It's easier than you think to grow beautiful flowers! You just need to stick with these tried-and-true varieties and follow some basic rules. For starters, read the plant tag or description to learn if the flowers are annual flowers, which live one season, or perennial flowers, which come back for many years. (Here's more about annuals vs. perennials). If they’re perennials, make sure they'll survive winters in your USDA Hardiness zone. And don't forget to give them the kind of light they need. For example, if the plant tag says full sun, that means six hours or more per day; part sun is about half that. Don't cheat! Shade lovers will sizzle in the hot afternoon sun, and sun lovers won't bloom in the shade. You also must keep your new plants watered when you first put them in the ground and during any dry spells—that is, if you don’t get any rain for a week. (Or check out these drought-resistant plants!) And if you’re planting flowers in pots, make sure there are drainage holes, or drill a few in the bottom of the pot yourself so its roots won't stay soggy.
Now, put on your gardening gloves and plant these easiest flowers to grow in your garden.
Sweet alyssum looks amazing tumbling out of baskets and window boxes or cascading over a wall. It comes in pure white and shades of pinks and purples and has a delicate scent that's lovely when planted next to seating areas. It even will survive a light frost, and pollinators absolutely adore it! Sweet alyssum likes sun but can handle a little shade.
Delosperma, also known as ice plant, is a hardy perennial that blooms from spring to frost. Its low-growing habit makes it a natural to control erosion on hillsides, and pollinators love it! Incidentally, it's not the same plant as the invasive species, Carpobrotus, also called ice plant.
If we could pick the easiest flower ever, marigold would be our choice! Your grandma (and her grandma!) probably grew these sturdy old-fashioned favorites. These annuals are nearly indestructible, surviving heat and dry spells and blooming nonstop from planting until a hard frost. They come in varying heights from six inches to two feet in colors including sunny yellows, cheery oranges, and creamy whites.
With hundreds of varieties of sedum, you’ll find one you love. Its fleshy leaves help it survive dry spells, and its muted colors are welcome in the late season garden when almost everything else has faded. The cut blooms last almost forever in a vase! Sedum requires full sun.
This hardy perennial with fuzzy gray-green foliage has a spicy, minty scent and purple-blue flowers that last from midsummer onwards. Pollinators love catmint! Newer varieties are compact and but keep a nice mounded shape. Catmint requires full sun.
These low-maintenance annuals bloom continuously without the need for you to deadhead (pinch spent blooms). The come in a wide range of types and colors including rose, red, white, salmon, or orange. Begonias need mostly shade, though some varieties can take some sun.
These bright annuals are easy to grow from seeds; soak overnight, then rub a file against the seed before planting to encourage quicker germination. They’re slow to take off, but by late summer, you’ll have tons of flowers. Nasturtiums come in both bush forms and climbing vines. Fun bonus: They’re edible, with a slightly peppery kick that spices up salads. Nasturtiums require full sun.
Angelonia is a can’t-miss plant for patio pots. It comes in every color of the rainbow and blooms from spring to fall with no deadheading needed. They need full sun in cool climates, and afternoon shade in hot climates.
The tiny faces of these adorable annuals can handle light frosts, so they bloom all winter long in mild climates. Even though they’re technically annuals, violas drop tons of seeds, so they often pop up again on their own next spring. They do well in pots or in ground, and require full sun.
If you can’t grow anything else, try daylilies. Incredibly unfussy, these perennials bloom for just one day (as the name suggests) but in great profusion. You can snap off the flowers as they fade, if you’re a bit of a neatnik, or leave in place. In a few years, your daylily can be divided so you can plant elsewhere in your garden or share with friends. Daylilies require full sun.
These annuals give you the most amazing show from spring to hard frost. They come in single or double blooms in every color you can imagine from white to deep purple to salmon to hot pink, and they look amazing in baskets, window boxes, or planting beds. Calibrachoa need full sun.
With ruffled leaves and colorful foliage, heuchera, also called coral bells, has dainty flower spikes that appear in spring to mid-summer. But the plant is grown mainly for its colorful, frilly foliage. Give this perennial a few years to show its stuff. Heuchera needs mostly shade, though some kinds tolerate full sun.
Coleus is an annual grown for its stunning foliage, not the insignificant flower spikes that appear in summer. It's quite eye-catching in bright colors that play well with other annuals in mixed containers. Coleus may take full sun or shade, depending on the variety.
These upright annuals offer bright color to shady spots in your garden. They aren't as susceptible to disease as other types of impatiens. They need mostly shade.
Black-eyed Susans should be in your garden! They’re not fussy, have a long bloom time, and boast a sunny look that works in any landscape, no matter the style. They attract butterflies and bloom from mid-summer until mid-fall. Read the tag because some are perennial, while others only last two years (biennial), so they’re treated as annuals and replanted every year. Black-eyed Susan requires full sun.