by Matt Gibson
Ever wonder which flowers grow the fastest? We certainly don’t blame you. Gardening can sometimes be a time-consuming process. You have to prepare the beds by amending the soil, clearing away debris and weeds, and tilling for aeration to assure proper drainage. Then you need to decide what you’re going to cultivate, research each type of plant, plan when you are going to sow the seeds, and figure out what type of care each of your specimens is going to require. Sometimes you may need to germinate the seeds indoors at the proper time so seedlings will sprout when needed, then you’ll need to be ready to transfer the young plants outdoors when the weather is right. You might need to fertilize, make and utilize compost, water, trim, provide support beams—and the list goes on and on.
In today’s fast-paced world, many gardeners find it increasingly difficult to find the time to exercise their green thumb, and the hobby they once found peaceful and meditative can become an added source of stress. Under the wrong conditions, caring for your garden can seem like more of a chore than the escape it should be from work and the essential duties of your life. Unfortunately, the time it can take to build a successful garden sanctuary sometimes seems like too great an investment, and some people decide to give up the hobby entirely or decide to take a year off. That year off can easily become years, and before you know it, a talented gardener can end up letting the beautiful yard that brought them so much joy literally go to the weeds.
Well, that’s not what gardening is supposed to be all about. Caring for your plants should be about tranquility and relaxation. It’s about spending some quality time simply forgetting everyday life’s neverending sources of stress and tension. It’s about getting your hands into some dirt and feeling the warm rays of the sun on your face. It’s about connecting with nature and making the most out of what the earth gives. It’s about beautifying your home and giving yourself an inviting space to relax and unwind before or after a day of hard work. Gardening should be an escape from stress, and building your hideaway should bring you a sense of pride and accomplishment—and maybe a bit of produce to use in the kitchen as well.
If you are one of the many people who sometimes find it a challenge to make time for sowing and growing, we’ve got some great news. You can have a beautiful yard full of blooms that your neighbors will envy and appreciate without the endeavor taking up too much of your valuable time. It’s not going to happen overnight, of course, and it will take a little bit of planning and effort to achieve, but not all gardening projects require a huge time commitment.
By simply choosing the right plants to cultivate, you can have a gorgeous flower garden getaway completed in no time. Your time is precious and limited, so of course you want to know which flowers will grow the fastest. Gardening Channel understands completely, so we’ve compiled this list of our go-to flowers for quick results—the very best picks for when you don’t have lots of extra time to spend toiling away in the soil. We’ve also included tips to save you some time and explained why planting depth and germination can have a lot to do with how quickly you can expect to see colorful blossoms popping up all over.
Zinnias are super fast blooming flowers. Their first buds start to appear around six or seven weeks after planting if they’re provided with the proper growing conditions. For gardeners who reside in USDA zones 3-10, which is just about the entirety of the U.S. and a large majority of the rest of the world, zinnias are a surefire bet. They enjoy full sunlight, well-draining soil, and warm weather, and their blooms add a showy burst of vibrant color during the spring and summer months.
Zinnias are a no-brainer for gardeners who require plants that won’t be too demanding. The hard part will be selecting which zinnias to grow each year, as they are available in literally every color in the rainbow. You can also choose from a variety of sizes, ranging from the massive State Fair Series to standard-sized flowers all the way down to dwarf, not to mention the tiny but quickly spreading Thumbelina hybrids. With so many types to choose from, there is a zinnia flower for every type of garden and gardener out there.
Zinnias are known to bring butterflies and other needed pollinators to your garden. Each bloom stands proudly atop a strong stem, which provides sturdy support for its single, daisy-like flowerhead. These versatile standouts are a great fit just about anywhere you could imagine planting them. They thrive in garden beds or containers. The smaller varieties are perfect for borders, while the taller varieties can be featured as the eye-catching stars of your garden. The narrow-leaf varieties work especially well in hanging baskets, and every type of zinnia is a natural for cut flower arrangements.
Sunflowers are not only incredibly fast growing flowers that can sprout up to as much as six feet tall in just three months—they are also one of the easiest flowers in the world to care for. The name implies that the sunflower is simply a summer bloomer, but these beauties in shades from yellow to red are actually quite cold-hardy, and they’re even known to survive spring frosts and produce blooms as early as March. The enormous varieties grow significantly more quickly than the midsized and dwarf species.
Sunflowers thrive in full sunlight when provided with loose, nutrient-rich, well-draining, and slightly acidic soil. Till the soil two feet deep and two to three feet wide before planting. Sunflowers are voracious feeders, so be sure to amend your soil with organic matter, compost, or a slow-release granular fertilizer. Work the fertilizer into the soil eight inches deep to get it sunflower-ready.
Marigolds are garden favorites for a reason. These classic summer flowers sprout up swiftly and, if deadheaded regularly, they’ll produce bloom after bloom of carnation- or daisy-like clusters throughout the entire summer in splendid shades of yellow, orange, and red.
It’s always a surprise to see your marigolds start to bloom, especially because their flowers can open as quickly as eight weeks after sowing. These speedy bloomers aren’t typically fussy and marigolds don’t require too much care once they are established. Gardeners adore them not only for their beauty and ease of care but also for their pleasant bouquet and their ability to repel many common garden pests.
Marigolds are very tolerant of heat and have been known to survive intense summers while still producing blooms plentifully. As you would expect, these flowers prefer full sunlight exposure to shadier areas of the garden. They are not too picky about soil conditions, though, and will survive in just about any soil where they’re placed. However, for optimum growth and multitudes of flowerheads, provide your marigolds with loose, well-drained and nutrient-rich soil, and water them occasionally but deeply during dry periods.
The most common variety of California poppy produces beautiful deep red petals (though they’re also available in yellow and orange) that frame black and yellow cores. These stunning flowers rise up, grow and bloom quickly, transforming from seeds to blooms in as little as 60 days. Then they’ll produce delicate, vibrant blooms that keep on coming from early summer until early fall. In warm climates, poppies are grown as a perennial that self-seeds with ease.
Adored for their exotic mystique and their hardy resilience, California poppies are a great choice for gardeners who don’t have tons of spare time to invest in the extra attention and care that other exotic-looking flowers can require. All poppies really need to flourish is a warm climate, full sunlight, and an occasional drink of water. Rich soil is preferred, to be sure, but no fertilizer is necessary, and California poppies only need to be watered occasionally.
Additional Tips for Choosing The Fastest-Growing Flowers
Annual flowers are typically the speediest when it comes to producing blooms with a quickness, especially when they’re grown from seed. Vines and other flowers that shoot up vertically instead of spreading out horizontally are also usually very fast to mature, and they tend to produce lots of blooms in the process. As one might expect, the larger varieties of most flower species also tend to to grow more quickly than their smaller relatives.
Sowing seeds directly into the ground will give the roots of your plants plenty of room to expand and grow, which will speed up the blossoming process. If you are planting in containers, provide larger sizes of pots to see quicker growth from your plants. This rule is especially true for larger plants, as their roots will need more room to spread and settle down than smaller types.
If you need blooms fast, there are a lot of flowers that will fill the need in a timely fashion. The four featured in this article are our favorite speedy bloomers, but there are many more to select from that fit the quick-blooming bill. A few other standouts we recommend include cosmos, nasturtiums, petunias, and cornflowers, also known as bachelor’s buttons. But don’t focus too much on speed and convenience when it comes to your gardening hobby. Again, gardening is about escaping from stress and enjoying your environment, so do yourself a favor and don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers.
Want to learn more about fast growing flowers?
Country Living covers Fast Growing Flower Seeds
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SFGate covers Fast Blooming Flowers
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House Beautiful covers 7 Fastest-growing Flower Seeds for the Perfect Summer Garden
Searles Gardening Products covers 10 Best Instant Spring Flowering Plants – Fast Growing