What perennials are easy to grow from seed?

Question:

What perennials are easy to grow from seed?

Answer:

While most gardeners prefer to grow perennials from established plants in containers or as divisions, transplants, or bare root, it is possible to grow many perennials successfully from seed.  The reason why perennials grown from established plants are preferred is because they are often vegetatively propagated by division or other methods making them identical to the parent plant.  Perennials grown from seed will be similar to the parent plant but may differ in flower color, leaf pattern, size, or in other ways. 

Many perennials have cold treatments or other requirements for successful germination and many will take several years for the plant to become large enough to flower.  Research the growing requirements for any perennial to understand what special germination requirements are needed to grow them from seed.

Perennials That are Easy to Grow from Seed

While any perennial could potentially be grown from seed, these perennials are relatively easy because they have simple germination requirements and grow to blooming size quickly.

  • Columbine (Aquilegia spp.)
  • Ornamental Onion, Chives (Allium spp.)
  • Pinks (Dianthus spp.)
  • Catmint (Nepeta spp.)
  • Purple Coneflower (Echinacea spp.)
  • Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia spp.)
  • Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale)
  • Anise Hyssop (Agastache spp.)
  • Blackberry Lily (Iris domestica syn: Belamcanda chinensis)
  • Hollyhock (Alcea rosea)*
  • Beardtongue (Penstemon spp.)
  • Balloon Flower (Playcodon grandiflorus)
  • Delphinium (Delphinium spp.)
  • Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
  • Blanket Flower (Gaillardia spp.)
  • Yarrow (Achillea spp.)
  • Perennial Salvia (Salvia spp.)
  • Catchfly (Silene spp.)
  • Rose Campion (Lychnis coronaria)
  • Tickseed (Coreopsis spp.)

* a biennial that often behaves as a perennial in the garden

Answered by
  • Specialist
  • Consumer Horticulture Extension
Last updated on
March 19, 2024