6 Fast-Growing Flower Seeds to Plant now to Enjoy a Backyard in Full Bloom Before you Know it

These fast-growing flowers are perfect for impatient gardeners who want to see quick results

A spring garden with cosmos flowers amongst shrubs
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As a gardener, there's no feeling quite as rewarding as watching the seeds you tenderly cared for blossom into a beautiful display of vibrant blooms throughout the year. Anyone with a green-thumb will tell you that patience is a virtue when it comes to growing your own plants and flowers, but sometimes we want to speed things along, especially once spring rolls around and you're desperate to welcome some color back into your garden.

If you're the more impatient type who prefers quick results over anxious anticipation, you'll be pleased to hear there are a host of fast-growing flower seeds out there that promise to bring you a blooming backyard in next to no time. For a vibrant modern garden in time for summer, we've rustled up a list of six fast-growing flower seeds recommended by professional gardeners. These favorites won't keep you waiting (well, not too long at least), and most of them are suitable for planting right now in the majority of growing zones. Happy planting!

1. Zinnias


(Image credit: Future)

One of the best flowers for beginner gardeners, zinnias promise to bring a burst of color to your backyard before you know it, but don't just take it from us. 'I keep very detailed notes regarding seed starting and last year, my zinnias sprouted within three days of sowing,' explains Diane Kuthy, founder and lead gardening expert at How to Grow Everything.

Of course, as Diane goes on to explain, the speed of growth highly depends on the variety, potency of your seeds, and seed starting environment. 'However, in general zinnias are very rapid seeds to sprout,' she says. 'They're also fairly fast to bloom, taking just 6-8 weeks to produce their flowers.'

To guarantee quick growth of your zinnias, they need full sun and regular watering to flourish. 'Sow the seeds directly into nutrient-rich, well-drained soil in the spring one to two weeks before the last spring frost,' instructs Carrie Spoonemore, co-creator of Park Seed's 'From Seed to Spoon' app. 'You should also deadhead spent blooms to encourage continuous flowering.'

2. Marigolds

orange marigold flowers

(Image credit: Ekaterina Korzh/Getty Images)

Another fast grower - and one of the best edible flowers to grow in your backyard - is the sunny and bright marigold. This vibrant flower comes in shades of deep red, orange and yellow, making it a great choice for adding some much-needed color to your backyard this time of year.

According to Diane, some varieties of marigolds will sprout as early as four days after sowing, producing flowers approximately eight weeks later. 'They're some of the easiest flowers to start from seeds, but make sure to check the sprout time on the back of your seed packet as some marigold varieties can take up to two weeks to sprout,' she notes. 'Also, be sure that you are purchasing a fresh pack of marigolds because germination rates decline with each year.'

Make sure to avoid frosts if you're planting your seeds straight into the ground, and ensure they're in a spot where they'll receive plenty of sun. 'They're prolific bloomers and are a great companion plant for many vegetable crops,' adds Carrie.

3. Nasturtium

Nasturtium plant

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Another edible option, nasturtium seeds are super quick to grow from seed. You can expect them to flower 50-60 days after planting and, like marigolds, they offer a sunny display of orange and yellow blooms to brighten up your outdoor space. '

Sow the seeds directly into the soil after the risk of frost has passed,' Carrie says. 'Nasturtiums thrive in full sun and slightly dry conditions, so it is best to water sparingly and, while they can tolerate poor soil, the won't thrive in overly wet or compacted soil.'

As Carrie goes on to explain, nasturtium flowers are versatile plants that trail in cascades of blooms, making them one of the best flowers for hanging baskets, but they can also be grown in raised beds, containers, or borders. 'Both the leaves and flowers on this trailing plant are edible,' she adds.

4. Cosmos

wild flowers including cosmos

(Image credit: Anouck Bertin/drive_by_flora)

A late spring favorite loved by gardeners worldwide is the cosmos. This daisy-like flower blooms on a slender stem with symmetrical petals and comes in an array of colors perfect for peppering your flowerbeds.

'Sow seeds directly into well-drained soil in early spring after the last frost, or start indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost and they'll flower 50-60 days after planting,' says Carrie. 'They have a high tolerance for various soil conditions and can withstand dry periods, plus they have a long blooming season.'

5. Sunflowers

helianthus 'Russian Giant' sunflower

(Image credit: Alamy)

'By far one of the fastest flowers you can start from seed are sunflowers,' Diane explains. 'They typically sprout within one week of sowing, but I've had some sunflower seeds sprout within just a few days. Different varieties of sunflowers will bloom at different speeds, but some bloom as quickly as four weeks after sprouting.'

These much-loved beauties will tower above the rest of your gardening, making them a great choice for adding height to your garden borders. 'Sunflowers need very warm weather and are not frost hardy,' Diane notes. 'This combined with their fast sprouting nature means that you should only sow sunflower seeds outdoors once all chance of frost has passed and temperatures are consistently in the 50s or higher at night (usually between May and June for colder zones).'

6. Morning glories

A close up of blue morning glory flowers

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Finally, for a flash of unexpected color in time for summer, plant some morning glory seeds. This vining plant offers a burst of bright bluish-purple blooms within 60-90 days of planting which will attract pollinators to your outdoor space, making them a great choice for wildlife gardening.

'Morning glories are drought-tolerant and produce lush foliage and countless blooms,' says Carrie. 'Sow the seeds directly into dry soil after the risk of frost has passed. They thrive in full sun and well-draining soil but can tolerate a wide range of conditions and they also require a support structure for their climbing vines.' For this reason, you should consider planting them near a fence or pergola, but they can also be used as dense groundcovers.

If you want to enjoy a vibrant backyard in a matter of weeks, get planting your seeds now for a summer garden that your neighbors will envy!

Color & Trends Editor

Lilith Hudson is the Color & Trends Editor at Livingetc. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.