Photo: skat15, depositphotos

5 Handy Lists!

By Larry Hodgson

Do you want to know when to sow your garden plants indoors this spring? The following lists might be useful to you.

In these lists you’ll find recommendations for the sowing dates of almost 400 plants of 5 different categories. 

  • Perennials
  • Herbs
  • Annuals
  • Biennials
  • Perennials

The dates given are based on the “last frost date,” which is the date in the spring after which there is little risk of young plants being damaged by a late frost. Obviously, this date varies from one region to another, depending on the local climate.

To use the following lists, have your last frost date in mind (a local garden club or garden center should be able to give you the date), then subtract the indicated number of weeks from that date. This will give you the sowing date. For example, if a plant is labeled “6 weeks” and your local last frost date is May 15, you would normally need to sow the seed around April 1, 6 weeks beforehand.

Obviously, there also are several plants that you don’t sow indoors, but instead directly in the ground where they are to grow. This information also appears on the lists.

Keep these lists close when you do your own sowing…and feel free to share them with other gardeners!

Vegetables

Woman harvesting vegetables.
There’s nothing quite like harvesting your own vegetables fresh from your own garden! Photo: Goodluz, depositphotos
  1. Amaranth (Amaranthus caudatusA. cruentus and A. hypocondiacus) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  2. Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus) 10 weeks
  3. Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) 8 weeks
  4. Aubergine (Solanum melongena) 8 weeks
  5. Bean, Broad (Vicia fava) Sow outdoors
  6. Bean, Dwarf French (Phaseolus vulgaris humilis) Sow outdoors
  7. Bean, Fava (Vicia fava) Sow outdoors
  8. Bean, Pole (Phaseolus vulgaris and P. coccineus) 2 weeks or sow outdoors
  9. Bean, Scarlet Runner (Phaseolus coccineus) 2 weeks or sow outdoors
  10. Beet, Beetroot (Beta vulgaris Condivita group) Sow outdoors
  11. Broccoli (Brassica oleracea italica) 8 weeks
  12. Brussels Sprouts (Brassica oleracea gemmifera) 4 weeks
  13. Cabbage (Brassica oleracea capitata) 5 weeks
  14. Cantaloup (Cucumis melo) 3 weeks or sow outdoors (in areas with long summers)
  15. Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) 10 weeks
  16. Carrot (Daucus carota) Sow outdoors
  17. Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea botrytis) 8 weeks
  18. Celery (Apium graveolens) 8 weeks
  19. Chicory (Chichorium intybus) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  20. Chinese Cabbage (Brassica rapa pekinensis) Sow outdoors
  21. Corn (Zea mays) Sow outdoors
  22. Cucamelon (Melothria scabra) 4 weeks
Cucumber
Cucumber (Cucumis sativus). Photo: zannaholstova, depositphotos
  1. Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) 2 weeks or sow outdoors
  2. Eggplant (Solanum melongena) 8 weeks
  3. Endive, Curly (Cichorium endivia) 6 weeks
  4. Escarole or Broad-Leaed Endive (Cichorium endivia) 6 weeks
  5. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  6. Ground Cherry (Physalis pruinosa) 8 weeks or sow outdoors (in areas with long summers)
  7. Kale (Brassica oleracea acephala) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  8. Kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea gongylodes) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  9. Leek (Allium porrum) 12 weeks
  10. Lentil (Lens culinaris) Sow outdoors
  11. Lettuce (Lactuca sativus) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  12. Maize (Zea mays) Sow outdoors
  13. Melon (Cucumis melo) 3 weeks or sow outdoors (in areas with long summers)
  14. Mizuna (Brassica juncea japonica) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  15. Mouse Melon (Melothria scabra) 4 weeks
  16. Okra (Abelmochus esculentus) 8 weeks
  17. Onion (Allium cepa) 8 weeks
  18. Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) Sow outdoors
  19. Pea (Pisum sativum) Sow outdoors
  20. Peanut (Arachis hypogaea) 6 weeks or sow outdoors (in areas with long summers)
  21. Pepper (Capsicum annuum and others) 9 weeks
  22. Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo and others) 3 weeks or sow outdoors
  23. Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  24. Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) Sow outdoors
  25. Radicchio (Cichorium intybus) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  26. Radish (Raphanus sativus) Sow outdoors
  27. Shallot (Allium cepa aggregatum) 8 weeks
  28. Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  29. Spinach, New Zealand (Tetragona expansa) 3 weeks
  30. Squash (Cucurbita pepo and others) 3 weeks or sow outdoors
  31. Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris Flavescens Group) Sow outdoors
  32. Tomatillo (Physalis ixocarpa and P. philadelphica) 6 weeks
  33. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) 6 weeks
  34. Turnip (Brassica rapa rapifera) Sow outdoors
  35. Vegetable Marrow (Cucurbita pepo and others) 3 weeks or sow outdoors
  36. Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) 3 weeks or sow outdoors (in areas with long summers)
  37. Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo) 3 weeks or sow outdoors

Herbs

Chives
Chives are one of the easiest herbs to grow in temperate climates. Photo: Bubushonok, depositphotos 
  1. Angelica (Angelica archangelica) 8 weeks
  2. Anise (Pimpinella anisum) 8 weeks or sow outdoors
  3. Basil (Ocimum basilicum4 weeks
  4. Borage (Borago officinalis) 8 weeks or sow outdoors
  5. Camomille, German (Matricaria chamomilla, syn. Matricaria recutita) 6 weeks
  6. Camomille, Roman (Chamaemelum nobile, syn. Anthemis) 8 weeks
  7. Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  8. Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  9. Chives, Garlic or Chinese (Allium tuberosum) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  10. Coriander or cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) 5 weeks or sow outdoors
  11. Dill (Anethum graveolens) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  12. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) 4 weeks
  13. Hyssope (Hyssopus officinalis) 8 weeks
  14. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) 14 weeks
  15. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) 10 weeks
  16. Majorum (Origanum majorana, syn. O. hortensis) 6 weeks
  17. Mint (Mentha spp.) 8 weeks
  18. Oregano (Origanum vulgare) 6 weeks
  19. Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  20. Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus, syn. Rosmarinus officinalis) 6 weeks
  21. Sage (Salvia officinalis) 8 weeks
  22. Savory, Summer (Satureja hortensis) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  23. Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) 8 weeks
  24. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris and others) 8 weeks

Annuals

Annual-flower garden.
Annuals come rapidly into bloom after sowing. Photo: dvoevnore, depositphotos
  1. Agastache (Agastache rupestrisA. cana and others) 8 weeks
  2. Ageratum (Ageratum houstonianum) 4 weeks
  3. Alternanthera, Ruby Leaf (Alternanthera dentata and others) 11 weeks
  4. Alyssum, Sweet (Lobularia maritima) 4 weeks 
  5. Amaranth (Amaranthus caudatusA. tricolor and others) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  6. Amaranth, Globe (Gomphrena globosa and others) 6 weeks
  7. Angelonia (Angelonia angustifolia) 8 weeks
  8. Apple-of-Peru (Nicandra physaloides) 6 weeks or sow outdoors 
  9. Aster, China (Callistephus chinensis) 6 weeks
  10. Baby Blue Eyes (Nemophila spp.) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  11. Baby’s-Breath, Annual (Gypsophila elegans) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  12. Bacopa (Sutera cordata) 10 weeks
  13. Balsam, Garden (Impatiens balsamina) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  14. Balsam, Himalayan (Impatiens glandulifera) 4 weeks or sow outdoors 
  15. Batchelor’s Button (Centaurea cyanus and others) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  16. Bean, Castor (Ricinus communis) 4 weeks
  17. Bean, Hyacinth (Lablab purpureus, syn. Dolichos lablab) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  18. Begonia, Tuberous (Begonia × tuberhybrida) 16 weeks
  19. Begonia, Wax (Begonia × semperflorens-cultorumB. × benariensis and other non-tuberous species) 12 weeks
  20. Bellflower, Chilean (Nolana paradoxa and N. humifusa) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  21. Bells of Ireland (Moluccella laevis) 10 weeks
  22. Bidens (Bidens aureaB. ferulifolia and others) 6 weeks
  23. Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) 6 weeks
  24. Black-eyed Susan Vine (Thunbergia alata) 6 weeks
  25. Bloodleaf (Iresine herbstii and others) 10 weeks
  26. Blue Troatwort (Trachelium caeruleum) 10 weeks
  27. Bluebell, California (Phacelia campanulariaP. tanacetifolia and others) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  28. Browallia (Browallia spp.) 8 weeks
  29. Burningbush (Bassia scoparia, syn. Kochia scoparia) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  30. Bush-Violet (Browallia spp.) 8 weeks
  31. Cabbage, Ornamental or Flowering (Brassica oleracea acephala) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  32. Calibrachoa (Calibrachoa × hybrida) 8 weeks
  33. Calliopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria and others) 6 weeks
  34. Canna (Canna spp.) 8 weeks
  35. Cape Jewels (Nemesia strumosa and others) 6 weeks
  36. Cape Marguerite (Osteospermum ecklonis, syn. Dimorphotheca ecklonis) 6 weeks
  37. Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus) 10 weeks
  38. Cathedral Bells (Cobaea scandens) 10 weeks
  39. Celosia (Celosia argentea and others) 4 weeks
  40. Chrysanthemum, Annual (Glebionis carinatum [anc. Chrysanthemum carinatum] and others) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  41. Clarkia (Clarkia unguiculata, syn. C. elegans) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  42. Clary, Annual (Salvia viridis, syn. S. horminus) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  43. Cleome (Cleome hasslerana and others) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  44. Coleus (Coleus scutellarioides) 8 weeks
  45. Cockscomb (Celosia argentea and others) 4 weeks
  46. Cordyline (Cordyline australis, syn. C. indivisa) 22 weeks
  47. Coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria and others) 6 weeks
  48. Corncockle (Agrostemma githago andothers) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  49. Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus and others) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  50. Cosmidium (Thelesperma burridgeanum, syn. Cosmidium burridgeanum) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
Cosmos bipinnatus with pink flowers.
There are many annuals, like cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus), that can be sown directly in the garden where they are to bloom. Photo: Popoudina, depositphotos 
  1. Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus and C. sulphureus) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  2. Cup-and-Saucer Vine (Cobaea scandens) 10 weeks
  3. Cupflower (Nierembergia hippomanica and others) 10 weeks 
  4. Cypress, Summer (Bassia scoparia, syn. Kochia scoparia) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  5. Dahlia (dwarf varieties) (Dahlia × hortensis) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  6. Dahlia (medium and tall varieties) (Dahlia × hortensis) 8 weeks
  7. Daisy, African (Arctotis × hybrida, anc. Venidium) 6 weeks
  8. Daisy, Butter (Melampodium paludosum) 6 weeks
  9. Daisy, Dahlberg (Thymophylla tenuiloba, syn. Dyssodia tenuiloba) 6 weeks
  10. Daisy, Electric (Acmella oleracea, syn. Spilanthes acmella) 11 weeks
  11. Daisy, Kingfisher (Felicia bergeriana and F. heterophylla) 4 weeks
  12. Daisy, Pink Paper (Rhodanthe chlorocephala rosea and R. manglesii, syn. Acroclinium and Helipterum) 6 weeks
  13. Datura (Datura metel and others) 16 weeks
  14. Dichondra (Dichondra repens) 8 weeks
  15. Dracena (Cordyline australis, syn. C. indivisa) 22 weeks
  16. Dusty Miller (Jacobaea maritima, anc. Senecio cineraria, and Centaurea cineraria) 12 weeks
  17. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus cinereaE. globulus and others) 10 weeks
  18. Everlasting, Annual (Xeranthemum annuum) 6 weeks
Golden everlasting.
Golden Everlasting (Xerochrysum bracteatum). Photo: ivusakzkrabice,
  1. Everlasting, Golden (Xerochrysum bracteatum, syn. Helichrysum bracteatum) 6 weeks
  2. Everlasting, Winged (Ammobium alataum) 6 weeks
  3. Fameflower (Talinum paniculatum and others) 6 weeks
  4. Felicia (Felicia bergeriana and F. heterophylla) 4 weeks
  5. Flax, Blue (Linum usitatissimum and others) 3 weeks or sow outdoors 
  6. Flax, Scarlet (Linum grandiflorum) 3 weeks or sow outdoors 
  7. Flossflower (Ageratum houstonianum) 4 weeks
  8. Forget-Me-Not, Chinese (Cynoglossum amabile) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  9. Fountaingrass, Crimson (Cenchrus setaceus, syn. Pennisetum. setaceum) 6 weeks
  10. Four O’clock (Mirabilis jalapa) 6 weeks
  11. Freckle Face Plant (Hypoestes phyllostachys) 10 weeks
  12. Fuchsia (Fuchsia × hybrida) 14 weeks
  13. Gaillardia, Annual (Gaillardia pulchella) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  14. Gazania (Gazania rigens) 6 weeks
  15. Geranium, Ivy (Pelargonium peltatum) 12 weeks
  16. Geranium, Zonal (Pelargonium × hortorum) 12 weeks 
  17. Godetia (Clarkia amoena, anc. Godetia amoena) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  18. Gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) 3 weeks or sow outdoors
  19. Grass, Feathertop (Pennisetum villosumP. setaceum) 6 weeks
  20. Grass, Hare’s-Tail (Lagurus ovatus) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  21. Gypsophila, Annual (Psammophiliella muralis, syn. Gypsophila muralis) 6 weeks
  22. Hare’s-Tail (Lagurus ovatus) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  23. Helenium, Dwarf (Helenium amarum) 8 weeks
Heliotrope
Heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens). Photo: Kassandra2, depositphotos 
  1. Heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens) 10 weeks
  2. Hibiscus, Cranberry (Hibiscus acetosella) 10 weeks
  3. Honeywort (Cerinthe major) 10 weeks
  4. Hound’s Tongue (Cynoglossum amabile) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  5. Hypoestes (Hypoestes phyllostachys) 10 weeks
  6. Iceplant (Dorotheanthus bellidiformis and Mesembryanthemum crystallinum) 10 weeks
  7. Immortelle (Xerochrysum bracteatum, syn. Helichrysum bracteatum) 6 weeks
  8. Impatiens, Garden (Impatiens walleriana) 10 weeks
  9. Impatiens, New Guinea (Impatiens × hawkeri) 10 weeks
  10. Impatiens, Yellow (Impatiens auricoma and its hybrids) 8 weeks
  11. Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  12. Iresine (Iresine herbstii and others) 10 weeks
  13. Jewels of Opar (Talinum paniculatum and others) 6 weeks
  14. Joseph’s Coat (Amaranthus tricolor) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  15. Kiss-Me-Over-the-Garden-Gate (Persicaria orientalis, syn. Polygonum orientale) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  16. Knotweed, Pink (Persicaria capitata, syn. Polygonum capitatum) 10 weeks
Green kochia
Kochia (Bassia scoparia). Photo: YK1500, depositphotos 
  1. Kochia (Bassia scoparia, syn. Kochia scoparia) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  2. Larkspur (Consolida ambiguaC. regalis, anc. Delphinium) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  3. Laurentia (Isotoma axillaris, syn. Laurentia axillaris) 14 weeks
  4. Lisianthus (Eustoma grandiflora) 18 weeks
  5. Lobelia, Edging (Lobelia erinus) 8 weeks
Love-in-a-Mist, mixed colors
Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella damascena). Photo: morgenstjerne, depositphotos 
  1. Love-in-a-Mist (Nigella damascena and others) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  2. Love-Lies-Bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  3. Madagascar Periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus) 12 weeks
  4. Mallow, Annual or Rose (Malva trimestris, syn. Lavatera trimestris) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  5. Maple, Flowering (Abutilon spp.) 12 weeks
  6. Marigold, African (Tagetes erecta) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  7. Marigold, French (Tagetes patula and T. patula × erecta) 8 weeks      
  8. Marigold, Pot or Scotch (Calendula officinalis) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  9. Marvel of Peru (Mirabilis jalapa) 6 weeks 
  10. Melampodium (Melampodium paludosum) 6 weeks
  11. Mignonette (Reseda odorata) 6 weeks
  12. Milkweed, Tropical (Asclepias curassavica) 10 weeks
  13. Millet, Pearl or Ornamental (Cenchrus americanus, syn. Pennisetum glaucum) 8 weeks
  14. Million bells (Calibrachoa × hybrida) 8 weeks
  15. Mint, Hummingbird (Agastache rupestrisA. cana and others) 8 weeks
  16. Monkey-Flower (Mimulus × hybridus) 8 weeks
  17. Morning-Glory (Ipomoea tricolor, I. nil, etc.) 3 weeks or sow outdoors
  18. Morning-Glory, Dwarf (Convolvulus tricolor) 5 weeks or sow outdoors
  19. Mourningbride (Scabiosa atropurpurea) 6 weeks
  20. Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus and others) 2 weeks or sow outdoors
  21. Nemesia (Nemesia strumosa and others) 6 weeks
  22. Nierembergia (Nierembergia hippomanica and others) 10 weeks 
  23. Nigella (Nigella damascena and others) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  24. Nolana (Nolana paradoxa and N. humifusa) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  25. Œillet d’Inde (Tagetes patula and T. patula × erecta) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  26. Osteospermum (Osteospermum ecklonis, syn. Dimorphotheca ecklonis) 6 weeks
  27. Painted Tongue (Salpiglossis sinuata) 8 weeks
  28. Pansy, Garden (Viola × wittrockiana) 8 weeks
  29. Pea, Sweet (Lathyrus odoratus) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  30. Pelargonium, Ivy (Pelargonium peltatum) 12 weeks
  31. Pelargonium, Zonal (Pelargonium × hortorum) 12 weeks
  32. Penstemon (Penstemon hartwegiiP. × gloxinioides, etc.) 12 weeks
  33. Petunia (Petunia × atkinsiana and others) 10 weeks
  34. Phacelia, Lacy (Phacelia tanacetifolia and others) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  35. Phlox, Annual or Drummond’s (Phlox drummondii) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  36. Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa atropurpurea) 6 weeks 
  37. Pink, China (Dianthus chinensis) 8 weeks     
  38. Pink Buttons (Persicaria capitata, syn. Polygonum capitatum) 10 weeks
  39. Policeman’s Helmet (Impatiens glandulifera) 4 weeks or sow outdoors 
  40. Polka-Dot Plant (Hypoestes phyllostachys) 10 weeks
  41. Poppy, California (Eschscholzia californica) 2 weeks
  42. Poppy, Mexican (Argemone mexicana and others) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  43. Poppy, Opium or Breadseed (Papaver somniferum, syn. P. laciniatumP. paeoniflorum) 6 weeks or sow outdoors 
  44. Poppy, Shirley or Corn (Papaver rhoeas and P. commutatum) Sow outdoors
  45. Poppy, Tulip (Hunnemannia fumariifolia) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  46. Portulaca (Portulaca grandiflora) 6 weeks or sow outdoors 
  47. Princess-Feather (Persicaria orientalis, syn. Polygonum orientale) 4 weeks
  48. Ragwort, Silver (Jacobaea maritima, anc. Senecio cineraria, and Centaurea cineraria) 12 weeks
  49. Rose, Moss (Portulaca grandiflora) 6 weeks or sow outdoors 
  50. Sage, Mealy or Mealycup (Salvia farinacea) 12 weeks
  51. Sage, Scarlet (Salvia splendens) 6 weeks
Salpiglossis
Salpiglossis (Salpiglossis sinuata). Photo: khairil77, depositphotos 
  1. Salpiglossis (Salpiglossis sinuata) 8 weeks
  2. Sensitive Plant (Mimosa pudica) 10 weeks
  3. Shoo-Fly Plant (Nicandra physaloides) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  4. Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) 6 weeks
  5. Snapdragon, Dwarf (Chaenorhinum origanifolium, syn. C. glaerosum) 16 weeks
  6. Snapdragon, Summer (Angelonia angustifolia) 8 weeks
  7. Snapdragon, Trailing (AsarinaLophospermum and Maurandya) 11 weeks
  8. Snow-on-the-Mountain (Euphorbia marginata) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  9. Spiderflower (Cleome hasslerana and others) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  10. Squash, Ornamental (Curcubita pepo) 3 weeks or sow outdoors
  11. Star Flower (Laurentia axillaris, syn. Isotoma axillaris) 14 weeks
  12. Statice (Limonium sinuatum and others) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  13. Stock, Common (Matthiola incana) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  14. Stock, Virginia (Malcomia maritima) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  15. Strawflower (Xerochrysum bracteatum, syn. Helichrysum bracteatum) 6 weeks
  16. Sunflower (Helianthus annuus and others) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  17. Sunflower, Mexican or Red (Tithonia rotundifolia) 6 weeks or sow outdoors
  18. Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) 8 weeks
  19. Toadflax (Linaria reticulataL. maroccana, etc.) 8 weeks
  20. Tobacco, Flowering (Nicotiana alataN. sylvestris and others) 6 weeks
  21. Toothache Plant (Acmella oleracea, syn. Spilanthes acmella) 11 weeks
  22. Torenia (Torenia fournieri and others) 8 weeks
  23. Treasureflower (Gazania rigens) 6 weeks
  24. Vervain, Garden (Glandularia × hybrida,syn. Verbena × hybrida) 10 weeks
  25. Vervain, Purpletop or Tall (Verbena bonariensis) 8 weeks
  26. Vinca (Catharanthus roseus) 12 weeks
  27. Wishbone Flower (Torenia fournieri and others) 8 weeks
  28. Zinnia (Zinnia elegansZ. haageanaZ. angustifolia, etc.) 4 weeks or sow outdoors
  29. Zinnia, African (Melampodium paludosum) 6 weeks
  30. Zinnia, Creeping (Sanivitalia procumbens) 6 weeks

Biennials

Common foxglove
The foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) is one of the most popular biennials. Photo: orestligetka.ukr.net, depositphotos 
  1. Canterbury Bells (Campanula medium) 18 weeks
  2. Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) 10 weeks      
  3. Daisy, English (Bellis perennis) 12 weeks
  4. Dames’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis) 16 weeks
  5. Delphinium, Chinese (Delphinium grandiflorum, syn. D. chinensis) 14 weeks
  6. Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis sylvatica and others) 10 weeks
  7. Foxglove, Common (Digitalis purpurea) 10 weeks  
  8. Hollyhock (Alcea rosea and others) 10 weeks
  9. Honesty (Lunaria annua) 10 weeks
  10. Larkspur, Siberian (Delphinium grandiflorum, syn. D. chinensis) 14 weeks
  11. Mallow, Common (Malva sylvestris) 6 weeks
  12. Mullein (Verbascum bombyciferum, V. olympicum, etc.) 10 weeks
  13. Poppy, Iceland (Papaver nudicaule) 10 weeks
  14. Sage, Clary (Salvia sclarea) 6 weeks
  15. Sage, Silver (Salvia argentea and S. aethiopis) 12 weeks
  16. Thistle, Scotch or Cotton (Onopordum acanthium) 6 weeks

Vivaces

Perennial border.
Perennial border. Photo: Hannamariah, depositphotos 

An asterisk (*) indicates species needing a 4 to 6 week pretreatment at cold temperatures to stimulate germination. After this, place the containers under warm conditions to stimulate germination. 

Note too that most perennials will not bloom the first year from seed, but more likely in their second or third year. 

  1. Aconit* (Aconitum spp.) 18 weeks 
  2. Agastache (Agastache foeniculum and others) 16 weeks
  3. Alkanet (Anchusa azurea and others) 6 weeks
  4. Amsonia* (Amsonia spp.) 14 weeks
  5. Aster (Aster spp. [including SymphyotrichumEurybia and others]) 6 weeks
  6. Astilbe (Astilbe spp.) 6 weeks
  7. Astrantia* (Astrantia major and others) 14 weeks
  8. Avens (Geum spp.) 8 weeks
  9. Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila paniculataG. repens, etc.) 8 weeks
  10. Balloon Flower* (Platycodon grandiflorus) 10 weeks
  11. Baptisia* (Baptisia spp.) 12 weeks
  12. Basket of Gold (Aurinia saxatilis, syn. Alyssum saxatile) 6 weeks
  13. Beebalm (Monarda didyma and others) 8 weeks
  14. Bellflower (Campanula spp.) 10 weeks
  15. Bergenia (Bergenia cordifolia and others) 8 weeks
  16. Black-eyed Susan* (Rudbeckia hirta) 10 weeks
  17. Blazing Star (Liatris spicata and others) 6 weeks 
  18. Bleeding Heart* (Lamprocapnos spectabilis, anc. Dicentra spectabilis) 12 weeks
  19. Blue Fescue (Festuca ovina glauca and others) 8 weeks
  20. Bluestar* (Amsonia spp.) 14 weeks
  21. Bugloss, Italian (Anchusa azurea and others) 6 weeks
  22. Campion, Hybrid (Lychnis × haageana) 6 weeks
  23. Campion, Rose (Lychnis coronaria) 6 weeks
  24. Candytuft* (Iberis sempervirens and others) 10 weeks
  25. Catchfly (Silene spp.) 8 weeks
  26. Catmint* (Nepeta × faassenii and others) 12 weeks
  27. Checkermallow (Sidalcea malviflora and others) 6 weeks  
  28. Chinese Lantern (Physalis alkekengi) 8 weeks
  29. Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum × morifolium, anc. Dendranthema × grandiflorum) 8 weeks
  30. Cinquefoil (Potentilla spp.) 8 weeks
  31. Clematis* (Clematis spp.) 12 weeks
Red and white columbine
Columbine (Aquilegia cv), Photo: stevanovicigor, depositphotos 
  1. Columbine* (Aquilegia spp.) 12 weeks
  2. Coneflower, Orange* (Rudbeckia fulgida) 10 weeks
  3. Coneflower, Purple* (Echinacea purpurea) 12 weeks
  4. Coral Bells (Heuchera spp.) 8 weeks
  5. Coreopsis (Coreopsis grandifloraC. lanceolata and others) 6 weeks
  6. Cornflower, Perennial (Centaurea montanaC. macrocephala and others) 10 weeks 
  7. Culver’s Root (Veronicastrum virginicum, anc. Veronica virginica) 8 weeks
  8. Cup-Plant (Silphium perfoliatum) 12 weeks
  9. Cupid’s Dart (Catananche caerulea) 6 weeks
  10. Daisy, Gloriosa* (Rudbeckia hirta) 10 weeks
  11. Daisy, Painted (Tanacetum coccineum, anc. Pyrethrum coccineum and Chrysanthemum coccineum) 8 weeks
  12. Daisy, Shasta (Leucanthemum × superbum, syn. Chrysanthemum maximum) 14 weeks
  13. Daylily* (Hemerocallis spp.) 14 weeks
  14. Delphinium* (Delphinim × elatum, syn. D. × cultorum) 12 weeks
Echinacea, pink flowers, orange cone
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea). Photo: Bokstaz, depositphotos 
  1. Echinacea* (Echinacea purpurea and others) 12 weeks
  2. Edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum) 8 weeks
  3. Elecampane (Inula spp.) 6 weeks
  4. Everlasting, Pearly (Anaphalis margaritacea and others) 6 weeks   
  5. False Lily of the Valley or False Solomon’s Seal* (Maianthemum racemosum [Smilacina racemosum] and others) 14 weeks
  6. False-Lupine (Thermopsis villosa and others) 6 weeks
  7. Ferns (various genera: MatteucciaAthyrium, etc.) 14 weeks
  8. Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium, syn. Matricaria partheniumChrysanthemum parthenium) 10 weeks
  9. Flax, Perennial (Linum perenneL. flavum, etc.) 4 weeks
  10. Fleabane (Erigeron speciosus and others) 8 weeks
  11. Foamflower* (Tiarella cordifolia and others) 14 weeks
  12. Gentian* (Gentiana acaulis and others) 14 weeks
  13. Geranium* (Geranium spp.) 15 weeks
Globethistle in flower.
Globethistle (Echinops ritro). Photo: chris2766, depositphotos 
  1. Globethistle (Echinops ritro and others) 10 weeks
  2. Gloxinia, Hardy* (Incarvillea delavayi and others) 12 weeks
  3. Goats Beard* (Aruncus dioicus and others) 12 weeks
  4. Gypsophile (Gypsophila paniculata, G. repens, etc. ) 8 weeks
  5. Hellebore* (Helleborus spp.) 14 weeks
  6. Hen and Chicks* (Sempervivum spp.) 12 weeks
  7. Heuchera (Heuchera spp.) 8 weeks
  8. Hibiscus, Hardy (Hibiscus moscheutos and hybrids) 12-14 weeks
  9. Hosta (Hosta spp.) 6 weeks
  10. Houseleek* (Sempervivum spp.) 12 weeks
  11. Incarvillea* (Incarvillea delavayi and others) 12 weeks
  12. Indigo, False* (Baptisia spp.) 12 weeks
  13. Iris* (Iris spp.) 14 weeks
  14. Jacob’s-Ladder (Polemonium caeruleumP. reptans, etc.) 6 weeks
  15. Japanese Anemone* (Anemone × hybridaA. tomentosa, etc.) 16 weeks
  16. Knotweed* (Persicaria spp., syn. Polygonum spp.) 12 weeks
  17. Lady’s Mantle* (Alchemilla mollis) 12 weeks
  18. Lamb’s Ear (Stachys byzantina, syn. S. lanata) 8 weeks
  19. Leopard’s Bane (Doronicum spp.) 12 weeks
  20. Lewisia (Lewisia cotyledon and others) 12 weeks
  21. Liatris (Liatris spicata and others) 6 weeks
  22. Lily (Lilium spp.) 14 weeks
  23. Liveforever* (Sempervivum spp.) 12 weeks
  24. Lobelia* (Lobelia cardinalisL. siphilitica and others) 12 weeks
  25. Lungwort* (Pulmonaria saccharata and others) 13 weeks
  26. Lupin (Lupinus polyphyllus and others) 6 weeks
  27. Maltese Cross (Lychnis chalcedonica, L. × arkwrightii) 6 weeks
  28. Marguerite, Golden (Anthemis tinctoria) 8 weeks
  29. Masterwort* (Astrantia major and others) 14 weeks
  30. Meadow-Rue* (Thalictrum spp.) 14 weeks
  31. Meadowsweet* (Filipendula ulmaria and others) 12 weeks
  32. Mexican Hat* (Ratibida columniferaR. pinnata and others) 8 weeks
  33. Milkweed* (Asclepias spp.) 12 weeks
Red monarda
Monarda (Monarda didyma). Photo: orestligetka.ukr.net, depositphotos 
  1. Monarda (Monarda didyma and others) 8 weeks
  2. Monkshood* (Aconitum spp.) 18 weeks
  3. Muskmallow (Malva moschataM. alcea and others) 6 weeks
  4. Nepeta* (Nepeta × faassenii and others) 12 weeks
  5. Obedient Plant* (Physostegia virginiana) 14 weeks
  6. Oxeye* (Heliopsis helianthoides) 10 weeks
  7. Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla vulgaris [syn. Anemone pulsatilla] and others) 10 weeks
  8. Pea, Perennial* (Lathyrus latifolius) 10 weeks
  9. Penstemon (Penstemon barbatusP. digitalis and others) 8 weeks
  10. Peony, Herbaceous* (Paeonia lactifloraP. officinalis, etc.) 18 weeks
  11. Phlox, Garden* (Phlox paniculata) 12 weeks
  12. Pincushion Flower, Caucasian* (Scabiosa caucasica) 12 weeks
  13. Pink, Garden (Dianthus plumariusD. deltoides, D. gratianopolitanus and others8 weeks
  14. Platycodon* (Platycodon grandiflorus) 10 weeks
  15. Poker Plant (Kniphofia spp.) 16 weeks
  16. Poppy, Blue* (Meconopsis betonicifolia and others) 14 weeks
  17. Poppy, Oriental (Papaver orientaleP. bracteatum and others) 8 weeks
  18. Poppy, Welsh (Papaver cambricum, anc. Meconopsis cambricum) 8 weeks
Polyanthus primrose, mixed colors
Polyanthus primrose (Primula × polyantha). Photo lemanish, depositphotos 
  1. Primose* (Primula × polyantha and others) 14 weeks 
  2. Primrose, Evening* (Oenothera spp.) 12 weeks
  3. Pyrethrum (Tanacetum coccineum, anc. Pyrethrum coccineum and Chrysanthemum coccineum) 8 weeks
  4. Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia spp.) 16 weeks
  5. Rockcress, Caucasian (Arabis caucasica and others) 6 weeks
  6. Rockcress, Purple (Aubrieta spp.) 6 weeks  
  7. Rodgersia (Rodgersia aesculifolia and others) 4 weeks
  8. Sage, Jerusalem (Phlomis tuberosa) 8 weeks
  9. Sage, Lyre-Leaf (Salvia lyrata) 6 weeks
  10. Sage, Meadow (Salvia pratensis) 8 weeks
  11. Sage, Perennial (Salvia × superba and S. nemorosa) 9 weeks
  12. Sandwort, Mountain (Arenaria montana) 6 weeks
  13. Saxifrage* (Saxifraga spp.) 12 weeks
  14. Scabious, Caucasian* (Scabiosa caucasica) 12 weeks
  15. Scabious, Field* (Knautia arvensis, etc.) 12 weeks
  16. Scabious, Macedonian* (Knautia macedonicaK. arvensis, etc.) 12 weeks
  17. Scabious, Sheep’s Bit (Jasione laevis, syn. J. perennis) 6 weeks
  18. Sea Holly* (Eryngium alpinumE. planum and others) 14 weeks
  19. Sedum* (Sedum spp.) 12 weeks
  20. Selfheal (Prunella grandiflora and others) 8 weeks
  21. Silphium (Silphium perfoliatumS. laciniatum, etc.) 12 weeks
  22. Sneezeweed (Helenium spp.) 8 weeks  
  23. Snow-in-Summer (Cerastium tomentosum) 6 week
  24. Soapwort* (Saponaria ocymoides and others) 10 weeks
  25. Spiderwort (Tradescantia × andersoniana) 8 weeks
  26. Spurge (Euphorbia myrsinitesE. polychroma, etc.) 12 weeks
  27. Statice, German (Limonium platyphyllum, syn. L. latifolium, and others) 6 weeks
  28. Stonecrop* (Sedum spp.) 12 weeks
  29. Sundrop* (Oenothera spp.) 12 weeks
  30. Sunflower, Perennial* (Helianthus divaricatus and others) 14 weeks
  31. Thermopsis (Thermopsis villosa and others) 6 weeks
  32. Thrift (Armeria maritima and others) 8 weeks  
  33. Thyme, Creeping (Thymus serpyllum, T. praecox and others) 6 weeks
  34. Tree-Mallow (Lavatera thuringiacaL. cachemeriana, etc.) 6 weeks
  35. Trillium* (Trillium spp.) 14 weeks 
  36. Tritoma (Kniphofia spp.) 16 weeks
  37. Turtlehead (Chelone glabra and others) 6 weeks
  38. Valerian, Greek (Polemonium caeruleumP. reptans, etc.) 6 weeks
Red and White Valerian
Red Valerian (Centranthus ruber) also comes in white. Photo: phil_bird, depositphotos
  1. Valerian, Red (Centranthus ruber) 12 weeks
  2. Veronica* (Veronica spp.) 12 weeks
  3. Viola (Viola × hybridaV. cornutaV. tricolor and others) 8 weeks
  4. Violet* (Viola spp.) 14 weeks
  5. Yarrow (Achillea spp.) 8 weeks

7 comments on “Learn When to Sow Your Garden Seeds

  1. Pingback: Beginning Gardener’s Guide to Starting Seeds Indoors – Laidback Gardener

  2. Christine Lemieux

    I love your lists. I know it must be a lot of work putting them together. Thanks!

  3. Again, less frost is an advantage. Perhaps I should be less critical of the minimal chill, which limits the variety of apple cultivars, and inhibits peony bloom. We can start seed earlier if we want to.

  4. Thank-you This is one huge comprehensive list. Have you grown most of these yourself?

  5. Thank you! Great information!

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