When to Sow Over 150 Annuals!

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20180117A zynga2-a.akamaihd.net, clipartandscrap.com & assets.podomatic.net.jpg

Is it time to sow my annuals or should I wait? Source: zynga2-a.akamaihd.net, clipartandscrap.com & assets.podomatic.net

As the days get longer and longer, gardeners start to get itchy fingers. Surely it must be time to start their seedlings for the summer garden?

Seasoned gardeners have learned to restrain themselves, but beginners often just let loose, sowing any seeds they can get their hands on as early as January or February. It seems logical to them that, if the label says to sow seed X 6 weeks before the transplant date, they’ll have better results if they sow it 12 or 14 weeks before the transplant date. But they are sooo wrong!

Seedlings started too early do not produce stronger and more mature plants as you’d think, but weak, etiolated, stringy plants with seriously compressed roots that will only recover with difficulty once they’re planted in the garden, if indeed they recover at all. What you want instead are short, compact seedlings, not yet in bloom, but full of energy and ready to explode into growth once they’re in the garden.

In other words, you have to use a little restraint in sowing. In gardening, small is often better!

Sowing Dates for Annuals

20180117C.jpeg

For best results, start plants at the right date, not early. Source: laidbackgardener.blog

The following list presents about 150 annuals with the recommended sowing date for each one. If you see the mention “8 weeks,” that means you should sow it indoors 8 weeks before the date when you expect to be transplanting it to the garden. Note that this is not necessarily 8 weeks before the last frost date, as the soil and air may still be very cold at that time, but probably about 10 to 14 days later.

For example, where I live, the official last frost date is June 1st, but that refers to the average date of last frost. About 50% of the time, there is frost after that date. That’s why I usually use June 10 as a safe date for me to plant seedlings outdoors and it’s the one I use in calculating when to start my seedlings.

Here you go!

  1. Agastache (Agastache rupestris, A. cana and others) 8 weeks
  2. Ageratum (Ageratum houstonianum) 4 weeks
  3. Alternanthera (Alternanthera dentata and others) 11 weeks
  4. Alyssum, Sweet (Lobularia maritima) 4 weeks
  5. Amaranth (Amaranthus caudatus) 4 weeks
  6. Amaranth, Globe (Gomphrena globosa and others) 6 weeks
  7. Angelonia (Angelonia angustifolia) 8 weeks
  8. Aster, China (Callistephus chinensis) 6 weeks
  9. Baby Blue Eyes (Nemophila spp.) 4 weeks
  10. Baby’s Breath, Annual (Gypsophila elegans) 4 weeks
  11. Baby’s Breath, Cushion (Gypsophila muralis) 6 weeks
  12. Bachelor’s Button, Annual (Centaurea cyanus and others) 4 weeks
  13. Bacopa (Sutera cordata) 10 weeks
  14. Balsam, Garden (Impatiens balsamina) 4 weeks
  15. Bean, Castor (Ricinus communis) 4 weeks
  16. Bean, Hyacinth (Lablab purpureus, syn. Dolichos lablab) 6 weeks
  17. Begonia, Tuberous (Begonia × tuberhybrida) 16 weeks
  18. Begonia, Wax (Begonia × semperflorens-cultorum, B. × benariensis and other non-tuberous varieties) 12 weeks
  19. Bells of Ireland (Moluccella laevis) 10 weeks
  20. Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) 6 weeks
  21. Black-Eyed Susan Vine (Thunbergia alata) 6 weeks
  22. Bloodleaf (Iresine spp.) 10 weeks
  23. Browallia (Browallia spp.) 8 weeks
  24. Bunny Tail (Lagurus ovatus) 6 weeks
  25. Burning Bush (Bassia scoparia, syn. Kochia scoparia) 6 weeks
  26. Cabbage, Ornamental (Brassica olearcea acephala) 4 weeks
  27. Calibrachoa (Calibrachoa × hybrida) 8 weeks
  28. Calliopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria and others) 6 weeks
  29. Canna (Canna spp.) 8 weeks
  30. Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus) 10 weeks
  31. Castor Oil Plant (Ricinus communis) 4 weeks
  32. Cathedral Bells (Cobaea scandens) 10 weeks
  33. Celosia (Celosia argentea and others) 4 weeks
  34. Chrysanthemum, Annual (Glebionis carinatum [formerly Chrysanthemum carinatum] and others) 6 weeks
  35. Clarkia (Clarkia unguiculata, syn. C. elegans) 6 weeks
  36. Cleome (Cleome hasslerana and others) 4 weeks
  37. Coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides) 8 weeks
  38. Coreopsis, Plains (Coreopsis tinctoria and others) 6 weeks
  39. Corn-Cockle (Nigella damascena and others) 6 weeks
  40. Cosmidium (Thelesperma burridgeanum, syn. Cosmidium burridgeanum) 6 weeks
  41. Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus and C. sulphureus) 4 weeks
  42. Cup-and-saucer Vine (Cobaea scandens) 10 weeks
  43. Cupflower (Nierembergia hippomanica and others) 10 weeks
  44. Dahlia, Dwarf (Dahlia × hortensis) 6 weeks
  45. Dahlia, Tall and Medium (Dahlia × hortensis) 8 weeks
  46. Daisy, African (Arctotis × hybrida, formerly Venidium) 6 weeks
  47. Daisy, African (Osteospermum ecklonis, syn. Dimorphotheca ecklonis) 6 weeks
  48. Daisy, Dahlberg (Thymophylla tenuiloba, syn. Dyssodia tenuiloba) 6 weeks
  49. Daisy, Livingston (Dorotheanthus bellidiformis and Mesembryanthemum crystallinum) 10 weeks
  50. Datura, Double (Datura metel and others) 16 weeks
  51. Dichondra (Dichondra repens) 8 weeks
  52. Dracaena, Spike (Cordyline australis, syn. C. indivisa) 22 weeks
  53. Dusty Miller (Senecio cineraria and others, Centaurea cineraria) 12 weeks
  54. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus cinerea, E. globulus and others) 10 weeks
  55. Everlasting, Annual (Xeranthemum annuum) 6 weeks
  56. Everlasting, Golden (Xerochrysum bracteatum, syn. Helichrysum bracteatum) 6 weeks
  57. Everlasting, Winged (Ammobium alataum) 6 weeks
  58. Felicia (Felicia bergeriana and F. heterophylla) 4 weeks
  59. Flax (Linum grandiflorum, L. usitatissimum and others) 3 weeks
  60. Flossflower (Ageratum houstonianum) 4 weeks
  61. Forget-Me-Not, Chinese (Cynoglossum amabile) 6 weeks
  62. Four O’Clock (Mirabilis jalapa) 6 weeks
  63. Fuchsia (Fuchsia × hybrida) 14 weeks
  64. Gaillardia, Annual (Gaillardia pulchella) 4 weeks
  65. Gazania (Gazania rigens) 6 weeks
  66. Geranium, Ivy (Pelargonium peltatum) 12 weeks
  67. Geranium, Zonal (Pelargonium × hortorum) 12 weeks
  68. Godetia (Clarkia amoena, formerly Godetia amoena) 6 weeks
  69. Gourd, Ornamental (Cucurbita pepo and Lagenaria siceraria) 3 weeks
  70. Grass, Fountain (Pennisetum villosum, P. setaceum) 6 weeks
  71. Grass, Hare’s Tail (Lagurus ovatus) 6 weeks
  72. Heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens) 10 weeks
  73. Hibiscus, Red-Leaf (Hibiscus acetosella) 10 weeks
  74. Honeywort (Cerinthe major) 10 weeks
  75. Impatiens, African (Impatiens auricoma and its hybrids) 8 weeks
  76. Impatiens, Common (Impatiens walleriana) 10 weeks
  77. Impatiens, New Guinea (Impatiens × hawkeri) 10 weeks
  78. Jewels of Opar (Talinum paniculatum and others) 6 weeks
  79. Jewelweed, Ornamental (Impatiens glandulifera) 4 weeks
  80. Joseph’s Coat (Amaranthus tricolor) 4 weeks
  81. Kale, Ornamental (Brassica olearcea acephala) 4 weeks
  82. Kiss-Me-Over-the-Garden-Gate (Persicaria orientale, syn. Polygonum orientale) 4 weeks
  83. Knotweed, Pink (Persicaria capitatum, syn. Polygonum capitatum) 10 weeks
  84. Larkspur (Consolida ambigua and C. regalis, formerly Delphinium) 6 weeks
  85. Laurentia (Laurentia axillaris, syn. Isotoma axillaris) 14 weeks
  86. Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflora) 18 weeks
  87. Lobelia, Bedding (Lobelia erinus) 8 weeks
  88. Love-lies-bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus) 4 weeks
  89. Mallow, Rose (Lavatera trimestris) 6 weeks
  90. Maple, Flowering (Abutilon spp.) 12 weeks
  91. Marigold, African (Tagetes erecta) 4 weeks
  92. Marigold, French (Tagetes patula and T. patula × erecta) 4 weeks
  93. Marigold, Pot (Calendula officinalis) 6 weeks=
  94. Melampodium (Melampodium paludosum) 6 weeks
  95. Mignonette (Reseda odorata) 6 weeks
  96. Milkweed, Tropical (Asclepias curassavica) 10 weeks
  97. Millet, Ornamental (Pennisetum glaucum) 8 weeks
  98. Million Bells (Calibrachoa × hybrida) 8 weeks
  99. Mimulus (Mimulus × hybridus) 8 weeks
  100. Morning Glory, Climbing (Ipomoea tricolor, I. nil, etc.) 3 weeks
  101. Morning-Glory, Dwarf (Convolvulus tricolor) 5 weeks
  102. Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus and others) 2 weeks
  103. Nemesia (Nemesia strumosa and others) 6 weeks
  104. Nicandra (Nicandra physaloides) 6 weeks
  105. Nielle des blés (Agrostemma githago and others) 6 weeks
  106. Nierembergia (Nierembergia hippomanica and others) 10 weeks
  107. Nolana (Nolana paradoxa and N. humifusa) 4 weeks
  108. Palm, Cabbage (Cordyline australis, syn. C. indivisa) 20 weeks
  109. Pansy (Viola × wittrockiana) 8 weeks
  110. Pelargonium, Ivy (Pelargonium peltatum) 12 weeks
  111. Pelargonium, Zonal (Pelargonium × hortorum) 12 weeks
  112. Penstemon, Annual (Penstemon hartwegii, P. × gloxinioides, etc.) 12 weeks
  113. Periwinkle, Madagascar (Catharanthus roseus) 12 weeks
  114. Petunia (Petunia × atkinsiana and others) 10 weeks
  115. Phacelia (Phacelia campanularia, P. tanacetifolia and others) 4 weeks
  116. Phlox, Annual (Phlox drummondii) 6 weeks
  117. Pincushion Flower, Annual (Scabiosa atropurpurea) 6 weeks
  118. Pink, China (Dianthus chinensis) 8 weeks
  119. Policeman’s Helmet (Impatiens glandulifera) 4 weeks
  120. Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes phyllostachys) 10 weeks
  121. Poppy, California (Eschscholzia californica) 2 weeks
  122. Poppy, Mexican (Argemone mexicana and others) 6 weeks
  123. Poppy, Opium (Papaver somniferum, syn. P. laciniatum, P. paeoniflorum) 6 weeks
  124. Poppy, Shirley (Papaver rhoeas and P. commutatum) Sow outdoors.
  125. Poppy, Tulip (Hunnemannia fumariifolia) 6 weeks
  126. Portulaca (Portulaca grandiflora) 6 weeks
  127. Sage, Mealy (Salvia farinacea) 12 weeks
  128. Sage, Painted (Salvia viridis, syn. S. horminus) 6 weeks
  129. Sage, Scarlet (Salvia splendens) 6 weeks
  130. Sensitive Plant (Mimosa pudica) 10 weeks
  131. Shoo-Fly Plant (Nicandra physaloides) 6 weeks
  132. Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) 6 weeks
  133. Snapdragon, Climbing (Asarina, Lophospermum and Maurandya) 11 weeks
  134. Snapdragon, Fairy (Chaenorrhinum origanifolium, syn. C. glaerosum) 16 weeks
  135. Sneezeweed, Yellow (Helenium amarum) 8 weeks
  136. Snow on the Mountain (Euphorbia marginata) 6 weeks
  137. Spiderflower (Cleome hasslerana and others) 4 weeks
  138. Statice, Annual (Limonium sinuatum and others) 4 weeks
  139. Stock, Brompton (Matthiola incana) 6 weeks
  140. Stock, Virginia (Malcomia maritima) 4 weeks
  141. Strawflower (Xerochrysum bracteatum, syn. Helichrysum bracteatum) 6 weeks
  142. Sunflower (Helianthus annuus and others) 4 weeks
  143. Sunflower, Mexican (Tithonia rotundifolia) 6 weeks
  144. Sunray, Pink (Rhodanthe chlorocephala rosea and R. manglesii, syn. Acroclinium and Helipterum) 6 weeks
  145. Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus) 4 weeks
  146. Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) 8 weeks
  147. Throatwort, Blue (Trachelium caeruleum) 10 weeks
  148. Tickseed (Bidens aurea, B. ferulifolia and others) 6 weeks
  149. Tickseed, Garden (Coreopsis tinctoria and others) 6 weeks
  150. Toadflax (Linaria reticulata, L. maroccana, etc.) 8 weeks
  151. Tobacco, Flowering (Nicotiana alata, N. sylvestris and others) 6 weeks
  152. Tongue, Painted (Salpiglossis sinuata) 8 weeks
  153. Toothache Plant (Acmella oleracea, syn. Spilanthes acmella) 11 weeks
  154. Verbena, Hybrid (Verbena × hybrida) 10 weeks
  155. Verbena, Tall (Verbena bonariensis) 8 weeks
  156. Wishbone Flower (Torenia fournieri and others) 8 weeks
  157. Zinnia (Zinnia elegans, Z. haageana, Z. angustifolia, etc.) 4 weeks
  158. Zinnia, African (Melampodium paludosum) 6 weeks
  159. Zinnia, Creeping (Sanivitalia procumbens) 6 weeks
20180117D medium.com.jpeg

Follow the Goldilocks principle when sowing seeds: start them neither too early nor too late, but just right! Source: medium.com

If you follow the dates suggested in the list above, that should give you annuals of just the right size for transplanting to the garden.

Now that you know the recommended sowing date for your favorite annuals, pull out a calendar and count backwards to find the best time to sow them in your area.20180117A zynga2-a.akamaihd.net, clipartandscrap.com & assets.podomatic.net

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3 thoughts on “When to Sow Over 150 Annuals!

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