21 Easiest Flowers for Beginners

Discover the best annuals, perennials and bulbs to grow in your first garden

Think you have a brown thumb? These easy-care flowers will help you gain confidence in the garden. Annuals such as sunflowers and zinnias are easy to start from seed, perennials require little care and return each year, and bulbs are practically foolproof when planted properly. Start with just one, or select a few and get growing!



Sunflowers

Zones: Annual

Colors: Yellows, browns, and mixed

Height: 3-16 feet

  • Blooms during summer

  • Most varieties are drought and heat tolerant

  • Attracts bees, birds, and butterflies

  • Thrives in full sun

  • Tolerates most soil types (except water-logged)

  • May require support to prevent breakage


Zinnias

Zones: Annual

Colors: Shades of red, orange, yellow, pink, and white

Height: 20-24 inches

  • Blooms during summer

  • Offers varieties in shape (daisies, dahlias, spiders, poms)

  • Attracts butterflies

  • Likes rich, well-drained soil

  • Has moderate water requirements

  • Grows best in full sun


Marigolds

Zones: Annual

Colors: Shades of yellow, red, gold, and mixed

Height: 6-36 inches

  • Blooms spring, summer and fall

  • Grows quickly from seed

  • Helps repel mosquitoes (See 12 Mosquito Repellent Plants)

  • Prefers well-drained soil, grows well in dry or sandy gardens

  • Water well, allow to dry between waterings

  • Should be grown in full sun


Cosmos

Zones: Annual Colors: Orange, pink, white Height: Varieties 18-60 inches

  • Blooms spring, summer and fall

  • Grows quickly from seed

  • Helps repel mosquitoes

  • Prefers well-drained soil, grows well in dry or sandy gardens

  • Water well, allow to dry between waterings

  • Should be grown in full sun

Morning Glories

Zones: Annual Colors: White, purple, pink, red, blue varieties Height: 6 to 15 feet

  • Blooms appear in late summer or early fall

  • Readily self-sowing — be careful where you plant

  • Use to cover walls/trellises

  • Attracts birds and butterflies

  • Seeds are highly toxic if ingested

  • Give them moderately fertile, well-drained soil

  • Water weekly during dry periods

  • Plant morning glories in full sun


Sweet Peas

Zones: Annual Colors: Blue, pink, purple, red, white Height: 3 to 8 feet

  • Highly fragrant flowers

  • Bloom spring through early summer in hot climates, into fall in cooler areas

  • Seeds resemble edible sweet peas but are toxic if eaten

  • Prefer loamy, well-drained soil

  • Keep moist, water at the base

  • Grow in full sun

  • Needs supportive fence or trellis

  • If grown from seed, soak seeds the night before planting to soften tough outer shell


Nasturtium

Zones: Annual

Colors: Shades of orange, red, yellow, cream

Height: 8-10 feet

  • Quick growing and colorful

  • Blooms from May until September

  • Edible leaves and flowers (recipe: Pan-Seared Halibut with Nasturtium Butter)

  • Needs well-drained soil

  • Water regularly, but don’t over-water

  • Plant in full sun

Pansies

Zones: Grown as annuals (can be perennial/biennial in Zones 6-10) Colors: Variety of colors Height: 6-9 inches

  • In warmer climates pansies will bloom throughout winter and early spring

  • Are widely available at nurseries in six packs

  • Attract butterflies

  • Like rich, well-drained soil

  • Need regular watering

  • Will bloom in sun or partial shade

  • Grow best in temperatures 45-75 degrees F


Snapdragons

Zones: Grown as annuals (can be perennial in Zones 5-10) Colors: White, yellow, pink, red, orange, peach, purple, and violet Height: 6-15 inches

  • Bloom from spring through fall in cool summer growing conditions

  • Attract butterflies

  • Popular in cottage-style gardens

  • Prefer well-drained soil

  • Water regularly at the base of the plant

  • Best when grown in full sun


Impatiens

Zones: Grown as annuals (can be perennial in Zones 10-11) Colors: Variety Height: 6-24 inches

  • Bloom non-stop from June until frost

  • Attract birds

  • Are great for growing along the edges of a path

  • Prefer loamy soil

  • Keep them moist, but not waterlogged

  • Do best in part or full shade

  • Will grow taller if planted closer together


Wax Begonias

Zones: Grown as annuals (can be perennial in Zones 10-11) Colors: Orange, pink, white, yellow Height: 6-12 inches

  • Bloom summer and fall

  • Good for hanging baskets, containers, or beds

  • Varieties produce single or double blooms with ruffled or smooth petals

  • Require fertile, amended soil