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

I haven’t included sowing time in this article because this will vary depending on your location. Some seedlings are frost tender, and should only be planted once the risk of frost has passed. For those of us in warmer climates such as Australia, we can sow seeds much earlier.

Celsius

Fahrenheit

Soil depth

Germination

Stratification?

African daisy (Arctotis stoechadifolia) 18 – 21 65 – 70 3 mm 15 – 20 days No
African daisy (Osteospermum spp.) 21 – 24 70 – 75 5 mm 10 – 21 days No
Alyssum (Lobularia maritima) 12 – 23 55 – 75 Surface 5 – 14 days No
Amethyst flower (Browallia spp.) 18 – 21 65 – 70 Surface 14 – 21 days No
Aster (Aster spp.) 18 – 23 65 – 75 5 mm 10 – 14 days No
Baby’s breath (Gypsophila spp.) 15 – 18 60 – 65 Surface 10 – 14 days No
Balloon flower (Platycodon grandiflorus) 16 – 20 60 – 68 Surface 14 – 28 days No
Bear’s breeches (Acanthus mollis) 18 – 21 65 – 70 6 mm 14 – 21 days No
Bee balm (Monarda didyma) 16 – 21 60 – 70 Surface 7 – 14 days No
Begonia (Begonia spp.) 18 – 21 65 – 70 Surface 14 – 21 days No
Bellflower (Campanula spp.) 21 – 23 70 – 75 Surface 20 – 30 days Yes
Bells-of-Ireland (Moluccella laevis) 13 – 18 55 – 64 Surface 21 – 35 days Yes
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) 18 – 21 65 – 70 Surface 14 – 21 days Yes
Bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis) 4 – 12 40 – 55 12 mm 10 – 21 days Yes
Blanket flower (Gaillardia
x grandiflora)
12 – 18 55 – 65 Surface 7 – 20 days Yes
Boltonia (Boltonia spp.) 18 – 21 65 – 70 6 mm 14 – 21 days No
Borage (Borago officinalis) 18 – 29 65 – 85 10 mm 7 – 10 days No
Bugloss (Anchusa capensis) 18 – 21 65 – 70 5 mm 10 days No
Butter daisy (Melampodium
paludosum
)
18 – 21 65 – 70 5 mm 7 – 14 days No
Butterfly flower (Schizanthus spp.) 18 – 22 65 – 71 3 mm 21 – 28 days No
Butterfly pea (Clitoria
ternatea
)
22 – 28 71 – 82 5 mm 14 – 21 days No
Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) 18 – 24 65 – 75 Surface 15 – 20 days Yes
Calendula (Calendula officinalis) 18 – 21 65 – 70 10 mm 7 – 10 days No
Californian poppy (Eschscholzia californica) 12 – 21 55 – 70 5 mm 14 – 21 days No
Candytuft (Iberis spp.) 23 – 29 75 – 85 Surface 14 – 21 days No
Canterbury bells (Campanula medium) 18 – 21 65 – 70 Surface 14 – 21 days Yes
Cape jewels (Nemesia strumosa) 13 – 18 55 – 65 3 mm 7 – 14 days No
Carnation (Dianthus spp.) 15 – 21 60 – 70 3 mm 7 – 14 days No
Catnip/catmint (Nepeta spp.) 18 – 21 65 – 70 3 mm 8 – 12 days No
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) 18 – 21 65 – 70 Surface 10 – 14 days Yes
Chilean bellflower (Nolana paradoxa) 20 – 22 68 – 72 3 mm 4 – 6 weeks No
Chinese aster (Callistephus chinensis) 20 – 23 68 – 73 3 mm 14 days No
Chinese forget-me-not (Cynoglossum amabile) 18 – 20 65 – 68 Surface 5 – 10 days No
Chinese lantern (Physalis alkekengi) 16 – 21 60 – 70 Surface 15 – 30 days No
Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum spp.) 18 – 23 65 – 75 2 mm 10 – 14 days No
Clematis (Clematis spp.) 20 – 22 68 – 73 5 mm 3 – 5 weeks Yes
Cliquefoil (Potentilla spp.) 19-21 67-70 3 mm 14 – 21 days No
Cohosh (Cimicifuga spp.) 18 – 21 65 – 70 6 mm 30 – 365 days No
Columbine (Aquilegia spp.) 10 – 12 50 – 55 Surface 30 – 90 days Yes
Common rockrose (Helianthemum nummularium) 21 – 24 70 – 75 Surface 7 – 14 days No
Common sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale) 19 – 22 65 – 73 3 mm 14 – 21 days No
Coral bell (Heuchera spp.) 18 – 21 65 – 70 Surface 21 – 28 days No
Corncockle (Agrostemma githago) 15 – 21 60 – 70 3 mm 7 – 14 days No
Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus) 15 – 21 60 – 70 Surface 7 – 10 days No
Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) 21 – 25 70 – 77 Surface 5 – 7 days No
Cup and saucer vine (Cobaea scandens) 21 – 23 70 – 75 12 mm 10 – 20 days No
Cupflower (Nierembergia spp.) 21 – 23 70 – 75 Surface 14 – 21 days No
Cupid’s bow (Achimenes spp.) 21 – 23 70 – 75 10 mm 20 – 30 days No
Cupid’s dart (Catananche caerulea) 20 – 23 68 – 75 3 mm 7 – 14 days No
Cyclamen (Cyclamen spp.) 18 – 20 65 – 68 6 mm 30 – 60 days No
Dahlberg daisy (Thymophylla
tenuiloba
)
18 – 21 65 – 70 Surface 14 days No
Dahlia (Dahlia spp.) 21 – 23 70 – 75 12 mm 7 – 10 days No
Delphinium (Delphinium elatum) 15 – 20 59 – 68 5 mm 14 – 21 days Yes
Echinacea (Echinacea spp.) 18 – 21 65 – 70 Surface 10 – 21 days Yes
Edeiweiss (Leontopodium
alpinum
)
18 – 21 65 – 70 Surface 21 – 35 days Yes
English daisy (Bellis perennis) 18 – 21 65 – 70 Surface 10 – 21 days No
Evening primrose (Oenothera spp.) 21 – 26 70 – 80 Surface 15 – 20 days No
Everlasting (Helichrysum bracteatum) 21 – 24 70 – 75 Surface 7 – 10 days No
False sunflower (Heliopsis spp.) 21 – 23 70 – 73 4 mm 7 – 10 days No
Fan flower (Scaevola aemula) 68 – 71 68 – 71 3 mm 45 – 60 days No
Feverfew (Tanacetum
parthenium
)
68 – 71 68 – 71 Surface 10 – 14 days No
Firecracker flower (Crossandra infundibuliformis) 21 – 27 70 – 80 3 mm 7 – 10 days No
Flax (Linum usitatissimum) 18 – 21 65 – 70 6 mm 20 – 25 days No
Fleabane (Erigeron spp.) 18 – 21 65 – 70 6 mm 14 – 28 days No
Floss flower (Ageratum houstonianum) 24 – 29 75 – 85 Surface 7 – 14 days No
Forget-me-not (Myosotis spp.) 18 – 21 65 – 70 3 mm 21 – 28 days No
Foxglove (Digitalis spp.) 15 – 18 60 – 65 Surface 14 – 21 days No
Garden heliotrope (Heliotropium spp.) 18 – 21 65 – 70 6 mm 15 – 20 days No
Gay feather (Liatris spp.) 18 – 21 65 – 70 2 mm 14 – 21 days Yes
Gazania (Gazania spp.) 15 – 18 60 – 65 3 mm 8 – 14 days No
Geranium (Pelargonium spp.) 21 – 26 70 – 75 Surface 7 – 10 days No
Gerbera (Gerbera spp.) 21 – 23 70 – 73 Surface 14 – 21 days No
Geum (Geum spp.) 18 – 21 65 – 70 Surface 21 – 28 days No
Globeflower (Trollius spp.) 18 – 21 65 – 70 Surface 21 – 28 days Yes
Gloxinia (Sinningia speciosa) 19 – 21 66 – 70 Surface 14 – 21 days No
Goldencup (Hunnemannia fumariifolia) 19 – 21 66 – 70 Surface 15 – 20 days No
Goldenrod (Solidago spp.) 20 – 22 68 – 71 Surface 2 – 8 weeks Yes
Goldentuft (Aurinia saxatilis) 15 – 21 59 – 70 Surface 5 – 14 days No
Hellebore (Helleborus spp.) 18 – 21 65 – 70 6 mm 6 – 18 months Yes
Hibiscus (Hibiscus spp.) 21 – 26 70 – 75 6 mm 14 – 21 days No
Hollyhock (Alcea rosea) 15 – 21 60 – 70 Surface 10 – 14 days Yes
Iceland poppy (Papaver nudicaule) 18 – 24 65 – 75 Surface 10 – 14 days Yes
Impatiens (Impatiens spp.) 21 – 23 70 – 73 Surface 14 – 21 days No
Jacob’s ladder (Polemonium spp.) 18 – 21 65 – 70 Surface 14 – 28 days No
Laceflower (Trachymene coerulea) 18 – 21 65 – 70 1 – 2 mm 18 – 21 days No
Ladys purse (Calceolaria spp.) 21 – 23 70 – 73 Surface 5 – 10 days No
Larkspur (Consolida ambigua) 10 – 12 50 – 55 6 mm 14 – 21 days Yes
Lavender (Lavandula spp.) 18 – 21 65 – 70 Surface 14 – 21 days No
Leopard plant (Ligularia spp.) 18 – 21 65 – 70 Surface 7 – 14 days No
Leopard’s bane (Doronicum
cordatum
)
12 – 15 55 – 60 Surface 14 – 21 days No
Linaria (Linaria spp.) 12 – 18 55 – 65 5 mm 10 – 20 days Yes
Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflorum) 22 – 23 72 – 73 Surface 10 – 15 No
Livingstone daisy (Dorotheanthus
bellidiformis
)
18 – 24 65 – 78 Surface 7 – 21 days No
Lobelia (Lobelia spp.) 18 – 23 65 – 73 Surface 10 – 14 days No
Love-lies-bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus) 20 – 28 68 – 82 3 mm 7 – 10 days No
Lupine (Lupinus spp.) 12 – 21 55 – 70 6 mm 14 – 21 days Yes
Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthus
roseus
)
24 – 27 75 – 80 6 mm 2 – 6 weeks No
Maltese cross (Lychinis
chalcedonica
)
20 – 25 68 – 77 Surface 7 – 14 days No
Marigold (Tagetes spp.) 21 – 23 70 – 73 8 mm 10 – 14 days No
Marshmallow plant (Althaea officinalis) 15 – 21 60 – 70 6 mm 14 – 24 days Yes
Meadowsweet (Filipendula
ulmaria
)
21 – 23 70 – 73 Surface 14 – 21 days Yes
Mexican creeping zinnia (Sanvitalia procumbens) 18 – 21 65 – 70 10 mm 7 – 21 days No
Mexican sunflower (Tithonia
spp.
)
15 – 30 59 – 86 3 mm 4 – 10 days No
Mignonette (Reseda odorata) 12 – 14 53 – 57 Surface 5 – 10 days No
Monkey flowers (Mimulus spp.) 15 – 21 60 – 70 Surface 10 – 20 days No
Monk’s hood (Aconitum spp.) 12 – 15 55 – 60 3 mm 30 days Yes
Morning glory (Convolvulus spp.)
20 – 21 68 – 70 10 mm 5 – 21 days No
Mullein (Verbascum) 16 – 20 60 – 68 Surface 7 – 14 days No
Musk mallow (Malva moschata) 18 – 21 65 – 70 Surface 7 – 21 days No
Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) 15 – 18 60 – 65 10 mm 7 – 12 days No
Nemesia (Nemesia spp.) 12 – 18 55 – 65 1 – 2 mm 7 – 21 days No
Nemophila (Nemophila spp.) 12 – 15 55 – 60 5 mm 10 – 14 days No
Nigella (Nigella damascena) 15 – 18 60 – 65 3 mm 21 – 28 days No
Obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana) 18 – 21 65 – 70 5 mm 14 – 28 days No
Pansy (Viola tricolor var. hortensis) 15 – 23 60 – 73 3 mm 21 – 28 days days No
Pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea) 18 – 21 65 – 70 Surface 21 – 28 days No
Persian violet (Exacum affine) 21 – 24 70 – 78 3 mm 14 – 21 days No
Petunia (Petunia spp.) 18 – 23 65 – 73 3 mm 7 – 10 days No
Phlox (Phlox spp.) 15 – 18 60 – 65 5 mm 14 – 21 days No
Poppy (Papaver spp.) 15 – 20 60 – 68 Surface 7 – 30 days Yes
Portulaca (Portulaca spp.) 21 – 26 70 – 80 5 mm 12 – 16 days No
Pride of Madeira (Echium candicans) 15 – 20 60 – 68 3 mm 7 – 14 days No
Primrose (Primula spp.) 15 – 18 60 – 65 3 mm 10 – 21 days Yes
Purple rock cress (Aubrieta deltoidea) 18 – 21 65 – 70 Surface 14 – 21 days No
Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota) 16 – 18 60 – 65 Surface 12 – 18 days No
Rock cress (Arabis spp.) 18 – 21 65 – 70 5 mm 14 – 21 days No
Salvia (Salvia officinalis) 21 – 23 70 – 73 5 mm 14 – 21 days No
Satin flower (Clarkia amoena) 21 – 23 70 – 73 3 mm 5 – 10 mm No
Shooting star (Dodecatheon meadia) 18 – 21 65 – 70 3 mm 8 – 10 weeks Yes
Sea holly (Eryngium spp.) 18 – 23 65 – 73 1 mm 7 – 80 days Yes
Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum) 18 – 21 65 – 70 4 mm 10 – 20 days No
Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) 18 – 23 65 – 73 3 mm 10 – 14 days Yes
Snow-in-summer (Cerastium tomentosum) 18 – 21 65 – 70 3 mm 12 – 16 days No
Speedwell (Veronica spp.) 18 – 24 65 – 75 5 mm 14 – 21 days No
Spider flower (Cleome spinosa) 21 – 23 70 – 73 6 mm 7 – 14 days Yes
Statice (Limonium sinuatum) 15 – 20 60 – 68 3 mm 7 – 21 days No
Stock (Matthiola incana) 15 – 18 60 – 65 5 mm 10 – 14 days No
Stoke’s aster (Stokesia laevis) 21 – 24 70 – 75 3 mm 25 – 30 days No
Sunflower (Helianthus spp.) 21 – 23 70 – 73 10 mm 10 – 14 days No
Swan river daisy (Brachyscome iberidifolia) 21 – 24 70 – 78 3 mm 14 – 21 days No
Sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus) 12 – 18 55 – 65 12 mm 10 – 14 days No
Sweet rocket (Hesperis
matronalis
)
12 – 22 53 – 71 2 – 5 mm 10 – 14 days No
Trumpet flower (Incarvillea spp.) 18 – 21 65 – 70 3 mm 6 – 8 weeks No
Tweedia (Oxypetalum coeruleum) 18 – 21 65 – 70 6 mm 14 – 40 days No
Twinspur (Diascia spp.) 15 – 18 60 – 65 Surface 14 days No
Verbena (Verbena spp.) 18 – 23 65 – 73 5 mm 21 – 28 days No
Viola (Viola spp.) 18 – 23 65 – 73 6 mm 21 – 28 days No
Virginian stock (Malcolmia maritima) 18 – 23 65 – 73 5 mm 10 – 14 days No
Wallflower (Erysimum cheiri, syn. Cheiranthus cheiri) 15 – 18 60 – 65 6 mm 7 – 14 days No
Wild indigo (Baptisia spp.) 18 – 21 65 – 70 6 mm 14 days No
Wishbone flower (Torenia fournieri) 21 – 23 70 – 75 5 mm 10 – 15 days No
Xeranthemum (Xeranthemum annuum) 24-35 75 – 95 5 mm 7 – 14 days No
Yarrow (Achillea spp.) 18 – 21 65 – 70 5 mm 10 – 14 days Yes
Zinnia (Zinnia spp.) 21 – 23 70 – 73 6 mm 7 – 21 mm No