12 Best Flowers for Winter Sowing in the World

12 Best Flowers for Winter Sowing in the World: Winter is the best time to plant many of our favorite flowers. Do you hear something crazy? Organic farmer Jenna Rich will show you 31 flowers that you can plant in the winter to get your garden ready for a beautiful spring and a full summer.

12 Best Flowers for Winter Sowing in the World

1. Cornflower

A close-up of a blue cornflower, its delicate petals reaching out against verdant leaves under the sun's warm rays. The intricate center, a deep, rich purple, contrasts beautifully with the azure petals.
These flourish as colorful border plants, ideal for pollinator mixes and wild bouquets.

Bachelor’s buttons are easy to take care of, look great as a yard border, and are often included in mixes for pollinators. In wild groups with bright disc-shaped flowers and decorative grasses, they look great. They come in shades from light pink and violet to dark burgundy.

Pro tip: When it’s time to harvest, grab cornflowers when you recognize their color. This will give you the best vase life. 

This can be done directly in the ground in late winter or early spring, or indoors over the winter. Sow the seeds in the fall. Even when it’s close to freezing, they don’t mind being planted straight; they do well when moved.

2. Scabiosa

A close-up reveals a cluster of petite scabiosa flowers on one stem. Each bloom displays deep pink petals adorned with delicate white anthers, creating a vibrant and contrasting center within the blossoms.
The Pincushion flower offers vibrant blooms and effortlessly self-seeds.
  • You can get annual and perennial scabiosa. The annuals have a little smaller flowers and softer colors. These bright and unusual flowers make any yard or bunch of cut flowers more interesting to look at.They spread easily by themselves, so once you have a patch, each spring you will see more and more new plants grow.
  • It’s easy to make perennial Scabiosa bigger by splitting clumps of existing plants and putting new ones in their place. Spread seeds along a rock wall or make a fence with flowers that are good for pollinators. They were the last thing to bloom, even when the first snow fell where mine grows along a rock wall.
  • Because scabiosa likes it cool, seeds can be planted in the fall and kept in a high tunnel or basement. You could also put seeds in February for winter sowing in late spring when it is still cool.

3. Foxglove

Lovely foxglove flowers in shades of purple drape downwards, showcasing their distinct trumpet-like shape. The vivid blooms contrast beautifully with the lush green stem, while a blurred background offers glimpses of the same exquisite flowers in their natural setting.
This can be successfully winter-sown without covering the seeds for light-dependent germination.
  • Hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees love the unique runaway of the foxglove, which makes it a beautiful and popular plant for a pollinator or cottage garden or along the edges of a bed.
  • If you’ve tried planting foxglove straight in an annual bed and failed, try planting them in the winter as early as February. Don’t cover them up. For them to grow, they need light.
  • Once every two years, foxgloves will bloom, but sometimes they’ll surprise you and bloom in the first year. Sow seeds in the winter for two years in a row to get patches that change and a steady supply.

4. Echinacea

Purple coneflowers with orange centers bloom against a backdrop of lush green leaves. The petals form daisy-like shapes around the central cone, creating a striking contrast of purple and fiery orange hues in the garden.
These immunity-boosting flowers are often used in teas and tablets.
  • This flower, whose name comes from the Greek word echinos, which means “hedgehog,” is often used to boost the immune system.
  • For Echinacea, planting in the winter is a great idea.It’s possible to move echinacea plants when they are quite big, and they need a lot of time to grow, so starting seeds in the winter is a great idea.
  • Tip: Pick the seed heads when they are fully grown in the fall. To get more seeds to grow, crack the pods open and let the seeds sit in cold, damp soil for a few months before planting. Along with this process, the hard top layer of the seed is broken up. It’s also possible to do this to seeds that you buy from seed companies.

5. Larkspur

A tall stem adorned with blue larkspur flowers stands gracefully in the sunlight, its delicate petals capturing the warmth. The blurred background reveals a lush foliage backdrop, enhancing the natural beauty of the blossoms.
Sow larkspur seeds in prepared beds in the fall or use the winter sowing method.
  • A few years ago, I was surprised when larkspur escaped a winter in New Hampshire and grew new leaves in early spring. Every winter since then, I’ve planted more seeds to make my “tender perennial” patch bigger.
  • If you live in a place where summer storms and winds are likely, you should stake your plants. Larkspur does best where the summers are warm or cool, and it spreads itself quickly. This one-of-a-kind flower looks great in a border or country garden.
  • This annual can be hard to grow in the spring because the seeds need cooler temperatures to germinate. Also, the seeds are very small and tricky to work with. Spread some straight in garden beds that have been prepared in the fall or use the milk jug way to plant them any time in the winter. You might see flowers six months after planting in the winter.

6. Calendula 

Yellow calendula flowers, vibrant against green foliage, held aloft by delicate stems. The sunny blossoms add a cheerful pop to the garden, their petals overlapping in a radiant display of color and texture.
This flower has been used traditionally for herbal remedies.
  • Get some marigold if you want to add something bright and happy to your garden quickly. It stays close to the ground and goes with any garden style.
  • Calendula doesn’t care much about the dirt it grows in and does well without much care. Because they are medical, they feel sticky. When the flowers dry, they look great and can be used in salves and olive oil mixes.
  • Calendula can handle the cold and spreads itself pretty easily. If you already have a patch, let some seeds fall to the ground in the fall. In the spring, the seeds will grow on their own. Plant them in the fall and move them as soon as the ground can be worked. Light covering can protect them from cold that might be coming. Don’t wait until it gets too warm, or they might not make it through the move.

7. Violas

A wooden box filled with orange, purple, and yellow pansies nestled among lush green foliage. Another box with pink blooms appears blurred in the background, adding to the colorful garden display.
Pansies can be easily sown outdoors or in a cool, unheated space from January onward.
  • If you have a patch of empty ground that gets a lot of sun and drains well, you can easily plant pansies there. Just sprinkle some seeds on the ground and work them in. You can do this as early as January or February. You can also plant seeds in a cool basement or another room that isn’t warm.
  • People say that pansy “faces” are some of the first plants to come up from the snow. Because they don’t grow very tall, you can put them next to a path or in front of bigger plants in your yard. But watch out for rabbits and deer that might be hiding. These are great for them to eat when there’s not much else around.
  • All pansies can handle cold temperatures, but they will die in the summer. Even though they are grown as annuals most of the time, they are actually semi-perennials that can spread and spread their own seeds if left alone.
  • If you live in a very cold area, try growing ice pansies (Viola hiemalis). People often call violas, pansies, and Johnny jump-ups the same thing, but there are some differences between the species, such as how hardy they are, how big they are, and what colors they come in.

8. Snapdragons 

Clusters of white snapdragons stand tall, their delicate blooms reaching for the sunlight. In the blurred background, more white snapdragons and lush foliage create a serene garden scene, while vibrant red flowers add a pop of contrasting color.
Winter sowing offers a great way to grow cold-hardy snapdragons with minimal effort and better results.
  • People love Snapdragons because they are easy to take care of, always look beautiful, and come in many colors. You shouldn’t plant snaps directly in your yard, but winter sowing is a great way to grow them.
  • Snapdragons can survive in cold weather, and they usually do better when you don’t pay much attention to them. They bloom a lot and last 7–10 days in a vase, so you should put them in your yard.
  • If you want to use the milk jug method, plant the seeds in January or February. For the seeds to grow, you need to keep them from blowing away by pressing them down. Then, leave them alone for the winter and water them as needed.
  • When they are about four inches tall, pinch them back to make them more productive and the stems longer. If you have low tunnels or a greenhouse, you could try keeping some snaps over the winter by covering them when needed.

9. Bupleurum 

Yellowish-lime bupleurum glows in the sunlight, its delicate flowers and stems creating a vivid display. The blurred background reveals a cluster of these blossoms, adding depth to the composition and showcasing the natural beauty of this floral arrangement.
A striking annual with yellowish-lime hues, Bupleurum thrives when winter-sown for easy germination.
  • If you want to add some fun to a bouquet, you can use bupleurum. It can also give a yearly flower plant a unique look. It looks great in a rock garden because it grows in groups. Its shades of yellowish-lime green make it more interesting to look at.
  • It might need to be staked, so plant it with something strong or other types that need to be staked.
  • While Bupleurum is an annual that can handle some cold. In most growth areas, it’s not quite hardy enough for plants to make it through the winter.
  • But it sprouts quickly and does very well when planted in the winter. When you can work the dirt again in April, that’s when you should move the seeds.
  • You could plant them straight in the ground if you have access to a safe tunnel place. Make them 12 inches apart if you need to.

10. Cosmos 

White and purple cosmos with yellow centers bask in the sunlight, creating a captivating display. The delicate petals dance in the breeze against a blurred background of lush green grass, adding a touch of elegance to the garden scene.
These are hardy, colorful, and versatile flowers blooming from early summer till frost.
  • I’ve tried “Double Click” and “Afternoon White,” but the original “Sensation Blend” has been the most hardy, germination-friendly, and vigorous for me. From the beginning of summer until the first hard freeze, they bloom and stay alive.
  • They can grow in a garden in the winter and will still produce even when the days are shorter.
  • Think about mass plants, borders, or along roads when choosing where to put them in your yard. Their height and bright colors will stand out almost anywhere, but keep in mind that they might need to be staked when you plan your plot. For these guys, soil nutrition isn’t very important.
  • Sow cosmo seeds in pots over the winter to get plants that are fully hardened off and big enough to move to the ground when it can be worked. You can also plant these directly in the fall. Cosmos seeds are one of the easiest to plant straight into the ground.

11. Stock

A bunch of purple stock flowers with green buds, set against a backdrop of blurred purple and white blooms and foliage. Petals are delicately layered, forming a dense and beautiful cluster.
Winter-sow stock seeds in January for fragrant blooms with varied color options.
  • Stock flowers have a clove-like scent, small flowers, and soft colors, though some types come in darker shades. Florists and brides all over the world love them.You can winter sow them as early as January in milk jugs or a safe open place where seeds can grow.
  • In the winter, start stock seeds indoors. Then, put them somewhere between 40° and 45° at the cotyledon. Look at the color, form, and size of the cotyledons to see if the flower will have one or two blooms, and then throw them away.
  • Plant them before the weather gets warmer in the spring and summer. In the winter, try growing plants in a cave that keeps them safe. Light frosts won’t hurt them.
  • Tip: Stock is in the Brassica family, so use bug nets to keep flea beetles away from it to keep it from getting damaged.

12. American Asters 

Purple American asters, each with green centers, stand atop delicate stems. Their rich hues contrast against the soft, muted green of the surrounding foliage, creating a harmonious display.
This flower is named “star” in Greek, blooming late in the year in various hues.
  • This flower that looks like a daisy and means “star” in Greek is known for blooming late in the summer and early in the fall, when most other colors have passed. Different shades of yellow, pink, purple, blue, and red make them up. They don’t need much care and are easy to grow in pots that you can move around your yard or porch to show them off.
  • They are very important for Monarch butterflies that are moving south for the winter. They can see true colors, so putting them in groups might help them find your patch!
  • You can put seeds straight in the ground in the fall, or you can use milk jugs and move the plants outside in late spring. Aster grows back every year in many places. Before winter, cut them down to the ground. In the spring, when they wake up from their sleep, thin or split them.

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