Flower Seeds to Plant in the Fall

Flower Seeds to Plant in the Fall

Most people think of spring as the time for sowing seeds, but autumn is actually a wonderful, if not better, time to start your spring garden! Fall-sown seeds typically bloom much earlier than their spring-sown counterparts and sometimes are even larger, taller, and better hardened-off. 

To begin, choose seeds that are cold weather plants and winter hardy. Where you live will help determine which plants will do best. As a rule of thumb, seeds that need a period of cold (cold stratification) will typically do best when planted in the fall.

Most seeds need to meet specific requirements to germinate; and as the name suggests, some need cold in order to break dormancy and "wake up". 

I like to think of it like tucking your seeds in for a long winter's nap!


Examples of these plants include fuscia, catmint, sedum and lavender. Below, you can find a non-exhaustive list of cool-weather flowering plants that can be sown in autumn: 

  • Alcea rosea (Hollyhocks)
  • Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragons)
  • Aquilegia (Columbines)
  • Ammi majus (Queen Anne's Lace)
  • Delphinium (Larkspur)
  • Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William)
  • Echinacea (Coneflower)
  • Eschscholzia californica (Poppies)
  • Helianthus (Perennial Sunflower)
  • Lathyrus odoratus (Sweet Peas)
  • Myosotis (Forget-Me-Nots)
  • Penstemon (Beardtongues)
  • Rudbeckia (Black-Eyed Susans)
  • Viola (& pansies)
  • Papaveraceae



If you live in a climate with mild winters (USDA Zones 9-11), you can try planting some warm weather flower seeds in the fall, where freezing is not a pre-requesite. Keeping these seeds far away from frosts is, however, essential!

Here are a few warm-weather flowering plants that you can add to your autumn-planting list:

  • Ipomoea (Morning Glory) 
  • Calendula (daisy, marigold)
  • Cosmos
  • Mattiola martima (Virgina Stocks)
  • Nasturtium Tropaeolum (capucine)


How to plant seeds in autumn

When planting seeds, always begin by reading the label. Each variety has it's own specificities when it comes to light and soil requirements.

To sow your seeds, prepare your soil bed as you would any other time of the year. If you live in an area with cold winters, wait until after the first hard frost to sow your seeds. The goal is for them to sprout in spring.

If planted too early in the fall, they risk sprouting, which would kill the delicate seedlings once the cold comes. If you do spot a seedling emerging early, it's worth covering it with mulch in an attempt to save it.


In warmer locations with mild winters, sow your seeds right before the rainy season, usually around late fall or winter. 


Pro-tip: If your garden really doesn't get the needed nippy temperatures, you can put cold-weather seeds in your fridge to mimic winter conditions! Just be sure to store them far away from fruit, which gives off gases that can kill your seeds.


By planning ahead for spring and planting your seeds in autumn, you're setting the stage well in advance for a vibrant and healthy array of florals come spring. 

Check out our full selection of seeds for sale here!