The Best Perennials to Start from Seed for Your Region

Photos: (top right) bladder campion, Jerry Pavia; (bottom right) ‘Burgundy’ blanket flower, Jerry Pavia; (left) wild columbine, Jennifer Benner

Home gardeners often assume that starting perennials from seed is more difficult than sowing annual flowers or vegetables, when in fact, it is as easy to start a primrose as it was to germinate that bean in a cup back in grade school. Considering the many benefits of starting perennials from seed, it seems foolish not to do it. Seed is economical, and in short order, you can produce flats of plants that would cost hundreds of dollars to purchase retail, which is great if you have a large or new garden or are on a tight budget. Many plants must be grown from seed because they are otherwise unobtainable or difficult to propagate any other way, and seedlings often establish better than large plants. I am more willing to experiment and less apt to rue plant losses when I know I have an inexpensive, ready source available. Abundant supply also means there are plants to spare and to share.

Are you ready to grow your own plants from seed? How does one go about growing perennials from seed, and what are the best plants for beginners to start with? First, dispense with the fallacy that gardeners grow seedlings. Seeds want to grow, and as a propagator, you simply get them started and get out of their way. Success follows if you approxi­mate as closely as possible the conditions the seed would naturally encounter. Rather than cosseting the seeds indoors, for example, plant them in pots outside and let the natural freeze-thaw cycles perform their magic. See more from 10 Perennials Easily Grown from Seed.


Below you will find some of the best perennials to grow from seed for your region.