30 Flower Seeds To Start Indoors (Late Winter & Spring) (2024)

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There are lots of annual and perennial flowers to start from seed indoors ahead of the outdoor growing season. By sowing instead of buying plants, we have more options (so many varieties to choose from!) and save money. If you have a bright windowsill or fluorescent lights, you’re all set.

If you are new to seed sowing, Seed Starting For Beginners walks through the entire process.

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Start Flower Seeds Indoors

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There are many good reasons to start seeds indoors in late winter and spring. The most practical reason is, by sowing indoors, we get a jump start on the growing season. All those months waiting for last frost can be used to get all sorts of plants established. This is essential for us cold climate gardeners.

Once the soil warms and the risk of frost has passed, our plants are ready for transplanting.

We can always purchase some plants from a nursery—and we all do—but sowing at home comes with the added bonus of options and lots of them.

There are countless types of flower seeds you can start indoors. I’ve provided list of top annuals and perennials below to get you started.

If you are new to seed starting (indoors or outdoors), and want something easy and reliable, consider sowing marigolds to decorate a border.

More challenging seeds include delphiniums and milkweed. These both have a reputation for being difficult but once you know the tips, you’re on your way. For these two, the secret is cold stratification—which is likely mentioned right on the seed packets.

It’s not just satisfying to raise trays (and trays!) of happy seedlings but the savings can be quite substantial. My own seed starting was the secret to transforming a big bare lawn to a flower haven within years.

For seed starting how-tos, my ebook, Seed Starting For Beginners shares everything I do.

If you just need tips on supplies, this shows my low-budget seed starting setup including recommended seed starting mix or organic potting mix, containers, and more.

What lights do I need to start flower seeds indoors?

To start flower seeds indoors you need either fluorescent lights, LED or other grow lights, or a bright windowsill. For best results, follow the sowing directions on the seed packet including any preparations like scarification, cold stratification, or presoaking seeds.

Whatever you choose to grow, be sure to check that your choices are not invasive in your area. A good standard is to confirm that anything you grow will benefit local wildlife from insects to mammals. If it plays a positive role in the local eco-system, it’s likely an excellent choice.


I organize my indoor seed starting into three basic groups based on how long they need to get established.

Always check your seed packets to confirm the best timing for the varieties you have selected.

Also look for any advance preparations needed prior to sowing including scarification and stratification.

  • 30 Flower Seeds To Start Indoors
    • 10-12 Weeks Before Last Frost
    • 8-10 Weeks Before Last Frost
    • 4-8 Weeks Before Last Frost
  • Resources

30 Flower Seeds To Start Indoors

Invasive Species Alert

Always check that any perennial plant you want to add to your garden is suited to your plant hardiness zone and growing conditions, supports local wildlife, and is not considered an invasive species in your area.

10-12 Weeks (70-84 Days) Before Last Frost

30 Flower Seeds To Start Indoors (Late Winter & Spring) (3)


Perennialsare plants that live on for several years. They can flower or fruit year after year.

  • Bee Balm / Bergamot (Monarda spp.) | zones 2-9
  • Blanket Flower (Gaillardia spp.) | zones 3-10
  • Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens) | zones 3-9
  • Clematis (Clematis spp.) | zones 4-9
  • Columbine (Aquilegia spp.) | zones 2-9
  • Coneflower (Echinacea spp.) | zones 3-9
  • Lobelia | (Lobelia spp.) | zones 4-8 (there are both perennial and annual species)
  • Milkweed (Asclepias spp.) | zones 3-9
  • Penstemon (Penstemon spp.) | zones 3-8
  • Primrose (Primula spp.) hybrid | zones 5-7
  • Verbena (Verbena spp.) | zones 4-8


Annualsare plants that flower or fruit in the first year, including many flowers, herbs, and vegetables. Sunflowers are a good example of annuals. Annuals generally last for just one

growing season (spring and summer) unless they are long-living and protected from cold conditions.

  • Bells of Ireland (Moluccella laevis)
  • Heliotropes (Heliotropium spp.)

This is also time to startwoody herbsfrom seed including oregano, rosemary, thyme, and sage although growing from cuttings is much faster.

See Annuals Versus Perennials: What’s The Difference? for a detailed explanation of the different between the two groups.

Mail Order Seeds

8-10 Weeks (56-70 Days) Before Last Frost

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  • Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia spp.) | zones 3-9
  • Blazing Star (Liatris spp.) | zones 4-8
  • Delphinium (Delphinium spp.) | zones 3-8
  • Geranium (Geranium spp.) | zones 4-9
  • Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum) | zones 4-9


  • Iceland Poppy (Papaver spp.) – hardy short-lived perennial
  • Marigold (Tagetes spp.)
  • Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) – biennial zones 8-11
  • Titan Sunflowers (annual) | Any really slow-growing sunflowers may need to be started indoors. The rest do best with direct sowing outdoors.

4-8 Weeks (28-56 Days) Before Last Frost

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  • Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro) | zones 3-9
  • Lavender,English | zones 5-9 | Propagation by cuttings is best


  • Black-eyed Susan Vine (Thungergia spp.)
  • Calendula (Calendula spp.)
  • Honeywort / Cerinthe (Cerinthe major purpuranscens)
  • Nasturtium (Nasturtium spp.)
  • Sweet Pea (Lathyrus genus)
  • Zinnia (Zinnia spp.)

Bonus: You can start dahlia tubers indoors 4 to 6 weeks before your last frost.


Find Your Frost Dates & Hardiness Zone

Plant Hardiness Zones | 30 Flower Seeds To Start Indoors (Late Winter & Spring) (6) United States | 30 Flower Seeds To Start Indoors (Late Winter & Spring) (7) Canada
These are listed on seed packets and plant tags to guide your choices.

Average Frost Dates | Use this calculator at Almanac.com. Enter your city and state or province to find your first and last frost dates and number of frost-free days.

Ecoregion | Learn about the native plant and animal species and environmental conditions specific to your region to better understand why your garden choices matter.

Learn More:

Mail Order Seeds


30 Flower Seeds To Start Indoors (Late Winter & Spring) (8)

Seed Starting for Beginners
Sow Inside Grow Outside

by Melissa J. Will

NEW EDITION | Everything you need to get started with indoor seed starting for indoor and outdoor plants. Grow what you want—any time of year!

About This Ebook | Visit Ebook Shop

This ebook is a digital file (PDF format) you save to your device. It is not a physical product.

Buy Now$8 US

PayPal, Credit Card, Apple Pay

Digital products are not available in EU, UK, and Northern Ireland due to tax regulations.

LED Grow Lights

Recommended LED Lights

Seedlings | Barrina Super Bright White LED Lights | Amazon

These lights work nicely for indoor seed starting and growing young plants until it’s time for outdoor transplanting.

Indoor Flowering & Fruiting | Barrina Full-Spectrum LED Lights | Amazon

If you need lights for long-term growing including plants that can flower and fruit indoors, choose full-spectrum bulbs.

Seed Sowing Plans


  • My Indoor Seed Sowing Plan | Week by week
  • 30 Flower Seeds To Start Indoors | Late Winter & Spring


  • How to Grow Your First Vegetable Garden (Right Now)
  • Tips For Direct Sowing Seeds Before Last Frost
  • 20 Fast-Growing Vegetables | Spring or Fall
  • Vegetable Succession Planting Ideas
  • Flowers To Sow Mid-Summer
  • Vegetables To Start Mid-Summer
  • Flower Seeds To Sow In Fall
  • Winter Seed Sowing

~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛

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Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

Based on the information provided in the article, here is a breakdown of the concepts mentioned:

Starting Seeds Indoors

  • Starting seeds indoors allows for a jump start on the growing season and gives more options for plant varieties.
  • It is particularly beneficial for cold climate gardeners who can use the months before the last frost to establish plants indoors.
  • Starting seeds at home provides the added bonus of having a wide range of options to choose from.
  • Some flower seeds that can be started indoors include marigolds, delphiniums, and milkweed.
  • Cold stratification is a technique mentioned for delphiniums and milkweed, which can be found on the seed packets.
  • Starting seeds indoors can lead to substantial savings and transform a bare lawn into a flower haven within years.

Lighting for Starting Flower Seeds Indoors

  • To start flower seeds indoors, you can use fluorescent lights, LED lights, or a bright windowsill.
  • It is recommended to follow the sowing directions on the seed packet, including any preparations like scarification, cold stratification, or presoaking seeds.

Flower Seeds to Start Indoors

  • The article provides a list of flower seeds to start indoors based on the number of weeks before the last frost.
  • The list includes both annual and perennial flowers.
  • Some examples of perennial flower seeds to start indoors 10-12 weeks before the last frost include bee balm, blanket flower, and milkweed.
  • Examples of annual flower seeds to start indoors 10-12 weeks before the last frost include Bells of Ireland and heliotropes.
  • The article also mentions woody herbs like oregano, rosemary, thyme, and sage, which can be started from seed during this time.

Frost Dates and Hardiness Zones

  • It is important to check the frost dates and plant hardiness zones for your area when starting seeds indoors.
  • Frost dates and hardiness zones can be found on seed packets and plant tags.
  • The article provides resources to find frost dates and hardiness zones, such as using calculators on websites like Almanac.com.

Additional Resources

  • The article mentions several resources for purchasing seeds, including SeedsNow, Botanical Interests, and West Coast Seeds.
  • There is also an ebook called "Seed Starting for Beginners" by Melissa J. Will, which provides information on seed starting techniques.
  • The article recommends LED grow lights for indoor seed starting, specifically mentioning Barrina Super Bright White LED Lights for seedlings and Barrina Full-Spectrum LED Lights for indoor flowering and fruiting plants.
  • The article also provides links to seed sowing plans for both indoor and outdoor gardening.

Please note that the information provided above is based on the content of this article.

30 Flower Seeds To Start Indoors (Late Winter & Spring) (2024)


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