9 Fast Growing Flowers for a Springtime Garden

pink and white dianthus blossoms

Popular spring flowers are sold at nurseries once the weather starts to warm up. However, the best way to ensure that you have early blooms is to grow them from seeds yourself. Starting them indoors at the right time during the winter will ensure that they can be planted when spring comes around, ready to bloom. Most flowers need around three or four months to go from seed to blossom, but some early bloomers only need around two months. If you live in a colder region, hardy flowers will be the best choice since spring comes with wavering temperatures and intermittent frosts. This article will highlight 9 fast-growing flowers for a beautiful springtime garden.

1. Pansies

blue and yellow pansies blossoming in green background

The name does not fit the bill for this frost-hardy flower, as the tiny pansy can withstand even the heavier snows that sometimes come in spring without batting an eye. Start this one from seed two to four weeks before the first days of spring, and late winter blooms will last until late fall. They come in beautiful, bold colors like purple, yellow, and blue. Some will even stay evergreen up to zones four or five, but it's best to keep them in a garage or shed to ensure they overwinter through the harshest months. Plant in full sun where they’ll get a break from the hot, afternoon heat once summer comes. Great as companion flowers in spring and autumn planters, as well as hanging baskets.

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2. Marigolds

red and orange marigolds blooming on a green background

These regal flowers come in a variety of orange and yellows and bloom about eight weeks after the seed is planted. They aren’t frost-tolerant but are otherwise fairly indestructible. They are great pest deterrents, as well, and keep deer, rodents, and unwanted insects like mosquitos away. They will attract beneficial insects like bees, butterflies, and moths, so they are a wonderful, hard-working springtime flower. French marigolds are especially fragrant, so plant them among your fruit and vegetable plants to help fend off unwanted predators.

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3. Calendula

orange flowers in green grass

Also called “pot marigold,” calendula is different from the common marigold, but it’s another golden-hued beauty that will bloom in 60 days or less. You can start these seeds in late February or early March for an early spring planting, as this flower is frost-tolerant and can withstand temps as low as 25 degrees F. They don’t like extreme heat, so place them in a sunny or part shade area that isn’t scorched by the summer sun for long-lasting blooms into the fall. Their petals are edible, too, making them an extra special springtime flower.

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4. Nasturtiums

orange nasturtium flowers blooming in green leaves

These edible plants have a rapid bloom time between 35-50 days, making them one of the quickest on the list. You can eat the petals and leaves which are high in vitamin C. They won’t tolerate frost but can be planted once the threat is gone, and nighttime temps are around 50 degrees F. They aren’t great transplanters, so you might consider direct sowing when the temps are right: since they bloom quick, you can still get some color out of them by the end of spring.

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5. California Poppy

blooming california poppies in a field

This one takes a while to germinate, sometimes up to 20 days. However, if you plan it right and start the seeds indoors, they should flower within 60. These flowers prefer dry conditions, full sun, and well-draining soil. They are often planted in wildflower mixes since they re-seed so easily and are known to spread across hillsides. They are drought-tolerant but not hardy in cold regions. Their gorgeous, yellow blooms do best in temperate weather and can't handle extreme heat or cold. Petals close at night, when it rains, or on cloudy days, which makes them extra adorable.

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6. Sweet Alyssum

small sweet alyssum flowers blooming in a pot

These springtime flowers only grow about four to six inches tall, which is one of the reasons why they bloom so fast! Tiny white, blue, or pink flowers will pop up in six to eight weeks and create a carpet-like ground cover, or filler, for spring gardens and planters. They prefer cool weather but are not frost-tolerant. Starting them inside will bring the best results in cold regions, but they are widely available at nurseries by April. They are beloved for their sweet fragrance and good nature. They prefer full sun but will tolerate partial shade.

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7. Petunias

pink and purple petunias blooming in the sun

These little cuties are some of the easiest flowers to grow, which is why they are found so readily in garden centers come springtime. They will bloom in 10-12 weeks when planted from seed. However, they are not frost-tolerant, so you may consider purchasing cheap flats from the nursery for early blooms. While they aren't the fastest flowers on the list, they are quite versatile. Spring gardeners love them for their classic flower shape that looks great in planters, hanging baskets, or garden beds. They also come in many varieties and colors, and with proper dead-heading, will bring prolific blooms throughout the growing season.

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8. Dianthus

pink and white dianthus flowers blooming

While Dianthus isn’t necessarily the fastest to bloom either, most varieties can handle light frosts, so if you start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before, you’ll be able to sow early and be brimming with springtime color in no time. These medium-sized flowers have a stunning petal shape and come in many colors but are most commonly cultivated in pinks, whites, and lavenders. Their dark, blue-green foliage is just as pretty as the petals. Plant in full sun and watch the butterflies and other pollinators flock to their nectar. They are also beloved as long-lasting cut flowers.

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9. Snapdragons

blooming brightly colored snapdragons on tall stalks

These cool-weather flowers display bright, colorful blossoms up thin stalks, which gives them a long-lasting bloom time. Start indoors around 4-6 weeks before your regional frost date, as buds will flower in two to three months from seed. They are also popular at garden centers in the Spring but are just as easily grown indoors. Flowers may slow down in production during the hotter summer months, so keep them well-watered with some respite from scorching afternoon rays, and they should start blooming again in late summer.

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When starting your flowers indoors, a seed will only germinate quickly if it has the right conditions. Make sure to follow label instructions and plant at the appropriate depth, use germination potting soil, and provide the right light, temperature, moisture, and water needs along the way. Don’t be fooled by fast germination times when planning your springtime annuals: zinnias, for example, will germinate quickly, but most varieties need months to flower. Look for overall seed-to-flower times on the packet of flowers you may be interested in adding.

If unsure, you can’t go wrong with these fast-growing flowers that are proven to bring beautiful blossoms to your springtime garden. If you're looking for interior options, check out these fast-growing indoor plants, and if you're thinking long-term, consider some of these quickly growing trees.

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