Flower Seed Sowing Guide

Seeds require the right conditions or they will fail to germinate. Germination is triggered by soil temperature, soil depth, moisture and some seeds require stratification which is a period of chilling prior to sowing. This table is a quick and easy guide to sowing flower seeds.

Some seeds require sunlight to germinate, which has been listed as ‘surface’. Sprinkle the seeds on the surface, but gently push them down so that they don’t disperse in the wind. When sowing seeds that require a light covering of soil, add some soil or potting mix to an old kitchen sieve and gently sprinkle over the seeds.

Related: Flower height, position and bloom time

Many seedlings are frost-tender, and should only be planted once the risk of frost has passed, which is generally past Easter in the Northern Hemisphere. For those of us in warmer climates such as Australia, we can sow seeds much earlier.

Stratification refers to a period of cold that breaks dormancy. Gardeners can either sow in autumn so they will undergo stratification in the environment, or place seeds in a refrigerator and sow in spring. For those of us in a warmer climate, it is best to stratify in the refrigerator and plant in spring.






African daisy (Arctotis stoechadifolia)18-21 °C/65-70 °FSpring3 mm15-20 daysNo
African daisy (Osteospermum spp.)21-24 °C/70-75 °FSpring5 mm10-21 daysNo
Alyssum (Lobularia maritima)12-23 °C/55-75 °FSpringSurface5-14 daysNo
Amethyst flower (Browallia spp.)18-21 °C/65-70 °FSpringSurface14-21 daysNo
Aster (Aster spp.)18-23 °C/65-75 °FSpring/ summer5 mm10-14 daysNo
Baby’s breath (Gypsophila spp.)15-18 °C/60-65 °FSpring/autumnSurface10-14 daysNo
Balloon flower (Platycodon grandiflorus)16-20 °C/60-68 °FSpringSurface14-28 daysNo
Bear’s breeches (Acanthus mollis)18-21 °C/65-70 °FSpring/autumn6 mm14-21 daysNo
Bee balm (Monarda didyma)16-21 °C/60-70 °FSpring/autumnSurface7-14 daysNo
Begonia (Begonia spp.)18-21 °C/65-70 °FSpringSurface14-21 daysNo
Bellflower (Campanula spp.)21-23 °C/70-75 °FSpringSurface20-30 daysYes
Bells-of-Ireland (Moluccella laevis)13-18 °C/55-64 °FSpringSurface21-35 daysYes
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)18-21 °C/65-70 °FSpringSurface14-21 daysYes
Bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis)4-12 °C/40-55 °FSpring12 mm10-21 daysYes
Blanket flower (Gaillardia
x grandiflora
12-18 °C/55-65 °FSpringSurface7-20 daysYes
Boltonia (Boltonia spp.)18-21 °C/65-70 °FAutumn6 mm14-21 daysNo
Borage (Borago officinalis)18-29 °C/65-85 °FSpring10 mm7-10 daysNo
Bugloss (Anchusa capensis)18-21 °C/65-70 °FSpring/autumn5 mm10 daysNo
Butter daisy (Melampodium
18-21 °C/65-70 °FSpring5 mm7-14 daysNo
Butterfly flower (Schizanthus spp.)18-22 °C/65-71 °FLate winter/spring3 mm21-28 daysNo
Butterfly pea (Clitoria
22-28 °C/71-82 °FSpring5 mm14-21 daysNo
Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa)18-24 °C/65-75 °FSpringSurface15-20 daysYes
Calendula (Calendula officinalis)18-21 °C/65-70 °FEarly spring10 mm7-10 daysNo
Californian poppy (Eschscholzia californica)12-21 °C/55-70 °FEarly spring5 mm14-21 daysNo
Candytuft (Iberis spp.)23-29 °C/75-85 °FSummer/autumnSurface14-21 daysNo
Canterbury bells (Campanula medium)18-21 °C/65-70 °FSpring/autumnSurface14-21 daysYes
Cape jewels (Nemesia strumosa)13-18 °C/55-65
Mid-spring3 mm7-14 daysNo
Carnation (Dianthus spp.)15-21 °C/60-70 °FSpring/autumn3 mm7-14 daysNo
Catnip/catmint (Nepeta spp.)18-21 °C/65-70 °FSpring3 mm8-12 daysNo
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)18-21 °C/65-70 °FSpringSurface10-14 daysYes
Chilean bellflower (Nolana paradoxa)20-22 °C/68-72 °FSpring3 mm4-6 weeksNo
Chinese aster (Callistephus chinensis)20-23 °C/68-73 °FSpring3 mm14 daysNo
Chinese forget-me-not (Cynoglossum amabile)18-20 °C/65-68 °FSpring to late autumnSurface5-10 daysNo
Chinese lantern (Physalis alkekengi)16-21 °C/60-70 °FSpringSurface15-30  daysNo
Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum spp.)18-23 °C/65-75 °FSpring/summer2 mm10-14 daysNo
Clematis (Clematis spp.)20-22 °C/68-73 °FSpring5 mm3-5 weeksYes
Cliquefoil (Potentilla spp.)19-21 °C/67-70 °FSpring/autumn3 mm14-21 daysNo
Cohosh (Cimicifuga spp.)18-21 °C/65-70 °FAutumn6 mm30-365 daysNo
Columbine (Aquilegia spp.)10-12 °C/50-55 °FEarly spring/late autumnSurface30-90 daysYes
Common rockrose (Helianthemum nummularium)21/24 °C/70-75 °FLate springSurface7-14 daysNo
Common sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale)19-22 °C/65-73 °FSpring3 mm14-21 daysNo
Coral bells (Heuchera spp.)18-21 °C/65-70 °FEarly spring/late autumnSurface21-28 daysNo
Corncockle (Agrostemma githago)15-21 °C/60-70 °FLate autumn to early spring3 mm7-14 daysNo
Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)15-21 °C/60-70 °FLate springSurface7-10 daysNo
Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus)21-23 °C/70-75 °FEarly springSurface5-7 daysNo
Cup and saucer vine (Cobaea scandens)21-23 °C/70-75 °FSpring12 mm10-20 daysNo
Cupflower (Nierembergia spp.)21-23 °C/70-75 °FSpringSurface14-21 daysNo
Cupid’s bow (Achimenes spp.)21-23 °C/70-75 °FSpring10 mm20-30 daysNo
Cupid’s dart (Catananche caerulea)20-23 °C/68-75 °FEarly spring3 mm7-14 daysNo
Cyclamen (Cyclamen spp.)18-20 °C/65-68 °FWinter6 mm30-60 daysNo
Dahlberg daisy (Thymophylla
18-21 °C/65-70 °FEarly springSurface14 daysNo
Dahlia (Dahlia spp.)21-23 °C/70-75 °FSpring12 mm7-10 daysNo
Delphinium (Delphinium elatum)15-20 °C/59-68 °FSpring/autumn5 mm14-21 daysYes
Echinacea (Echinacea spp.)18-21 °C/65-70 °FEarly springSurface10-21 daysYes
Edeiweiss (Leontopodium
18-21 °C/65-70 °FLate winter to early springSurface21-35 days (erratic)Yes
English daisy (Bellis perennis)18-21 °C/65-70 °FAutumn/springSurface10-21 daysNo
Evening primrose (Oenothera spp.)21-26 °C/70-80 °FLate autumn/early springSurface15-20 daysNo
Everlasting (Helichrysum bracteatum)21/24 °C/70-75 °FSpring/autumnSurface7-10 daysNo
False sunflower (Heliopsis spp.)21-23 °C/70-73 °FSpring/autumn4 mm7-10 daysNo
Fan flower (Scaevola aemula)20-22 °C/68-71 °FSpring3 mm45-60 daysNo
Feverfew (Tanacetum
20-22 °C/68-71 °FSpring/autumnSurface10-14 daysNo
Firecracker flower (Crossandra infundibuliformis)21-27 °C/70-80 °FLate winter to early spring3 mm7-10 daysNo
Flax (Linum usitatissimum)18-21 °C/65-70 °FEarly spring6 mm20-25 daysNo
Fleabane (Erigeron spp.)18-21 °C/65-70 °FLate winter to early spring6 mm14-28 daysNo
Floss flower (Ageratum houstonianum)24-29 °C/75-85 °FSpringSurface7-14 daysNo
Forget-me-not (Myosotis spp.)18-21 °C/65-70 °FSpring/autumn3 mm21-28 daysNo
Foxglove (Digitalis spp.)15-18 °C/60-65 °FLate summer to early autumnSurface14-21 daysNo
Garden heliotrope (Heliotropium spp.)18-21 °C/65-70 °FSpring/autumn6 mm15-20 °C daysNo
Gay feather (Liatris spp.)18-21 °C/65-70 °FWinter2 mm14-21 daysYes
Gazania (Gazania spp.)15-18 °C/60-65 °FLate winter to early spring3 mm8-14 daysNo
Geranium (Pelargonium spp.)21-26 °C/70-75 °FWinterSurface7-10 daysNo
Gerbera (Gerbera spp.)21-23 °C/70-73 °FSpring to early summerSurface14-21 daysNo
Geum (Geum spp.)18-21 °C/65-70 °FEarly spring/autumnSurface21-28 daysNo
Globeflower (Trollius spp.)18-21 °C/65-70 °FWinter to early springSurface21-28 daysYes
Gloxinia (Sinningia speciosa)19-21 °C/66-70 °FLate winterSurface14-21 daysNo
Goldencup (Hunnemannia fumariifolia)19-21 °C/66-70 °FSpringSurface15-20 °C daysNo
Goldenrod (Solidago spp.)20-22 °C/68-71 °FSpringSurface2-8 weeksYes
Goldentuft (Aurinia saxatilis)15-21 °C/59-70 °FMid springSurface5-14 daysNo
Hellebore (Helleborus spp.)18-21 °C/65-70 °FEarly spring/late summer6 mm6-18 monthsYes
Hibiscus (Hibiscus spp.)21-26 °C/70-75 °FSpring6 mm14-21 daysNo
Hollyhock (Alcea rosea)15-21 °C/60-70 °FSpringSurface10-14 daysYes
Iceland poppy (Papaver nudicaule)18-24 °C/65-75 °FEarly springSurface10-14 daysYes
Impatiens (Impatiens spp.)21-23 °C/70-73 °FSpringSurface14-21 daysNo
Jacob’s ladder (Polemonium spp.)18-21 °C/65-70 °FAutumnSurface14-28 daysNo
Laceflower (Trachymene coerulea)18-21 °C/65-70 °FMid spring1-2 mm18-21 daysNo
Ladys purse (Calceolaria spp.)21-23 °C/70-73 °FSpring/autumnSurface5-10 daysNo
Larkspur (Consolida ambigua)10-12 °C/50-55 °FSpring/autumn6 mm14-21 daysYes
Lavender (Lavandula spp.)18-21 °C/65-70 °FSpring/autumnSurface14-21 daysNo
Leopard plant (Ligularia spp.)18-21 °C/65-70 °FSpring/autumnSurface7-14 daysNo
Leopard’s bane (Doronicum
12-15 °C/55-60 °FSpring to early summerSurface14-21 daysNo
Linaria (Linaria spp.)12-18 °C/55-65 °FLate winter to early spring5 mm10-20 daysYes
Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum)22-23 °C/72-73 °FWinterSurface10-15No
Livingstone daisy (Dorotheanthus
18-24 °C/65-78 °FSpringSurface7-21 daysNo
Lobelia (Lobelia spp.)18-23 °C/65-73 °FEarly springSurface10-14 daysNo
Love-lies-bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus)20-28 °C/68-82 °FLate spring to early summer3 mm7-10 daysNo
Lupine (Lupinus spp.)12-21 °C/55-70 °FAutumn6 mm14-21 daysYes
Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus
24-27 °C/75-80 °FSpring6 mm2-6 weeksNo
Maltese cross (Lychinis
20-25 °C/68-77 °FSpring/summerSurface7-14 daysNo
Marigold (Tagetes spp.)21-23 °C/70-73 °FSpring8 mm10-14 daysNo
Marshmallow plant (Althaea officinalis)15-21 °C/60-70 °FLate summer6 mm14-24 daysYes
Meadowsweet (Filipendula
21-23 °C/70-73 °FSpringSurface14-21 daysYes
Mexican creeping zinnia (Sanvitalia procumbens)18-21 °C/65-70 °FSpring10 mm7-21 daysNo
Mexican sunflower (Tithonia
15-30 °C/59-86 °FSpring3 mm4-10 daysNo
Mignonette (Reseda odorata)12-14 °C/53-57 °FSpring to summerSurface5-10 daysNo
Monkey flowers (Mimulus spp.)15-21 °C/60-70 °FLate winter to early springSurface10-20 daysNo
Monk’s hood (Aconitum spp.)12-15 °C/55-60 °FAutumn to winter3 mm30 daysYes
Morning glory (Convolvulus spp.)
20-21 °C/68-70 °FSpring10 mm5-21 daysNo
Mullein (Verbascum)16-20 °C/60-68 °FAutumnSurface7-14 daysNo
Musk mallow (Malva moschata)18-21 °C/65-70 °FAutumnSurface7-21 daysNo
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)15-18 °C/60-65 °FSpring10 mm7-12 daysNo
Nemesia (Nemesia spp.)12-18 °C/55-65 °FEarly spring1-2 mm7-21 daysNo
Nemophila (Nemophila spp.)12-15 °C/55-60 °FEarly spring5 mm10-14 daysNo
Nigella (Nigella damascena)15-18 °C/60-65 °FEarly spring3 mm21-28 daysNo
Obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana)18-21 °C/65-70 °FSpring5 mm14-28 daysNo
Pansy (Viola tricolor var. hortensis)15-23 °C/60-73 °FSpring3 mm21-28 days daysNo
Pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea)18-21 °C/65-70 °FSpringSurface21-28 daysNo
Persian violet (Exacum affine)21/24 °C/70-78 °FSpring/autumn3 mm14-21 daysNo
Petunia (Petunia spp.)18-23 °C/65-73 °FSpring3 mm7-10 daysNo
Phlox (Phlox spp.)15-18 °C/60-65 °FSpring5 mm14-21 daysNo
Poppy (Papaver spp.)15-20 °C/60-68 °FSpring/autumnSurface7-30 daysYes
Portulaca (Portulaca spp.)21-26 °C/70-80°FSpring5 mm12-16 daysNo
Pride of Madeira (Echium candicans)15-20 °C/60-68 °FSpring3 mm7-14 daysNo
Primrose (Primula spp.)15-18 °C/60-65 °FLate winter to early spring3 mm10-21 daysYes
Purple rock cress (Aubrieta deltoidea)18-21 °C/65-70 °FEarly springSurface14-21 daysNo
Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota)16-18 °C/60-65 °FSpringSurface12-18 daysNo
Rock cress (Aubrieta
18-21 °C/65-70 °FEarly spring5 mm14-21 daysNo
Salvia (Salvia officinalis)21-23 °C/70-73 °FSpring5 mm14-21 daysNo
Satin flower (Clarkia amoena)21-23 °C/70-73 °FSpring/autumn3 mm5-10 mmNo
Shooting star (Dodecatheon meadia)18-21 °C/65-70 °FLate autumn3 mm8-10 weeksYes
Sea holly (Eryngium spp.)18-23 °C/65-73 °FSpring/autumn1 mm7-80 days (erratic)Yes
Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum)18-21 °C/65-70 °FSpring/autumn4 mm10-20 daysNo
Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus)18-23 °C/65-73 °FEarly spring/autumn3 mm10-14 daysYes
Snow-in-summer (Cerastium tomentosum)18-21 °C/65-70 °FSpring and summer3 mm12-16 daysNo
Speedwell (Veronica spp.)18-24 °C/65-75 °FEarly spring5 mm14-21 daysNo
Spider flower (Cleome spinosa)21-23 °C/70-73 °FEarly spring6 mm7-14 daysYes
Statice (Limonium sinuatum)15-20 °C/60-68 °FSpring3 mm7-21 daysNo
Stock (Matthiola incana)15-18 °C/60-65 °FSpring5 mm10-14 daysNo
Stoke’s aster (Stokesia laevis)21/24 °C/70-75 °FSpring3 mm25-30 daysNo
Sunflower (Helianthus spp.)21-23 °C/70-73 °FSpring to early summer10 mm10-14 daysNo
Swan river daisy (Brachyscome iberidifolia)21/24 °C/70-78 °FSpring to summer3 mm14-21 daysNo
Sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus)12-18 °C/55-65 °FSpring/autumn12 mm10-14 daysNo
Sweet rocket (Hesperis
12-22 °C/53-71 °FSpring/autumn2-5 mm10-14 daysNo
Trumpet flower (Incarvillea spp.)18-21 °C/65-70 °FWinter to early spring3 mm6-8 weeksNo
Tweedia (Oxypetalum
18-21 °C/65-70 °FEarly to mid spring6 mm14-40 daysNo
Twinspur (Diascia spp.)15-18 °C/60-65 °FSpring/autumnSurface14 daysNo
Verbena (Verbena spp.)18-23 °C/65-73 °FSpring5 mm21-28 daysNo
Viola (Viola spp.)18-23 °C/65-73 °FLate summer6 mm21-28 daysNo
Virginian stock (Malcolmia maritima)18-23 °C/65-73 °FSpring and autumn5 mm10-14 daysNo
Wallflower (Erysimum cheiri/ syn. Cheiranthus cheiri)15-18 °C/60-65 °FSpring6 mm7-14 daysNo
Wild indigo (Baptisia spp.)18-21 °C/65-70 °FSpring/late autumn6 mm14 daysNo
Wishbone flower (Torenia fournieri)21-23 °C/70-75 °FSpring5 mm10-15 daysNo
Wood anemone (Anemonoides
15-18 °C/60-65 °FSpring/autumnSurface30 days (erratic)Yes
Xeranthemum (Xeranthemum annuum)24-35 °C/75-95 °FSpring/autumn5 mm7-14 daysNo
Yarrow (Achillea spp.)18-21 °C/65-70 °FSpring/autumn5 mm10-14 daysYes
Zinnia (Zinnia spp.)21-23 °C/70-73 °FSpring6 mm7- 21 daysNo