10 easy flowers to grow

Looking for easy flowers to grow to add colour to your garden? All of these flowering species are super easy and rewarding to grow

easy flowers to grow: Pelargonium 'Tip Top Duet'
(Image credit: Waitrose Garden)

Looking for easy flowers to grow to add colour and interest to your garden? There are plenty of flowering species that a beginner gardener can tackle. From sunflowers to pelargonium, these are all quick, easy growing varieties that will be equally happy in a container or sunny border. 

For more tips, check out our guide to gardening for beginners.

1. Sunflowers

An easy flower to grow – if not the easiest of all of them – the sunflower is a delight, either in a container or in a garden border. They grow so well, even a child can do it – check out more garden ideas for kids.

Maintenance: Grow seedlings in deep pots and cover with glass (or put them on a warm windowsill) before seedlings emerge; alternatively, sow where they are to flower, but you may wish to cover the seeds with netting to prevent birds from getting at them. The flowers need little maintenance, apart from regular watering.

Soil type: Moderately fertile, well-drained soil.

Where to plant: Full sun.

easy flowers to grow: Sunflowers

(Image credit: Squires Garden Centres)

2. Calendula

Long-flowering (from June to October), simple and fast-growing, and easy to maintain, calendula is one of the easiest annuals to grow. And – it's one of the best plants for your health, if you choose to harvest the flowers. 

Maintenance: Sow in autumn or late spring, where they are to flower. Once in bloom, calendula requires almost no maintenance, just the occasional water. If you deadhead the spent blooms, there'll be even more flowers. 

Soil type: Poor to moderately fertile, well-drained soil.

Where to plant: Full sun or partial shade.

Calendula officialis best plant for skin

(Image credit: Waitrose Garden)

3. Pelargonium 

Pelargoniums are a delight to grow and look at, and there are so many varieties, you can mix and match them for a real riot of colour. Upright varieties look great in borders, while trailing pelargoniums look amazing in window boxes. 

Maintenance: There's one thing pelargoniums can't get enough of: sun. Plant them in a sunny spot and they'll reward you with lots of blooms. You will need to protect these plants from frost, so move them to a bright conservatory or window sill in winter. 

Soil type: Fertile, well-drained soil.

Where to plant: Full sun.

Find out more in our beginner's guide to window boxes; and check that the pelargoniums you're buying aren't poisonous plants for dogs – some are. 

easy flowers to grow: Pelargonium 'Tip Top Duet'

(Image credit: Waitrose Garden)

4. Nasturtiums

Lovely, low-maintenance nasturtiums not only make great cut flowers, but are also edible and great for adding a peppery flavour to salads. 

Maintenance: Nasturtiums thrive in poor soil, so don't fertilise them. You can start them as seedlings indoors, or sow them where they are to flower in late spring.

Soil type: Poor, well-drained soil.

Where to plant: Full sun or partial shade.

easy flowers to grow: Tropaeolum majus 'Ladybird Rose'

(Image credit: Waitrose Garden)

5. Phlox

A highly fragrant garden favourite for generations, phlox make a great addition to borders and don't require much once they are in flower. They do really well in cooler climates, too, as they love lots of moisture and don't need too much sun. Find more purple flowering plants in our guide if you want to colour scheme your garden with this rich shade.

Maintenance: Phlox love any extra nutrition they can get, so fertilise and mulch them throughout the summer. They also need plant supports until mature.

Soil type: Fertile, moist soil.

Where to plant: Full sun or partial shade.

easy to grow flowers: Phlox 'Popstars Blue'

(Image credit: Squires Garden Centres)

6. Pansies

Another garden classic, pansies make great container plants. Find out more about container gardening for small spaces in our guide.

Maintenance: If you're buying plug plants, just plant them in clumps where they are to flower; pansies are hardy and can be planted in late autumn or early winter. If growing from seed, start them indoors. 

Soil type: Moderately fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil.

Where to plant: Full sun or partial shade.

easy to grow flowers: Viola Sorbet F1 Mixed

(Image credit: Waitrose Garden)

7. Nigella

Pretty nigella is an easy-to-grow annual that requires little apart from the occasional water, and is very easy to grow from seed.

Maintenance: Sow seeds where they are to flower; thin out seedlings when large enough. Deadhead to prolong flowering. 

Soil type: Any well-drained soil.

Where to plant: Full sun.

Easy flowers to grow: Nigella damascena 'Miss Jekyll'

(Image credit: Waitrose Garden)

8. Common poppy

Poppies are wonderful for adding bright colour to any garden, but they really come into their own in larger gardens with meadow patches. 

Maintenance: Sow where they are to flower, in autumn or late spring. Water thoroughly and occasionally, rather than little and often. Disturb the soil a little to aid germination. 

Soil type: Well-Full sun. preferably poor soil..

Where to plant: Full sun

easy flowers to grow: Papaver rhoeas

(Image credit: Waitrose Garden)

9. Sweet pea

Another cottage garden classic, the humble sweet pea is powerful when it comes to scent, and makes a lovely fragrant cut flower. Sweet peas are also highly suited to wet British summers. Find more fragrant plants for your garden in our guide.

Maintenance: Sweet peas have deep roots and will need lots of room to develop those roots, so will need a deep container. Sow seeds indoors in late winter, or sow directly where they are to flower in March/April. Pinch out the tips of the plants to encourage bushier growth and more flowers. 

Soil type: Fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil.

Where to plant: Full sun.

Sweet peas

(Image credit: Squire's Garden Centres)

10. Native geranium (Cranesbill)

Native geraniums (to be distinguished from South African pelargoniums, with which they often get mixed up) are easy care, hardy perennials that will delight you – and pollinators – year after year. They grow quickly and require almost no maintenance. Learn more about creating a bee-friendly garden.

Maintenance: Deadhead regularly to prolong flowering period. If by mid-summer, your geraniums are looking a bit sad, revive the by removing old flowers and stems.

Soil type: Fertile, well-drained soil.

Where to plant: In full sun or partial shade.

easy flowers to grow: Geranium Sabani Blue

(Image credit: Waitrose Garden)

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