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The 14 Best Perennial Flower Seeds to Use in Your Garden

If your vision of starting a garden includes using perennial flower seeds, you may be a bit overwhelmed as to which seeds to start with. I have had the opportunity to experiment with a lot of different perennial seeds, and these are the 14 ones I always recommend for beautiful flowers!

Close up shot of columbine spring perennial


Have you tried starting perennials from seed? I often see the seeds for sale but I worry that it will take many years to grow an actual flower head or a decent sized plant. However, I have learned how to jump-start perennials from seed so that they are large and established for the coming season.

This list covers 14 perennials that will grow quickly from seed to mature plant and begin producing flowers fast (usually in the same year that you plant them). Growing these perennials from seed as opposed to from nursery plants will save you a lot of money in the long run and ensure that your plants are grown completely organically.

Plus, it is so rewarding to watch as the seed you planted becomes a big strong plant. When people compliment your garden, you get to say you grew some of it from scratch!

However, growing perennials is for the patient gardener. Although these plants may flower the first summer, they need time to naturalize and become big and thriving plants.

purple perennial flower grown from seed

Starting Perennials From Seed

Before you do anything, you have to get the seeds first! Ensure you put in the research to your seeds before you buy them and purchase from a good supplier. They will provide the most consistent results such as plant size, colour, and other characteristics.

Just like with vegetables, herbs, and annual flowers, you can speed up the maturity of the plant by starting the seeds indoors using light, heat, and humidity to mimic springtime/summertime growing conditions.

This guide covers everything you will need to know about seed starting. From what containers to use, to the best soil, plus heat, light, and humidity. There is information on how to start different kinds of seeds like heat-lovers and root veggies, as well as plans for making an indoor seed-starting shelf with lights.

Humidity is key to getting your seeds to sprout. Ensure your soil is thoroughly watered while waiting for the seed. A dome, such as a clean salad container, is also encouraged to help lock in moisture.

It’s important to note that perennial seeds may take longer to germinate than other seeds you may be used to such as vegetables or wildflowers. Give them at least a month to germinate before you give up on the seed.

Be careful what perennials you try to grow from seed. The trick with perennials is to make sure that you are starting those that will bloom in one to two years when grown from seed. Some plants are also very finicky and difficult to grow from seed. Sometimes it’s better to buy a plant division or start it from a cutting.

bright yellow flower grown from seed

The 14 Best Perennial Flower Seeds

The benefits of starting the right perennials from seed are many: to save money, to grow rare cultivars, and for fun. Most importantly, though, growing your own seeds from scratch means that you are certain what sort of soil, fertilizer, additives, and growing conditions your plants have been subjected to throughout their lives. Without further adieu, here are my top 14 perennials I recommend you start from seed.

red velvet yarrow

Achillea (milfoil)

Also known as yarrow, it is a hardy and dependable plant that has clusters of flowers coming in various colours. It can spread quickly and has a long blooming season.

Allium (onion family)

A relative of the onion, the perennial flower seeds produce large purple flowers that almost resemble a pom pom. They are unique and a fun addition to the garden.

Aquilegia (columbine)

This plant is known for its spurred petals that come in a variety of colours. A meadow plant, it will provide colour and whimsy to your garden during the spring and summer.

Delosperma cooperi (ice plant)

A drought tolerant succulent, the ice plant works great as a carpeting perennial with daisy like flowers in purple, yellow, white, and pink.

Dianthus (sweet William)

Tough but sweet smelling ,sweet William grows in most zones and is perfect for those interesting in a scented garden.

a field of echinaceaEchinacea (coneflower)

These grow in tough conditions and bloom for many months. Pollinators and birds are a big fan of the coneflower if you want to attract local wildlife to your garden.

Gaillardia (blanket flower)

This flower forms mounds of foliage topped with yellow, orange, or red flowers. Plus, butterflies love them!

Kniphofia (red hot poker)

Like the name suggests, this is an upright red flower ready to make a statement. Another great addition for those looking for a unique flower.

shasta daisiesLeucanthemum × superbum (shasta daisy)

If you’re looking for a classic flower, the shasta is a long favourite with it’s long white petals and yellow center.

Linum lewisii (blue flax)

Tiny and cute, blue flax are on a thin and delicate stem topped with sky blue flowers. They are great for filling up spaces within a bed.

Lupinus (lupine)

Tall and showy, lupine comes in purple, pink, yellow, red, and white. Growing from seed is a quick way to accomplish a showy garden.

Penstemon (beardtongue)

This flower is as fun looking as its name. They are stalks of tubular flowers that bloom in early summer.

Primula (primrose)

A flower that blooms in almost every colour imaginable, primrose are very popular for most gardeners due to their versatility in form, size, and colour.

Rudbeckia hirta (black-eyed Susan)

A member of the sunflower family, black-eyed Susan’s are sturdy yellow flowers with a dark center. They are drought resistant and work in a variety of soils.

Flower produced by Columbine perennial flower seeds

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  1. I believe Sweet William is a biennial when grown in many agricultural zones, it grows from seed the first year, blooms the second year, and then they may self seed where they are grown and start new plants. They come in many colours and several bi-colours that are often used in flower arrangements that stand up well due to their sturdy stems.


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