If you’re into flowers and gardening, then you might have heard of self-sowing flowers. As their name suggests, self-sowing flowers seed themselves. Seeds will get dispersed by the wind and germinate in the soil, producing dense and beautiful flowers throughout your garden over the span of a few years. Self-sowing flowers are all annual flowers, meaning that they bloom throughout one growing season then wither off. Typically with self-sowing seeds, they don’t look exactly like their parent plant. For example, hybrid geraniums that are pink may give you red or even white geraniums the following growing season.
One of the most important things when growing self-sowing flowers is to allow them ample time to go to seed. This will save you a lot of time deadheading and you don’t need to be on your hands and knees pulling out dead flowers in the summer. For seeds to ripen, flowers usually need to dry out. In order for that to happen, just leave your flowers alone. After all, they’re called self-seeders so you really don’t need to tend to them that often. So, let nature take its course, and hopefully, you’ll be able to see more self-sowers in your garden for the next few years.
Sowing Seeds Yourself
The best part about self-sowers is that they do all the hard work for you as you don’t have to worry about planting seeds. However, sometimes the wind doesn’t disperse the seeds as nicely as you’d like and your garden ends up looking haphazard. If this happens, don’t fret! You can always transplant your flowers and replant them so that your garden is kept neat and tidy. Alternatively, if you have an abundance of flowers and feel that your garden is looking too dense, self-sowing annual flowers can also be easily potted up and given to friends and family. If you want to save yourself the hassle of digging up and transplanting your flowers, you can always plan ahead and save the seeds from your annual flowers before they’re sown. The following growing season, simply scatter and plant them yourself!
Here are some handy tips you can follow if you choose to sow your seeds yourself:
- Light: Though seeds usually don’t require sunlight for germination, there are some species of seeds that do. If you’re unfamiliar with whether your seeds require sunlight to germinate, it’s best to ensure that they’re not completely covered with soil when you sow them. When sowing your seeds, gently press them down into the soil with either your fingers or a hoe.
- Scarification: Some seeds are encased in hard shells for protection. As such, the trigger the end of seed dormancy, a change in temperature is usually required. However, a simpler solution you can follow is to scarify your seeds. Using a sharp knife or sandpaper, carefully nick the outer shell of the seed. If you’re using a knife, you want to be extra cautious as annual flower seeds are generally very tiny. Before scarifying your seeds, you can soak them overnight in water to soften them up.
- Some self-sowing annual flower seeds, like poppies, for example, require cold temperatures to trigger germination. If your seeds are sown outdoors, natural temperature changes will do the job for you. However, if you’re sowing your seeds indoors, you’ll need to place them in the fridge or garage for the recommended amount of time. This process is known as stratification.
When to Sow Outdoors
When determining whether you should sow your seeds indoors or outdoors, nature is your best indicator. If your notice that certain annual flowers consistently self-sow outdoors in your garden, then you should sow them during autumn. For annual flowers that wither after one season, they could either be sterile hybrids or require warmer temperatures to germinate.
Also known as “cornflower”, these flowers are drought tolerant and have edible petals. The best part? It self-sows for another crop of flowers the following season and attracts pollinators.
Grow your plants twice as big with this potting mix that feeds plants for up to six months. It is enriched with nutrients and will enhance the vibrant colors of your plants. It works on both indoor and outdoor plants too.
Can’t decide what type of flowers to plant? Fret not, with this seed mix, you can grow a mix of 21 popular annual flowers like Calendula, Bachelor Button and Siberian Wallflower all year round.
Popular Self-Sowing Annual Flowers
Now that we’ve covered some background on self-sowing flowers and tips on how to care for them, let’s look at popular varieties of self-sowing annual flowers that you should consider adding to your garden:
1. Sweet Alyssum
Sweet alyssums are super hardy annual flowers. They can withstand high temperatures and long periods without water better than almost every other annual flower which makes them perfect if you don’t have a lot of time to tend to and care for your garden. Sweet alyssums are also named after the sweet fragrance that they emit so your garden is guaranteed to smell amazing. As sweet alyssums are low-growing, they’re perfect for lining paths, containers, or planters.
2. Bachelor Button Flowers, Cornflower
Bachelor button flowers, or cornflowers, come in a gorgeous royal blue and are bound to beautify any garden. Adored by many and used frequently in both American and European gardens, bachelor button flowers are low-maintenance flowers and that grow well under direct sunlight.
3. Blue Woodruff
Blue woodruffs are highly versatile and have tiny purplish-blue flowers. They’re easy to grow and are commonly used as filler plants as they form mounds of beautiful green and blue foliage.
Regardless of whether you want to start a successful cut-flower business or your own flower garden, this book is packed with all the knowledge you need; from the planting to harvesting stages.
A 50-plant composting container garden, this comes with soil moisture indicators as well as plant food to give you the bundle you need to kickstart your very own home garden. It is easy to handle and use.
4. California Poppy
California poppies come in a brilliant shade of orange and you can often find them growing on sidewalks or vacant lots. These vibrantly colored flowers are a wonderful addition to predominantly green or blue gardens. Though California poppies are usually orange, their flowers can also come in shades of yellow, white, red, and pink.
5. Satin Flower
Last but not least, we have satin flowers that usually blossom in shades of pink though they can also come in varying shades of purple, red, white, and peach. These plants can grow up to two feet tall and can bloom in the winter if you begin sowing during the fall. If you live in countries that have a cool climate, you should begin seeding in the spring.
With that, we’ve come to the end of your article about self-sowing flowers. We hope that you’ve gained some inspiration on what flowers to add to your garden next. Or, if you already have some self-sowing flowers, hopefully, you’ve managed to pick up a tip or two on how to better care for them.
|1||Tall Blend Bachelor’s Button Seeds|
Also known as “cornflower”, these flowers are drought tolerant and have edible petals. The best part? It self-sows for another crop.
|2||Miracle-Gro Premium Potting Mix|
Grow your plants twice as big with this potting mix that is enriched with nutrients and will enhance the vibrant colors of your plants.
|3||All Annual Scatter Garden Seed Mix|
Can’t decide what type of flowers to plant? Fret not, with this seed mix, you can grow a mix of 21 popular annual flowers like Calendula.
|4||The Flower Farmer|
Regardless of whether you want to start a successful cut-flower business or your own flower garden, this book is packed with all the knowledge.
|5||Garden Tower 2 Starter Bundle|
A 50-plant composting container garden, this comes with soil moisture indicators as well as plant food to give you the bundle you need.