Planning and planting a flower garden is exciting, but after all the seeds are in the ground, the difficult part begins. Waiting! It is so hard to wait for flowers to bloom. So, how long does it usually take for flowers to grow? We've researched several flowering plants to get the answer for you.
It takes, on average, 95 days for annual flowers to grow. Fast-growing flowers can go from seed to flower in as little as 50 days. Popular, rapid bloomers include:
If you want to know how long it takes your specific flowers to grow, the back of the seed packet will usually tell you.
Let us take a closer look at the specific growing and germination dates for popular flowers. Keep reading, and we'll also share tips to make your flowers grow faster and bloom beautifully.
Which Flowers Grow Fastest?
While this may seem like a clean cut question, it is not. Some flowers, like cosmos, germinate fast but take an average amount of time to flower. On the other hand, some plants take a long time to flower. That is why the average number of days from seed to bloom for annuals is 95 days. It factors in germination and time to bloom.
Sunflowers (Helianthus spp.) are fast growing in general, but take different amounts of time to reach maturity depending on variety. The overall average for sunflowers is 85 days from seed to maturity. However, sunflowers may begin to flower around the 60-day mark and continue to bloom as the plant develops.
If you are looking for varieties that bloom quickly, it is best to stick with single-stem sunflower varieties like ProCut White Nite, ProCut Orange Excel, Mammoth, and California Grey Stripe.
Marigolds (Tagetes spp.) germinate in under two weeks and usually bloom in around 50 days. Another perk of marigolds is their hardiness and long life. As long as they are taken care of marigolds will usually bloom until the first frost. To produce as many beautiful blooms as possible, deadhead your marigolds.
Marigolds are also known to attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies so it is beneficial to mix them in with other flowers.
Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) typically take less than 50 days from seed to flower. Like marigolds, if properly planted and cared for they will continue to bloom until the first frost.
Shorter varieties begin to bloom faster than tall varieties. The Tom Thumb variety only grows to around five inches tall, so it's a popular pick for people wanting quick blooms. Tom Thumb nasturtiums are known to go from seed to bloom in just 35 days! However, other tall varieties such as Alaska Mix still go from seed to bloom faster than the average flower.
Zinnias (Zinnia elegans) are an "honorable mention" on this list. They germinate within a week, but take around 75 days to bloom. Which may seem like a while, but is faster than average. Zinnias also readily self-sow and come back many years in a row. Since they do this with no effort on your part, zinnias work well to fill in while your fast-growing flowers die off for the winter.
Flowers that behave similarly to zinnias include cosmos and poppies. They are also good alternatives that grow fast but not as fast as sunflowers, marigolds, and nasturtiums.
How Can You Encourage Your Plants To Grow Faster?
The three main ways to encourage flowering plants to grow faster are fertilizing, providing good care, and aerating the roots. Let's take a closer look at these techniques to encourage your flowers to grow faster.
If you are interested in learning specifically about houseplants, check out "How To Make Houseplants Grow Faster."
Fertilizer is probably the easiest and fastest solution to encourage your plants to grow. Not only does fertilizer promote fast growth, but it also promotes healthy growth, and usually enriches the soil too.
The best choice in the long term is either a slow release fertilizer or fertilizer spikes. But, if you have a need for speed, either a granular plant food or soluble fertilizer is another good way to go. Do not over fertilize your flowering plants, or they will not bloom well. When in doubt, follow the package's instructions.
Providing Good Care
Plants must be well taken care of to thrive and grow quickly. Sun is especially key when it comes to getting flowers to bloom. Flowers need an average of six to eight hours of sun, or they will not bloom.
If a plant is not in good, overall health it does not expend energy to produce flowers. If your plants are being attacked by a pest, not getting enough sun, water, or nutrients, or getting damaged, they will likely focus on fixing that problem before they bloom.
Properly trimming flowers also promotes plant growth and blooms. If a plant has too many potential blooms, it may take longer for each flower to bloom. Promote bigger and faster flowers by cutting off weaker blooms.
Aerating The Roots
It is easy to forget that roots need air too. Aerating plants once a month or so can help promote healthy root development and plant growth. Likewise, it also promotes a healthy soil microbe and, of course, faster growth.
The easiest way to aerate plant roots is to take a chopstick and simply poke it all the way through the soil. You may feel roots snapping, but do not worry, they will grow back. This trick actually damages the plant in the short term but promotes faster growth in the long term.
If you do not want to manually aerate your plants, fabric pots can help ensure your plants are still getting enough air.
How To Help Flowers To Bloom?
The same tips that work to help plants grow faster also help flowers to bloom faster. However, if you are still struggling to get your flowers to bloom, the first thing to check is the amount of sun it is getting.
Most flowering plants need full sun, but if you have problems with a certain plant check detailed guides for tips. Likewise, there are also fertilizers specifically formulated to help certain plants, such as roses and azaleas, bloom.
For example, Jobe's fertilizer is specifically formulated to feed roses and promote blooms. It is helpful for promoting faster and bigger blooms. If getting many big blooms quickly is important to you, it is worth considering a specialized fertilizer like this one.
Be aware that some plants only bloom at certain times of the year, so it may not matter how much sun or nutrients they are getting if it is not the right season for them to bloom.
Do you still have a need for speed? Look no farther! We've gathered other articles to help you select fast-growing plants for your unique growing conditions: