds are a no-fuss annual that will add bursts of orange and yellow colours to your garden. Loved by many garden insects, once marigolds flower, you’ll find they will attract butterflies, bees, ladybugs and other beneficial bugs to your garden.
Marigolds are a perfect plant to grow from seed as they germinate quickly, within a week from sowing, and bloom within eight weeks. To flower well, marigolds need to be grown in full sun and can tolerate almost any soil but grow best in fertile, well-drained soil.
Marigolds are loved by organic gardeners for their ability to deter pests and as a companion plant to enhance the growth of certain vegetables. The flowers are edible and are perfect for pressing.
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Zinnias are one of the easiest flowers to grow, but there are a few important steps to take to ensure your planting is successful. Zinnias don’t like to be transplanted and don’t tolerate frost, therefore it’s essential to plant the seeds directly into the ground after the last frost has passed and in a location that gets full sun. Once the seeds germinate, zinnias grow quickly and bloom heavily. Zinnias produce bright daisy-like flowerheads on a single stem which makes them great as a cut flower.
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Cornflowers are a wonderful flower for kids and beginner gardeners to grow. These cheerful and attractive flowers are easy to grow and are low maintenance once established. The sweet cornflower blue edible blooms make beautiful pressed flowers and can be used to decorate cakes and homemade bread, or added to salads. Bees and butterflies also love the blossoms and are sure to visit your garden when the flowers are in full bloom.
Sow cornflower seeds directly into the soil in a full sun position in spring. Cornflowers prefer well-drained soil, and you don’t need to worry too much about soil fertility as cornflowers prefer less than perfect soil.
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If you have poor soil with minimal organic matter then cosmos is a perfect flower for your garden. Cosmos are great value for gardeners, as the flowers can last for many months on the plant. They’re also great for attracting beneficial bugs to your garden as their daisy-like flower makes it easy for butterflies and bees to feed.
This hardy annual can survive with no fertiliser in the soil and minimal water. In fact, cosmos flowers best in poor soil as organic matter encourages leaf growth at the expense of blooms. For best flowering, plant cosmos in full sun.
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Much loved sweet peas are an easy-to-grow annual that produces a romantic ruffled flower with a beautiful fragrance that many gardeners can’t deny. Sweet peas thrive in a bright sunny spot and rich, moist soil. Sow seeds directly into a garden bed or pot in spring. As sweet peas are climbers, you’ll need to provide suitable support for them to grow on. You can buy a trellis or make one from timber and wire.
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If you love a plant that thrives on neglect, then nasturtium is the plant for you. Nasturtium flowers and leaves are edible and make a colourful addition to salads or cakes.
Nasturtiums do not transplant well, so plant seeds directly into the soil in an area of your garden that gets full sun. Nasturtiums grow better in well-drained poor soil. Rich soil will produce smaller and fewer flowers.
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Snapdragons are quintessential cottage garden flowers adored for their beautiful, tapered flowers and range of vibrant colours. Although these flowers require more care than the annuals mentioned previously, snapdragons are a fun flower for kids to grow. The flower head which resembles the snout of a dragon and opens and closes in a snapping motion provides entertainment for children of all ages.
Snapdragons are slow growing, usually taking 6 to 12 weeks to grow from seed. When large enough to transplant outdoors, plant snapdragons in rich, well-draining soil in a sunny location in your garden. Snapdragons make wonderful cut and pressed flowers.