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August 9th 2022

Easy-to-grow Hardy Annuals

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Hardy annuals are some of the hardest-working, most productive plants in the late-spring and early-summer cutting garden. They are the first annuals to bloom in the spring, and their ability to withstand cold temperatures, thrive with minimal care, and produce abundantly for weeks from a single sowing make them an indispensable addition to the cut flower garden. 

Unlike tender annuals, such as cosmos and zinnias, which resent the cold, hardy annuals thrive in cooler temperatures. And if planted in autumn and given time to develop healthy roots, they can explode into bloom as soon as early spring, at a time when you need flowers the most.

Success with hardy annuals comes down to timing and variety selection. When you plant and what you plant (some varieties are more cold tolerant than others) are both determined by your growing zone and your first and last frost dates.

Field photo snapdragonsAutumn and late winter/early spring are the two main planting windows for hardy annuals.

Autumn planting will reward you with the earliest blooms. This time of year, you can sow many varieties of hardy annual seeds (depending on your zone) directly into prepared planting beds, in full sun, 4 to 8 weeks before the first frost. That means you don’t have to fuss with filling seed trays and babying seedlings for months before transplanting them outside. 

However, if you have a lot of weed pressure in your area (like we do) or prefer to get an even earlier start, you can start hardy annuals in trays in late summer/early autumn (about a month or two before your first frost), giving seedlings enough time to bulk up before planting into the garden. 

Whether you direct-seed or start in trays, get hardy annuals going early enough so that they can build a strong root system before the cold winter weather sets in.

Hardy annual starts in fieldIf starting in late winter/early spring, you can direct-seed hardy annuals into your prepared garden beds. If you plan to do this, make sure to prepare some ground in the autumn and cover it with a thick layer of mulch or landscape fabric so it’s ready when the time comes.

Alternatively, you can start your seeds indoors in trays, 8 to 10 weeks before your last spring frost. Be sure to read our resource How to Start Flowers from Seed

While hardy annuals can handle cold weather, if you are starting them indoors they still need to be transitioned from their warm, protected environment to the harsher outdoor temperatures.

Hardy annuals growing in fieldEvery climate is different, so you’ll want to experiment a little and find the hardy annuals that perform best for you. I recommend starting with some of the hardiest varieties and then expanding from there.

Below, you can read more about some of my very favorite hardy annual varieties and why I love them. The first group is the hardiest and can handle colder temperatures. The second group is considered semihardy, which means these plants need winter protection (from a caterpillar tunnel or frost cloth) below USDA zone 7.


Hardiest varieties (can handle colder temperatures)

Bachelor's buttonsBachelor’s buttons 

Bachelor’s buttons are a great choice for beginners. Pollinators love them, and if you harvest regularly, the plants will flower over a long period of time.

Classic Romantic’ is the sweetest mix of blush, pink, white, and bicolors, which is great for bouquets and wedding work. ‘Classic Magic’ is an eye-catching mix of black, deep plum, and purple-and-white bicolor blooms; it’s on our must-grow list. And ‘Classic Fantastic’ (pictured above) is a mix of ethereal sapphire, pale blue, and cool-hued bicolors, shades that combine to resemble the midnight sky.


Bupleurum (pictured above) makes a wonderful filler that adds sparkle and interest to early-summer arrangements. I love to combine the airy stems with brilliant jewel tones or simple, clean whites and greens. For an extended harvest, sow successions of seeds every 2 to 3 weeks.

Feverfew growingFeverfew 

Feverfew is one of the hardest-working plants in the cutting garden and will reward you with sprays of blooms that make a wonderful bouquet filler. ‘Vegmo Snowball’ has white button flowers that reveal soft, creamy centers. Ripe flowers are perfect for wire work. ‘Vegmo Single’ (pictured above) is smothered in the most adorable, tiny, daisy-like flowers. I relied on this variety as a staple ingredient in our market bouquets for more than a decade. Plants have a branching habit and will often produce a second flush of blooms if picked hard.


Larkspur (pictured above) comes in a rainbow of colors and can even be dried for later use. Because larkspur is extremely cold tolerant, it can be planted in autumn in even the coldest climates. For a continued harvest, sow seed in autumn and then, in late winter, every 3 to 4 weeks starting as early as the soil can be worked, up to the last spring frost date. 

Seed can be tricky to germinate, so pop your packets of seeds in the freezer for a week or two before planting, and then they will sprout readily.

'Earl Grey' larkspurOne of my absolute favorites is ‘Earl Grey’ (pictured above). This incredible, unique variety has long been a spring cutting garden staple. Its giant flower spikes are smothered in the most exquisite dusty metallic purple-gray petals that are like nothing else on the market. Florists fight over it, gardeners love it, and there never seems to be enough to go around. A must-grow!

'White Cloud' larkspurThe ferny stems of ‘White Cloud’ (pictured above), a gorgeous airy variety, explode into sprays of delicate white, orchid-like blooms. This hardworking filler adds a lovely country charm that’s great for mixed bouquets and arrangements. You’ll want loads of this variety, so be sure to succession-plant.

Love-in-a-mist in bucketsLove-in-a-mist 

While this plant looks quite fragile, it is actually one of the hardiest early bloomers around. In addition to producing unique lacy, star-shaped flowers in a mix of blues, plums, and whites, it also forms football-shaped seedpods in green, chocolate, and even stripes once the flowers have faded. The pods also dry beautifully. This is truly a hardworking garden addition.

One of the most productive varieties is ‘Cramer’s Plum’. Its branching stems are loaded with dozens of fluffy white blooms, and the plum-colored pods are great to use either fresh or dried.

Love-in-a-mist growingOur Starry Night Mix (pictured above) combines several of my favorites, including ‘Delft Blue’, ‘Midnight’, and ‘African Bride’, which produce lavender-dusted, royal blue, and white blooms, all with spidery black centers. When left on the plant, the flowers form dramatic black seedpods that add a unique textural element to any bouquet.


One of the prettiest, most delicate fillers for late-spring and early-summer bouquets, orlaya (pictured above) is smothered in a mass of lacy white umbels that mix well with anything. As the flowers fade, they form green seed heads loaded with star-shaped pods. It’s a true garden workhorse; the more you cut it, the more it blooms.

Semihardy varieties (need winter protection below USDA zone 7)

bells of IrelandBells of Ireland 

Bells of Ireland (pictured above) is a cutting garden staple and one of the finest annual foliage plants you can grow for mixed bouquets. Plants are heavily branched, producing a bumper crop of tall, lime-green spires adorned with bell-shaped flowerlike bracts. You can remove the leaves and dry the bract-covered stems for use in fall arrangements.

Plants are slow to emerge from seed; it helps to freeze the seeds for 1 to 2 weeks before sowing.

Breadseed poppies 

Grown primarily for their decorative seedpods, breadseed poppies are easy to grow and make a wonderful addition to any garden. After flowers fade, they leave behind beautiful seedpods that add textural interest, both fresh and dried.

I’ve been saving the seed for ‘Pink Peony’ (pictured above), originally gifted to me by my neighbor, Louise, for over 10 years. Ultra-feminine, massive flower heads look like upturned petticoats. Though flowers are packed full of petals, their stems are strong enough to support the weight.

White Frills’ glows in the evening garden, with petals that have the dainty texture of shredded coconut atop a cupcake. At the opposite end of the color range, the plum and red petals of Black Beauty look as if they belong to an exotic winged bird; they bloom on towering plants.

Rattle Poppy’ is a long-flowering, drought-tolerant poppy that produces huge decorative seedpods that are as large as limes. The giant pale lavender petals of this beauty have dark grape-purple centers. Calendula 

These versatile flowers are extremely easy to grow and require very little care. They are fast to flower, blooming just 2 months from planting. Calendulas make great bouquet additions and are also edible—fresh petals can be used for salads or frozen in ice cubes for summer drinks. Dried petals are a popular addition to salves and lotions. One of my very favorites is ‘Zeolights’ (pictured above) because its warm peachy flowers look as if they are glowing in the vase. I consider it a must-grow!

California poppiesCalifornia poppies 

While not actually poppies at all, California poppies are a versatile, easy-to-grow, drought-tolerant group of plants that bloom all summer long. They are well suited to small spaces and can be either direct-seeded or started indoors and planted out as soon as the weather warms in the spring. 

Like other poppies, these beauties self-seed and will pop up everywhere, even in the cracks of the pavement. 

In addition to the bright orange native variety that grows wild throughout the southern and western U.S., there are a handful of new cultivars that are as beautiful as they are hardworking. 

I love ‘Thai Silk Pink Champagne’ because its silky petals start out peach and fade to the color of vintage lace, a hue that reminds me of my grandmother’s church slip. And we’ve dubbed ‘Thai Silk Appleblossom Chiffon’ the poor man’s rose. Glaucous, lacy foliage reveals a profusion of crimped, creamy rose petals lightly brushed with cranberry—similar in coloring to ‘Distant Drums’ roses. Both varieties are great for wedding work.

Chinese forget me nots close upChinese forget-me-nots 

Unlike traditional biennial forget-me-nots, which require a full year to bloom, Chinese forget-me-nots can be grown as an annual crop and flower just 3 months from sowing. ‘Blue Showers’ (pictured above) produces an abundance of tall, delicate sapphire-smothered stems that look incredible en masse and mixed into arrangements. ‘Mystic Pink’ has a similar growth habit but produces delicate cotton candy-pink stems.  

Clary sage growingClary sage 

Easy to grow, long flowering, and loved by pollinators, this versatile plant is great cut fresh or dried. Clary Sage Tricolor Mix features long spikes of vibrant, showy bracts with distinctive veining in a mix of pink, white, and deep purple flowers. They smell great too!  

Armload of corn cockleCorn cockle 

These flowers remind me of a tiny ballerina in a wind-up music box. Pointed, tightly swirled buds unfurl to reveal ethereal, feather-light blooms. The variety ‘Ocean Pearls’ (pictured above) features clean white flowers that turn slightly downward with tiny tan freckles. Plants are very easy to grow and produce tons of flowers that dance in the slightest breeze.


This fast-flowering filler is a must-have for mixed bouquets and intricate handiwork, such as boutonnieres and flower crowns. The tall, sturdy stems are smothered in beautiful silvery seedpods—like tiny textural beads—that aren’t prone to wilting or shattering.

Producing a bumper crop just 2 months from sowing, this garden workhorse is a real winner. Cress is extremely quick to germinate, so I direct-seed it in the garden every 2 to 3 weeks from my last spring frost through early summer for a steady supply.

In addition to using cress in fresh bouquets, you can easily dry stems to use as a fantastic addition to autumn bouquets and wreaths. To dry, hang bunches upside down in a warm, dry place out of direct sunlight.

A friend gifted me seeds from her ‘Pennycress’ years ago and it has become one of my very favorites. Legend has it that this variety has been growing in the Skagit Valley since the year I was born. The bright, clean, apple-green stems are well branched and loaded with round, textural seedpods. As seed heads mature, they turn the color of wheat.

This is a staple crop for me, and I sow it multiple times over the season for a steady supply. Pods come on all at once, so it’s perfect for succession-planting. ‘Pennycress’ dries very well, changing from green to glowing yellow and eventually to tan. It’s very easy to save seed, too.

Emerald Beads’ is an extremely heavy producer with more delicate and more numerous pods than other varieties. The branched stems are upright with a graceful wave, making them useful and versatile in bouquets and arrangements.

Green Dragon’ (pictured above) has a heavily branching habit, producing 6 to 12 airy stems from a single plant. Stems are covered in tiny apple-green, disk-shaped seeds. Plants are durable and age well, turning pink, gold, and green together and transitioning well into autumn.

Handful of honeywortHoneywort 

Also known as Cerinthe, honeywort (pictured above) is one of the most uniquely colored flowers I’ve ever grown. A single stem in full bloom can be silver, blue, purple, and green all at the same time. Featuring gracefully arching stems with nodding blooms, these plants are easy to grow and produce a bumper crop for many weeks. Honeywort combines beautifully with most other flowers, it makes a great bouquet filler, and bees love it!

'Pastel Meadows' Iceland PoppyIceland poppies 

One of the most treasured spring flowers we grow, Iceland poppies have a citrusy scent. Their abundant flowering habit, stretching from early spring through midsummer, makes them a highly prized cutting garden addition.

Technically considered a hardy perennial, poppies can survive even the coldest winters, but because they don’t do well in high heat, they are often grown as a hardy annual or biennial. Here in Washington we sow them in the fall and overwinter them in an unheated hoop house for late-winter and early-spring blooms. ‘Pastel Meadows’ (pictured directly above and in previous photo, bouquet on right), is a magical blend of gold, peach, watermelon, blush, and white that is absolutely breathtaking. Compare it to Sherbet Mix, another favorite (previous photo, bouquet on left).

White mignonette growingMignonette 

This relatively unknown flower has a rich history. Legend has it that Napoleon sent mignonette seeds from Egypt to France for his darling Empress Josephine in the early 1800s. If you haven’t tried this flower, I highly encourage you to grow it. It’s a great textural ingredient for bouquets and a favorite with pollinators, and it grows well in containers. 

Garden Mignonette’ has long, snaking stems capped with creamy white flowers with a delicate orange center that smells like vanilla. Flowers fade, leaving behind green, lantern-like pods. ‘White Mignonette’ is more of an upright grower and its graceful stems are covered in glowing, snow-white flowers. This prolific bloomer also has a strong vanilla fragrance.


I discovered this fantastic plant in a friend’s veggie patch some years back and have been a huge fan ever since (the young leaves are edible and are often compared to spinach). Early in the season, harvest the leafy stems en masse for bouquets. If plants are left to grow, you’ll be rewarded with gorgeous seedy stems that are wonderful in large midsummer arrangements. We put together our own Caramel Apple Mix, which includes the best of both worlds—a brilliant Granny Smith green and rich chocolaty crimson.

Ruby Gold’ (pictured above) is another favorite variety shared with us by Frank Morton at Wild Garden Seed. Its eye-catching foliage is a glowing acid green, and stalks are streaked with cranberry. Later in the season, the seedy stems are a beautiful blend of dusty rose and sunbleached moss.

Pincushion flower 

No cutting garden is complete without a broad swath of pincushion flowers (pictured above). They are easy to grow and wonderful for wedding work, and pollinators love them! There are so many wonderful varieties to choose from. 

I love ‘Salmon Queen’, which boasts a very uncommon color—a beautiful salmon-pink hue that is a floral designer’s dream. ‘Summer Sangria’ is also a standout in the garden and its rich wine-colored blooms mix well with both vibrant tones and antiqued muted hues. 

Starflower’ is another favorite. The flowers are a beautiful smoky periwinkle, but I grow them primarily for their seedpods. Once blooms give way, they leave behind light brown, orb-shaped seedpods that are great for drying and adding texture to arrangements. Pincushion flowersPincushion flower 

No cutting garden is complete without a broad swath of pincushion flowers (pictured above). They are easy to grow and wonderful for wedding work, and pollinators love them! There are so many wonderful varieties to choose from. 

I love ‘Salmon Queen’, which boasts a very uncommon color—a beautiful salmon-pink hue that is a floral designer’s dream. ‘Summer Sangria’ is also a standout in the garden and its rich wine-colored blooms mix well with both vibrant tones and antiqued muted hues. 

Starflower’ is another favorite. The flowers are a beautiful smoky periwinkle, but I grow them primarily for their seedpods. Once blooms give way, they leave behind light brown, orb-shaped seedpods that are great for drying and adding texture to arrangements.

Queen Anne’s lace 

Hands down, Queen Anne’s lace (pictured above) is one of the most useful and productive filler flowers you can grow from seed. The more you pick, the more they flower. I plant hundreds of them every year and use every single stem. The lacy flower heads and crisp green-white color provide an invaluable backbone for late-spring and early-summer bouquets. Two of my favorite varieties are ‘Queen of Africa’, which has a delicate lacy quality, and ‘Green Mist’, which produces wide, umbel-shaped blooms over a long period of time.

Shirley poppies 

One of the most ephemeral and delicate flowers that we grow, Shirley poppies steal the heart of everyone who visits our garden. Pollinators love them too. After blooms drop, they leave behind adorable, chocolate-capped seedpods that can be used both fresh and dried.

The petite flowers on ‘Amazing Grey’ are the most haunting purple-gray hue, similar in color to ‘Nimbus’ sweet peas. We’ve never seen anything like it. Plants are vigorous and free-flowering. They’re perfect for both personal use and event work. 

We consider ‘Pandora’ (pictured above) the sultry sister to ‘Amazing Grey’. Both varieties have a stunning purple-gray hue, but ‘Pandora’ is a metallic merlot. This vigorous and free-flowering mix features lots of double and ruffled blooms that flutter in the breeze. 

Supreme’ flowers all summer long and is a mesmerizing mix of white, scarlet, soft pink, and watermelon-orange. The color mix reminds me of an old-fashioned silk kimono. Single and double flowers sway above clean, mint-green, serrated foliage. Each fuzzy stem shoots up at least a half dozen buds, and as soon as one flower fades, another comes up.

Mother of Pearl’ is a long-flowering, easy-to-grow mix in hues spanning dusty plum, cocoa-dusted white, cream with raspberry veining, and some muddy eggplant. Long stems, refined flowers, and adorable seedpods make this a perfect flower for wedding and wire work

Snapdragon patchSnapdragons 

Snapdragons (pictured above) have always been some of the most productive early summer bloomers in my cutting garden. To get ultra-productive, long-stemmed cutting types, it’s essential that you select the proper ones and grow your own from seed.

Most of the bedding types you see at many garden centers are selected for their compact size and often treated with growth regulators to keep them compact—but they couldn’t be more different from the cut flower wonders that can be cultivated from seed.

'Chantilly' snapdragonsChantilly Light Salmon’ (pictured above, left) takes my breath away. No other snapdragon possesses so many desirable traits in one plant: beautiful warm colors, tall strong stems, delicate ruffled blooms, and the loveliest citrus scent. These beautiful butterfly-like blooms resemble upturned petticoats on dancing ladies. Flowers at the base of the stem are a soft glowing tangerine that transitions to apricot and melon-pink, giving this variety a beautiful ombre effect.

Chantilly Light Pink’ (pictured above, right) is the first to bloom and is consistently our most-requested crop of early summer. Flowers are bubblegum pink with a darker watermelon throat that is creamy white on the reverse. The two-toned effect reminds us of cherry blossoms.

'Madame Butterfly' snapdragonsThe variety ‘Madame Butterfly’, often referred to as azalea snapdragon, is a double-petaled beauty adored for its pleasant perfume and long-lasting blooms. Because the tight shape is difficult for insects to pollinate, blooms last longer in the vase than single-flowered snapdragons. ‘Madame Butterfly Pink’ is a delightful warm bubblegum-pink variety with a lemony center.


These prized plants thrive in cooler weather. Highly fragrant with a distinctive spicy scent and full, fluffy blooms, a few stems of these beauties make a big impact in both gardens and bouquets and fill the air with fragrance. Half of the plants will be single flowered (typical of stock varieties) and the other half double, so plant twice as many as you need.

Three varieties I love are ‘Avalanche Supreme’ (pictured above, left), with dense, snow-white blossoms that resemble lilacs and are well suited to wedding arrangements; ‘Pacific Crimson’ (pictured above, center), which has striking deep magenta blossoms; and ‘Katz Bright Rose’ (pictured above, right), whose towering stems are smothered in rose-pink blooms that have slightly lighter edges, giving them a lovely antique appearance.

Sweet peas 

Last but certainly not least are sweet peas, one of my very favorite cut flowers. My flower journey began with the sweet peas in my Grammy’s garden, and they hold a special place in my heart. We have dozens of long-stemmed sweet pea varieties available—including varieties developed by renowned breeders Dr. Keith Hammett of New Zealand and Roger Parsons of England—and we’ve devoted an entire blog post to them. 

hardy annuals field photoIf you want to do a deep dive into hardy annuals, Virginia flower farmer Lisa Mason Ziegler wrote a wonderful little book all about them. I would highly recommend getting a copy of Cool Flowers: How to Grow and Enjoy Long-Blooming Hardy Annual Flowers Using Cool Weather Techniques if you want to master this topic.

Larkspur in fieldI would love to hear about your experience with this wonderful group of plants. Do you grow hardy annuals or plan to add them to your garden this coming season? If so, what are your favorite varieties, or what new treasures are you adding to your wish list?


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  1. Jan on

    Great article. Hollyhock would be a good addition to the fall-planting list as they need the stratification of the cold months to sprout. I live in zone 5a/b at 6200 ft elevation so still waiting for sprouts to appear.

  2. Diane on

    I will try “winter sowing” the hardy annuals in January. What a joy to see God’s handy work!

  3. H. Odessa on

    I just read your blog on cold hardy annuals and I’m deeply grateful to you for it. You’ve given me wonderful ideas that I can incorporate in my huse gardens. Thank you so much!

  4. Kendra on

    Question for Love in a mist starry night mix. I live in zone 4a-b according to the USDA and I will grow them in a container. Is it best to put them after the last frost, since they will not be inside? Thank you!

  5. JC on

    Thank you for putting all this wonderful information together! I tried my hand at sowing animals in autumn last year and several came up nicely. You mentioned some of these will need added protection in zones north of 7. What protection do you suggest in zone 6? Extra mulching, a row cover, or something else? Thanks for your time, help, and this wonderful resource!

    • BriAnn, Team Floret on

      A low tunnel, frost cloth or a hoop house would be a few ways to protect them in freezing climates.

  6. Anna Moss on

    We are in Long Island NY (at the end) and have just started growing dahlias. Now in love. When do you sell your dahlias – seed or tubers.
    Please let me know.
    PS ordering Icelandic poppies in honor of our Icelandic Mom.
    Thank you,
    Anna Miss

  7. Brian W. on

    Great article – hardy annual gardening hopefully catches on, most people including myself didn’t know it existed.

  8. Joy Kuhar on

    I know you’ve been around for a while and many have told me about your books but I have never” hopped on the band wagon”! I just watched your first series and now am watching the 2nd. Really enjoying them.
    I started a small market gardener in a poor county in Virginia. It began haphazardly ahead of retiring this past December from corporate America 3 years ago. It started out for our family but I then realized there was a need for clean produce as well as educating people as to why there was a need to provide clean pesticide free vegetables and also try to educate the importance of “no spray” buying local and supporting farmers. I am not certified organic but don’t spray anything. Your discussion regarding soil health was spot on!
    My business now is almost more than I can handle …(who said retirement?) A friend of mine told me I should incorporate more flowers as they bring in those good insects and I could sell some too. I sell to 4 restaurants and about 35 people produce and now flowers. That has morphed into a small (in comparison) bed of some easy flowers. Zinnia’s (mostly red and salmon) Lisianthis, sweet William, sunflowers, celosia. This list is really helpful to give me some guidelines. I can see how I could get obsessed. I have tried my hand at Dalia’s this year with 8 …..I didn’t see the hint about pinching and wondered why the blossoms don’t hold up and droop down……now I know….planning to go out with some scissors this am. Thanks again. If you ever come to Virginia please come! joyousgardensscottsville.com. !Check me out!

  9. Lelili on

    Thank you for writing this article. It is a comprehensive guide to growing hardy annuals in a cutting garden. I liked how it covers everything from the best planting times to selecting the hardiest varieties for different zones. Your expertise in the subject is evident, and the post is well-written and informative. I have my own flower shop called Lelili Fleurs (lelili.ca) and the pictures you added of the different varieties mentioned in the article makes it easier for me to visualize what I might want to plant in my own gardens.

  10. Ali B on

    Yes! Wonderful article and a planting chart would be incredibly useful!!!

  11. AM on

    I second the flower planting chart request!

  12. Brenda Bailey on

    I grew sweet peas when I was a child in Northern British Columbia. Now I live in Nova Scotia and grow lavender and cut flowers on a small scale. But for the life of me I cannot get sweet peas to flower. I have tried all sorts of different approaches from books. I get lots of foliage but not many if any blooms. HELP!

  13. Katie on

    Great article with helpful pictures. Would LOVE LOVE a chart with all these hardy annuals and dates in FALL and SPRING when they can be direct sown. Charts are so helpful when coordinating a mass of seed packets! :)

  14. Stacey Messina on

    Determined to try honeywort again this year. Wish me luck!

  15. Connie Bertholf on

    Hello, I am an experienced garden, but new to having a cut flower garden.
    So , my question is this. When a seed pack says 8 to 10 weeks before last frost does that mean after seeds have popped up or does it mean from the time you plant the seed in the little cells. I have a green house and have been selling Petunia Hanging Baskets for years. I have your books. and I don’t know if you have addressed this.
    Thank you,
    God Bless your farm,
    Connie Bertholf
    Humboldt County CA

  16. Lorrie Devine on

    OMG! How beaautiful! My Grandpa grew Sweet peas in his garden just like your Gramie.
    I am dying to have land to plant!
    You are an inspiration!

  17. Jenny Durling on

    I love Snap Dragons but they succumb to rust every time I grow them! Suggestions?

  18. Elle on

    In southern MN deer and rabbits eat everything to the ground. Any tips on which flowers might possibly be less appealing to wildlife that I could try to grow? Thanks!

    • BriAnn, Team Floret on

      Many of our customers have recommended a book called Deer-Resistant Design: Fence-free Gardens that Thrive Despite the Deer by Karen Chapman. You’ll find deer resistant flowers in there.

  19. Janie on

    I am in Zone 7b. I planted in late Sept-late Oct so these plants were very well established before our first frost. I planted bachelors buttons, calendula, pincushion flower, corn cockle, Iceland poppies, forget me not, Shirley poppy, sweet william, California poppy, sweet peas & larkspur.
    We just had bad 10 day cold snap with temps of 5-20 degrees. I covered everything with with AgriCloth 19 & 50. I took the row covers off today and everything sustained damage. The sweet peas are the worst with the calendula and cali poppy. I was really surprised that the bachelors buttons took such a beating and sustained damage and burn. My larkspur are fine but I covered those with pine straw and leaves with agriclorh over that. I’m real sad about tbt sweet peas. I’ve been trying 4 years to get them to bloom .

  20. Tracie on

    I live in zone 8B, I direct sowed some of my hardy annuals 3 weeks ago. Did I plant to soon? The west is still so warm.

  21. ALL GONE on

    Dawn, I hear you. I’m further south in Fort Lauderdale. I’d love to plant some pretty colorful flowers but don’t know where to start? All the flowers on this website are gorgeous and so beyond the standard Home Depot floral plant variety. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 🌻🌺🪷🌼🌷💐🌸

  22. Susan V. on

    I live in So. Calif and in a no frost zone. It is very dry here- and I know you live in an area with more water, but I have found poppies, sweet peas, bachelor buttons, dahlias, alyssum, cosmos, daffodils, and gladiolas to reseed/ come up on their own with no help once I have established them in the garden. Try some of these-

  23. Martie on

    I am in zone 4a and grow Batchelor buttons. I have noticed that a they are reseeding each year. I actually love the way the seeds look. And often open deadheads and press seeds into the landscape for early blooms. I love the pink shades, but the blue take more for some reason. I also have forget-me-nots, poppies and calendula that reseeds without help. But I still get a few for my field rows. I am excited to try out the Iceland poppies this year from you. I think they are just so amazing. I wintersowed some statice and it loved the midwest with a good doze of water. This year we will add purple Dara and also Larkspur. Thanks for everything – Martie

  24. Dawn on

    I live in Land O Lakes , FL, zone 9 I believe. We have summer like temperatures most of the year and lots of rain May through October. Any suggestions?

  25. Floor on

    Thank you so much for all your info <3
    Your book is great, so are your miniseries, blogs etc.
    #second year of flower farming and selling :D

  26. Jo hull on

    I’ve grown most on our new little farm, but you have inspired me to try a few new ones which you listed above.
    So, thank you 🙏 from the UK

  27. Branka on

    Very useful blog, thank you. I seen people sowing seeds of flowers in January outdoors, inside plastic bottles and all covered with cloche for more warmth and against frost. But, which hardy annuals we can start this way? I usually sow some either in autumn outside, or from February indoors, to plant out in spring. But, I didn’t start anything outside, in the cold winter. Could you please recommend which flower varieties will be happy with this way of sowing? I am very curious to try. Sowing and cutting flowers for vase arrangements gives me greatest gardening joy. If I could, I would sow seeds every day of the year!

  28. Lauren Palmer on

    Hello, I’m curious how you get your stock to stay alive so long and have a good vase life. I’m a florist and I love stock but it always seems to die out on us before we even get it into our vases. Is that due to how it was harvested or shipped perhaps? We’ve tried quick dip to help them hydrate, as well as holding solution in our buckets. I’m ordered some buttercream stock seed to try and grow my own!

    • BriAnn Boots on

      Harvest in the coolest part of the day and when half of the florets on the stem are open. So happy you’ll be growing your own stock! Enjoy!

  29. Christy on

    Which of these flowers do you suggest for the central/eastern part of Georgia (zone 8). The summers can get very hot and humid.

  30. Wendy on

    Oh my. I want them all. I live in NY (zone 5) and have been enjoying my apartment garden. Though it is mostly zinnias. I have some lemon marigolds. Bachelor buttons are a beautiful surprise in the spring and the Williams buttons are doing well.

    I would love daffodils or early blooming flowers to add to my garden.

  31. Mary Blakney on

    In a retirement home now, with three LARGE pots outside the windows, ground level, facing North in Issaquah, Wa. This year I grew three pots of snapdragons, plus several glads that did not make my cull last year. I am enjoying another bloom off of the Snaps. QUESTION: in this environment can I pre plant Zinnias for next season? Thank you. Mary Blakney

    • BriAnn Boots on

      Zinnias do best being planted in the warmer season, however you can start them indoors 4-6 weeks before your last spring frost and then transplant them into your pots outside.

  32. Lemon on

    Could any of these grow successfully in southwest Florida/zone 10a? I want to grow these all but the weather never truly gets cool. Over winter, 80 degree days are the norm.

  33. Joanne Lee Scouler on

    I live in Massachusetts and am also wondering what seeds work best here planted directly in the ground in either fall or very late winter.

  34. Jillian Alexiev on

    I have never even seen a sweet pea, but I purchased a seed packet on your recommendation in January. I was not prepared for all that it would become and I just loved it so much!! I saw your Instagram post and harvested seeds from them for next year, and am reworking my garden to see how I can plant more and support them properly. Thank you for bringing so much beauty to my life!!! jillian

  35. Nina on

    I live in upstate New York where winters are very harsh and we tend to get a lot of snow. We also have deer, bunnies and squirrels that like to nibble on plants. Are any variety resistant to these pesky animals? Do all varieties need full sun? We have lots of shade at our home. Would love to add more color to my gardens. Thank you.

  36. Sarah Davie on

    I live in northern New England (zone 5) and is it really possible to plant the hardiest annual seeds such as larkspur or Bupleurum outside in the fall? We tend to get harsh winters and plenty of snow.

    Thank you so much!

  37. Linda Hettinger on

    I saw your show and have always loved a garden. I will be married 38 yrs next week and my husband has always known not to bring me a bouquet of flowers as I always was sad to see them perish. I am planning a flower garden for next Spring but still am not sure I can learn how to enjoy them inside vs just having a beautiful garden. Any advice on how to shift a mindset.? Your bouquets are so beautiful…
    Thanks for giving such pleasure! I have your book, “Cut Flower Garden” and love it!
    Most Sincerely,
    Linda Hettinger

    • BriAnn Boots on

      I’d suggest adding some “cut-and-come-agains” to your garden as they benefit from being harvested. The more you pick, the more they’ll bloom! Zinnias are a favorite!

  38. Ray on

    Last summer, I tried Bachelor’s Button for the first time. I had no idea that they were hardy, so I direct seeded them around May 20th roughly a week after the last frost. They bloomed beautifully and prolifically about a month later, and continued until mid July, when the weather got warmer. Then, the plants slacked off a bit, until September as it began to cool off more, and again, I had more flowers than I knew what to do with! I can’t wait to try Monarda, Bells of Ireland, Sweet Peas , Cress, and Bupleurum this summer. Thanks for all the super helpful resources Floret!

  39. Jan Smith on

    Hi there,
    I just loved reading about the hardy annuals you grow. I am familiar with them all as I belong to a floral art group, I try to grow them for using in my designs. This year I shall be growing from seed. I printed the mini seed sewing advice, for future reference. I live in Dunedin NZ and next month we begin our autumn season. I bought your book A Year in Flowers from Puiri Lane where I’d seen it online, and the double sided flower puzzle which I then sent to my 96 year old mother in law. She completed it and sent me a photo.
    Thank you Jan

  40. Susan Martin on

    Seeds are in the freezer and the recommended book about cool hardy annuals arrives tomorrow! Although I’ve been gardening for years and successfully selling flowers in front of my house …. There is always something new to learn. This email came at a perfect time today …just what I needed …
    Thank you

  41. Loretta on

    I loved reading about these hardy annuals. Your descriptions make it easy to imagine the flower right in the palm of your hand.

    Thank you for sharing,

  42. Janet on

    As always…thank you for all the helpful information.
    Are you sowing these hardy annuals in trays or in the ground? (Zone 5B)

  43. Sara B on

    I’d love some clarification on which of these you’re direct sowing (we’re in Zone 7, so winters are milder) vs which you’re starting indoors.

  44. Margaret on

    I love looking at all your beautiful blooms and have been following Floret for years. Despite sowing three kinds of poppies, nigella, chantilly and madame butterfly snaps, ranunculus, and anemones, these flowers, if they even get to the bloom stage, look nothing like yours. I’ve amended the soil, fertilized often, staked, netted, laid soaker hoses, and supplemented regularly with water from the hose, with average results. I am not giving up, but wish I knew your secret to full, beautiful flowers. I garden in zone 6b and 5a.

  45. Shaune Godfrey on

    Hi Erin! I see hoops in so many of the flower rows. Are you covering all of those with plastic in the early spring? Right now with all of our rain I feel like I need a giant greenhouse! Also, the fish fertilizer you recommend for the sweet peas, should I use it on all of the flowers? Thanks so much. My daughter and I have both of your books and long for the day some of our flowers look like yours.😊

  46. Philip on

    Wow! They look so beautiful. I could only wish I can grow my garden the same way. The Light Salmon and Chantilly Light Pink are the ones that catch my eye the most, probably because my wife’s been bugging me to add more pink to the garden, which is her favorite color. Thanks for the article, just shared it!

  47. Stacey Emmott on

    Hello, I’m in zone 9, Tomball, Tx. We have mild winters most years and can have temps of high 80’s in November/December. When would I begin to plant the hardy annuals? Is it when temps are at a consistent degree? I’ve ordered several types of Aster seed from you this year so excited to plant them but after reading I’m thinking I should wait to plant and grow them as a hardy annual? Please advise. Thanks.

  48. Loren Atkins on

    I’m planning to add snapdragons, stock, and Iceland poppies for early spring/summer production. I am adding Bells of Ireland too, but they’ll bloom later since I don’t want to transplant them. I’m zone 4 and my last frost date is June 2nd 😂

  49. Stacey on

    I’m in Massachusetts zone 5. When would late winter be to start these? January? February? …all treated basically the same?

  50. Deidra Lewandowski on

    This topic is perfect for today as I have just acquired a high tunnel in zone five (no heat supplied except for huge water tanks that may be used to warm at night). Could any of these annuals work for my situation? And if so, how “soon” should I be planting? We have had a fairly mild winter thus far. thank you in advance –

  51. Sarah at Bloomette Flowers on

    So much wonderful information. Thank you, Erin! So well-timed, as I can’t wait to start seeds in a couple of weeks!

  52. Claire on

    I’d love a more detailed post about growing stock! It’s the one flower that I have failed at growing multiple times, and it kills me because it’s one of my favorites! I treasure the information you share so much, thanks for the constant source of inspiration <3


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