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planting flowers from seed

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I generally buy a bunch of seeds in the States to bring back and plant here. They do sell flowers here, but a pretty limited variety in my small town, and what I've seen outside that limitation is usually pretty expensive.


Flowers that are really common and cheap to buy (so I don't need to do seeds) here are vincas, petunias, marigolds and straw flowers.


I've had some successes and some failures, I was wondering if others have had particular flowers they've planted from seed that have done well and they would recommend? Here's what I've tried:


marigold (work very well, I harvest the seeds and use the following year)

nasturtium (also work well, and I harvest seeds)

zinnia (they do fairly well -- often the colors come out different than expected)

sweet william (plants came up great, but no flowers)

snapdragon (I've tried two years in a row; they never grow beyond seedlings)

sunflower (unsurprisingly these do great here)


Any other flowers you'd recommend trying? We leave for the States in a little over a month, so I'm getting my shopping lists ready!



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I have sweet peas growing this year: they came up quickly and without fuss and are growing on well. One thing that I discovered later is that they don't like their roots disturbed - plant them individually in old toilet roll tubes full of potting compost/soil, then plant the whole thing into a deep pot or the ground (the cardboard will rot away). I didn't do this and mine seem okay, but I'll do it next year. I soaked the seeds overnight in water before planting - I don't know if that made a difference


I tried snapdragon this year - they all keeled over as seedlings.


Good luck



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I've had good luck with snapdragons where I live. I'm in zone 10. I also love mirabilis jalapa. They're so pretty and fill out planters and containers so nicely. If you're growing nasturtiums, you can probably also grow the moon vine on a trellis or arbor. They open in the evening and have a nice fragrance. Freesias, balsam, sweet peas or evening primrose would be nice for a fragrance garden. If you are buying bulbs too amaryllis are beautiful. :) Coleus grow awesome from seed in warm climes and if you pinch the tops they get nice and bushy. Although they're mostly a foliage plant they do flower with little purple buds. I like also the balloon flower. It's unique. This is one of my favorite seed sites. I like it because they have good quality seeds and you can see actual photos of how it looks. It also lists the zone for each plant. I've been buying from them for years and have never had a problem. :) http://www.parkseed.com/gardening/store/TextSearch?storeId=10101&SearchUnion=Y&CustSearchText=mirabilis+jalapa


You can browse the seed catalogue and see what grows in your zone. There are just so many beautiful flowers. Carnations might also grow well where you are. I wish you the best of luck with your garden. :)



Edited by Ibbygirl
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Guest Virginia Dawn

Sweet allysum and morning glories are easy.


You might also try black eyed susans or coneflowers.


All of these should grow well where marigolds, nasturtiums and sunflowers grow.


ETA: 4 o'clocks are very easy too, and grow well in warm climates.

Edited by Virginia Dawn
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I second sweet peas and morning glories, both of which I soak for 24 hours before planting.


My f-i-l refrigerates the bulbs that need cold to simulate winter. There are bulbs that cannot handle cold weather and have to be pulled up if you live in a climate that has freezing weather, but can stay in the ground if you live in a warmer climate - gladiolus and freesia come to mind. Also, when I lived in a warm climate I was able to grow Iris without any trouble.

Edited by Kanga
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Thanks for everyone's suggestions so far, I'm taking notes!


I wish I could bring back bulbs, but since the ground never gets very cold I wasn't sure if they would bloom properly; I thought bulbs had to have a period of cold to "work right"? Is this wrong?


Hi Kate,

we've got Australian friends and they say that when you put the bulbs in the fridge for a few days they come up fine in the spring.


I'm new at gardening, but one of my few successes so far was Eucalyptus, it comes up well and keeps growing.

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