Seeds to Plant in the Fall for Next Season?s Blooms

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Before we can say goodbye to the garden for the year, it?s time to plan for spring. Whether you experience a sunny winter or a snow-covered one, many seeds don?t mind waiting for winter to pass before making an appearance. Scatter these seeds to plant in the fall for a stunning display of blooms next year.

40+ Seeds to Plant in the Fall for Next Season's Blooms

It may feel unnatural to plant seeds in the fall. After all, we?re preparing to put the garden to rest and hoping for a sleepy winter. However, many annuals and perennials also enjoy this cold spell to nestle in the ground for the winter and get a head start next spring.

Just like planting spring bulbs, you can find seeds to plant in the fall to get some extra spring (or summer) blooms. This list covers some flowers to plant in the fall for both warm and cold climates. If you?ve still got the time and energy to do some more tents_2470 gardening, your spring self will forever be grateful!

seeds to plant in the fall

When Should You Plant Fall Seeds

Just like nature, many plants naturally shed their seeds for the fall, survive throughout the winter, and sprout come spring.

The question I always get about plants is when can I plant them? Usually, the answer is going to be something vague like late fall. The reality is that it?s going to be different depending on where you live!

Your best bet is to track frost dates regionally (a local gardening club may be able to help you with that). For fall planting in cold climates, you want to wait until after a killing frost has happened. AKA nothing is growing anymore from the summer season.

If you plant them too early, they may sprout. We want them to hibernate for the winter and emerge come spring. If you notice fall seedlings outside, mulch over them. This will try to prevent them from freezing.

In warm climates, plant your seeds right before the rainy season begins. Depending on where you live, this typically falls between late fall or early winter.

poppy seed head

How to Plant Fall Seeds

When planting seeds, your best bet is to always read the label. You may notice that some seeds ask you to cold stratify. This is when seeds require a period of extreme cold in order to sprout. All thanks to a thick coating, their outer shell prevents them from breaking and sprouting early.

You can force cold stratification by using your fridge as it mimics winter conditions. But if it asks for cold stratification, this probably means it can be planted in the fall and naturally get its cold fill during the winter.

To plant your seeds, prepare the bed as you normally would any time of the year. Clear all debris and add in a layer of organic compost to give the seeds their best start next spring. Follow the seed packet for light and soil requirements.

growing delphinium

Warm Climate Seeds to Plant in the Fall

For these flowers to plant in fall, no freezing is required. This list is ideal for those living in zones 9-11.

  1. Morning Glory Ipomoea tricolor ? zones 10-11
  2. Honeywort Cerinthe ? zones 9-10
  3. Calendula ? zones 9-11
  4. Cosmos ? zones 9-10
  5. Spider Flower Cleome hassleriana ? zones 10-11
  6. Standing Cypress Imopsis rubra ? zones 6-10
  7. Virgina Stocks Mattiola martima ? zones 9-11
  8. Nasturtium Tropaeolum ? zones 7-10
  9. Bells of Ireland Moluccella laevis ? zones 2-11
  10. Sweet Peas Lathyrus odoratus ? zones 2-11
  11. Love-In-A-Mist Nigella damascene ? zones 2-11
  12. Purple Chinese Houses Collinsia heterophylla ? zones 2-11
  13. Baby Blue Eyes Nemophila menziesii ? zones 2-11
How to Grow and Use Calendula

Cool Climate Seeds to Plant in the Fall

This list covers both annuals and perennials to plant in the fall. These seeds either require cold stratification in order to bloom the following spring or they don?t mind the cold. Some will still grow in warmer zones!

  1. Bells of Ireland Moluccella laevis ? zones 2-11
  2. Cornflower Centaurea cyanus? zones 3-8
  3. Blanket Flower Gaillardia ? zones 3-10
  4. Papaveraceae ? zones 3-8
  5. Echinacea ? zones 3-9
  6. Columbine Aquilegea ? zones 3-9
  7. Sweet Peas Lathyrus odoratus ? zones 2-11
  8. False Queen Anne?s Lace Ammi majus ? zones 3-9
  9. Foxglove Digitalis ? zones 4-8
  10. Sea Holly Eryngium ? zones 4-9
  11. Tickseed Coreopsis tinctoria ? zones 3-9
  12. Snapdragon Antirrhinum ? zones 8-9
  13. Hollyhock Alcea ? zones 3-8
  14. Black-Eyed Susan Rudbeckia ? zones 3-9
  15. Forget-Me-Not Myosotis ? zones 3-8
  16. Penstemon Penestemon ? zones 3-8
  17. Sweet William Dianthus ? zones 3-9
  18. Ashy Sunflower Helianthus mollis ? zones 4-9 (and other perennial sunflowers)
  19. Pansy Viola ? zones 5-10
  20. Love-In-A-Mist Nigella damascene ? zones 2-11
  21. ? zones 3-8
  22. Basket of Gold Alyssum Aurinia saxatilis ? zones 3-7
  23. Chinese Forget-Me-Not Cynoglossum amabile ? zones 6-9
  24. Common Woolly Sunflower Eriophyllum lanatum ?zones 5-8
  25. Lunaria Lunaria annua ? zones 5-9
  26. Bigleaf Lupin Lupinus polyphyllus ? zones 3-6
  27. Veronica Veronica spicata ? zones 4-8
  28. Purple Chinese Houses Collinsia heterophylla ? zones 2-11
  29. Globe Gilia Gilia capitata ? zones 7-10
  30. Baby?s Breath Gypsophila elegans ? zones 3-10
  31. Baby Blue Eyes Nemophila menziesii ? zones 2-11

Vegetables to Plant in The Fall

Not interested in flowers? Here?s a little bonus of vegetables you can plant in the fall and enjoy next spring and summer. Might as well get the work in now right!

Onions, Garlic, and Shallots

All part of the family, onions, , and shallots are best planted in the fall due to their long growing season. It isn?t until next summer that you will be able to reap the rewards of your fall planting.

Turnips, Carrots, Radishes, and Beets

These root vegetables don?t mind hanging out in the cold. You may see minimal growth, but they will certainly get the head start come spring. You may even notice a sweeter taste.

Lettuce and Leafy Greens

Did you know you can have fresh greens year-round? By using a cold frame or , you can grow lettuce outside throughout the winter.

Broccoli and Cauliflower

In mid to warm climates, you can grow both broccoli and cauliflower to harvest next spring.


Another one for an early spring harvest! Mild climates can grow peas during the colder months as well. Make sure to for it to climb on.

Umbrella Greenhouse over peppers

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Butterflies are beautiful to watch flitting about the garden. Plus, they are essential pollinators for a large number of plants. Many butterfly populations are dwindling right now, but with a few minor tweaks in the garden, we can help save these pretty pollinators and enjoy their beauty and benefits in the garden at the same time. Read on to discover which plants butterflies need during their life cycle, and what to grow to create the ideal butterfly garden.

How to grow a butterfly garden

Before you Build a Butterfly Garden: Know the Butterfly Lifecycle

In order to attract butterflies, it is important to understand their life cycle and the specific needs that go along with it.


Butterflies begin as eggs laid on the leaves of host plants.


The egg hatches into a caterpillar, which at this stage does nothing but eat! It eats its way out of the egg to gain nutrients and then eats its host plant, which is why it needs to be located on the right plant for that type of butterfly.


Once the caterpillar has eaten enough to grow to its full size, it makes a cocoon or ?chrysalis.?


Inside the cocoon, it metamorphoses into a butterfly. Just a few weeks to several months later (depending on the species), it emerges as a mature butterfly. After just a few hours, the butterfly gains enough strength to begin flying and pollinating flowers.

Plants That Support the Butterfly?s Lifecycle

Their life cycle requires butteflies to have both host plants for the larval stage and food plants for mature butterflies to pollinate.

Because species in different regions have evolved along with the area?s plant life to coexist, butterflies need to have native plants available to them. It is important for butterfly populations to have spaces kept entirely wild, weeds and all, such as nature preserves.

From small urban gardens to fields of wildflowers, every butterfly-safe environment helps. Creating your own butterfly garden helps to offset any habitat that has been destroyed due to development or maintenance. Butterflies too can be affected by pesticides and ensuring we grow safe plants for them helps to provide a place for them to thrive year-round.

Caterpillar on its host plant

How to Make a Butterfly Garden

Don?t worry, creating a butterfly garden doesn?t mean encouraging a bunch of weeds (although if you do decide to let a few live here or there, butterflies will appreciate it).

Gardeners who want a manicured look, as well as a butterfly garden, have many options for pretty plants that attract butterflies and provide them with what they need throughout their life cycle.

But first, here are a few additional things you need to complete your butterfly garden.

A Sunny Area

Butterflies thrive in the sun. As ectotherms, they rely on external sources in order to stay warm. Before they can fly, they need to make sure their body temperature is warm enough.

You?ve probably seen them perched on a sunny leaf with their wings on full display. This is them soaking up the sun! So on the next sunny day, sit back and watch your visitors check out their favourite plants and sunbathe.

Butterfly pollinating a plant

A Butterfly Feeder

A butterfly garden needs the right plants growing in sunny areas and a safe place for mature butterflies to lay their eggs. You can make your habitat even more attractive by putting together a  for them to snack on.

Butterflies feed on nectar which is sugar that comes from a plant. Fresh fruit also provides this for the butterflies. This is a good way to add supplemental nectar to the garden when there may be fewer blooms or if you notice a ton of butterflies.

However, having native plants with lots of nectar throughout the season is the best source!

Butterfly feeder hanging in a garden

Mud Puddles

Did you know that butterflies adore mud? They congregate around muddy areas as this gives them salt and nutrients. You can help them out by placing a shallow pan of water out for butterflies. They often avoid birdbaths and other pools because the water is too deep.

A shallow pan gives them access to water for drinking and puddling. Adding some gravel or sand at the bottom helps, as well as rocks for basking in the sun.

Create an Irresistible Butterfly Garden

Common Butterflies and Their Host Plants

Choosing native plants or a standard butterfly seed mix will attract various butterflies that are native to your area, but if you are looking to attract particular butterflies, your best bet is to plant the specific host plants that species in your area use.

Here are some of the most common butterfly species and the host plants that they require for the larval stage.

  • Woodland Skipper ? native grasses (Poaceae)
  • Painted Lady ? mallow (Malva), borage (Borago officinalis), thistle (Silybum marianum)
  • Gray Hairstreak ? oak (Quercus), (Mentha), (Fragaria)
  • Cedar Hairstreak ? Western red cedar (Thuja plicata)
  • Great Spangled Fritillary ? violet (Viola)
  • Variegated Fritillary ? violet (Viola), stonecrop (Sedum)
  • Western Tiger Swallowtail ? bitter cherry (Prunus emarginata), willow (Salix), birch (Betula), poplar (Populus)
  • Anise Swallowtail ? parsley (Petroselinum crispum), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), cow parsnip (Heracleum)
  • Pale Swallowtail ? ceanothus (Ceanothus), alder (Alnus), cherry (Prunus)
  • Red Admiral ? stinging nettle (Urtica dioica)
  • Spring Azure ? viburnum (Viburnum), oceanspray (Holodiscus discolor), dogwood (Cornus), cherry (Prunus)
  • Common Wood Nymph ? native grasses (Poaceae)
  • Monarch ? (Asclepias)
  • Western Pine Elfin ? white pine (Pinus strobus), lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta), fir (Abies)
  • Western Tailed Blue ? vetches (Vicia), milkvetches (Astragalus)
  • Pygmy Blue ? pigweed (Amaranthus), saltbrush (Atriplex), lamb?s quarters (Chenopodium album)

For more information, take a look at the where you can enter your zip code to find native plants and butterflies common to your area.

Attract butterflies to your garden

Plants That Attract Butterflies to Plant in Your Butterfly Garden

Once butterflies reach the mature stage of their life cycle, they are attracted to brightly coloured flowers with flat tops, short flower tubes, or flower clusters.

There are many butterfly-friendly plants, so the chances are you can find a few that will suit your growing zone. Here?s a list of some plants that will attract mature butterflies to your garden as long as they have host plants nearby as well.

  • (Allium)
  • Aster (Aster)
  • Bee Balm (Monarda)
  • Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
  • Blanket flower (Gaillardia)
  • Butterfly bush (Buddleja)
  • Catmint (Nepeta racemosa)
  • Cornflower (Centaurea)
  • Daylily (Hemerocallis)
  • Dill (Anethum graveolens)
  • False Indigo (Baptisia)
  • Goldenrod (Solidago)
  • Hollyhock (Alcea)
  • Lantana (Lantana)
  • (Lavandula)
  • (Ceanothus)
  • Lupin (Lupinus x hybrida)
  • (Asclepias)
  • Nasturtium (Tropaeolum)
  • Phlox (Phlox x arendsii)
  • Purple Coneflower (Echinacea)
  • Rock Cress (Arabis)
  • (Salvia officinalis)
  • Sea Holly (Eryngium)
  • Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum ? superbum)
  • Snapdragon (Antirrhinum)
  • Sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima)
  • Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
  • Zinnia (Zinnia)

By the way, milkweed might be one of the most beloved butterfly foods! and find out why they love it so much. In addition to having a pretty flower garden, you can attract these lovely pollinators at the same time; a perfect garden partnership.

Pretty Pollinators: Create a Butterfly Garden

Other Pollinators

Moths are often forgotten about, but they are also beneficial pollinators and can be very beautiful. To attract moths to your garden, plant night-blooming flowers such as evening primrose (Oenothera), phlox (Phlox x arendsii), and fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium).

Now, don?t forget about the bees! (and a bee bath project that the butterflies will love).

Butterflies and bees aren?t the only beneficial insects you want in your garden! Find out about the


Pretty pollinators

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The perfect combination of sweet and spicy, ginger is a unique flavour that I just can?t get enough of. Whether you want to recreate the spiciness of ginger ale from your childhood or want freshly grated ginger for delicious curry, you can easily grow ginger in the garden or in the home. This guide covers everything you need to know about how to grow ginger so you can have an endless supply of the favoured spice. 

How to Grow Ginger

One of the best things about sharing my love of gardening online is that I get to meet so many fellow gardeners! Over on Instagram, I met with the lovely Tasha Greer from and we chatted over about her book, . After the talk, I was completely obsessed with the idea of growing ginger!

I?m not a huge spice grower, instead opting to grow mostly herbs and other healing plants. But I invited Tasha to talk about ginger with me and she gives some great advice if you?re thinking of adding some spice to your garden.

This guide covers points and tips on how to grow ginger root directly from Tasha?s book. In it, she covers more than 30 different spices anyone can grow. Be sure to check out  if you?re interested in growing tons of spices.

Reprinted with permission from Grow Your Own Spices: Harvest homegrown ginger, turmeric, saffron, wasabi, vanilla, cardamom, and other incredible spices ? no matter where you live! by Tasha Greer ? 2021. Published by Cool Springs Press. Photography courtesy of Tasha Greer where noted.

What is Ginger?

We all love it, but what is this funky, wrinkly thing we like to grate? Ginger, Zingiber officinale, is a plant grown mostly for its rhizome, although technically the whole plant is edible.

Mostly used for culinary purposes, it has a spicy yet sweet taste. You can find it in curries, in baking like gingerbread, as a spicy zest to salad dressings, and in some very popular beverages.

Where did Ginger Come From?

Interestingly enough, we have no idea where ginger originally comes from. According to Tasha, ?It?s considered a cultigen, or a plant that exists as a result of human cultivation. We don?t know its origin or when humans started using it. We only know that it would not exist without us.?

ginger plant

Medicinal Properties of Ginger

Gingerols are the active components in the plant that give it a distinct spicy/sweet flavour. The components are also responsible for the anti-inflammatory properties and are even used to treat arthritis.

Medicinally, people know ginger best for easing an upset stomach. The virucidal properties aid in destroying viruses, making it a useful tool for your medicine cabinet,

?The most effective way to receive this medicine is through the use of its fresh juice,? says Tasha.

The easiest way to do this is to process the root with a . Then, place the liquid in , and store it in the freezer to have an easily accessible antiviral remedy on hand. Add water, honey, and a to cut the spiciness as needed.

Peeled ginger root with lemons and a bottle of ginger syrup in background.

How to Grow Ginger

Choosing a Rhizome

The easiest way to grow ginger is by taking a piece of rhizome from existing ginger to grow another. Sounds easy right? To get the best possible ginger harvest out there, the key is to select the right rhizome to get you started.

You probably would recognize ginger just by its touch. They are firm, knotty-looking rhizomes that have rough skin. Most of the ginger you find in the grocery store are Chinese cultivars. The flavour tends to be milder and it will have a thicker skin to help with shelf life.

Technically, you can plant any ginger as long as it isn?t old or diseased. It?s worth noting that ginger purchased from the grocery store may have a growth inhibitor sprayed on it to stop it from sprouting early. Ideally, you want to source your ginger from an organic grower or your local farmer?s market.

Avoid any pieces that look shriveled and dry. You want a plump piece of ginger with lots of eyes (growth buds). It should be 4-6 inches long with multiple arms.

Here?s Tasha?s advice for choosing a rhizome:

?Mature rhizomes that have been through natural senescence will produce the best yields. Senescence typically happens in fall after plants have had a long growing season.? Senescence is the life stage in which a plant?s metabolism slows before it dies.

woman holding ginger root


Most gardeners choose to start their ginger indoors and then transplant it outside as it warms up. Once you have your rhizome, pay attention to where the eyes are. If you have post-senescence ginger ready to go without eyes, store it in a warm location until the eyes appear.

Cut the ginger into pieces approximately 1 to 1 ? inch wide. Each of the pieces will need an eye. Once cut, let it sit for 1-2 days until a slight crust has formed.

When planting, fill a pot with good quality until it is 2 inches from the top. Add in some slow-release fertilizer and place your rhizome in it approximately 1 inch deep, healthy eyes facing upwards.

Top off with some compost. Space any rhizomes 12 inches apart. It will grow up to 4 feet tall, so be sure to accommodate this type of growth.

Water the plant well and keep moist until shoots have emerged. This takes anywhere from 1 week to 1 month. Ginger prefers filtered light, not direct light. Under a tree where it will receive dappled light is a great spot to have it.

The plant can only survive when there is no frost. It can be planted in early spring after the danger of frost has passed or any time of year if you live in a warmer zone. A tropical plant, ginger likes heat and humidity. It will grow best in temperatures above 65?F or 18?C.

Tasha?s advice? Here?s what she has to say!

?When growing in the ground, periodically hill the soil from the outer edges of your rows around the root area to encourage the rhizomes to plump. Stop fertilizing if plants flower.?

growing ginger in containers

How to Grow Ginger Indoors

You can easily grow ginger indoors too! All you need is your leftover scrap or cut piece of ginger to get it started. Soak the rhizome overnight just in case it has a growth inhibitor, especially if you sourced it from a market.

In a pot, follow the same planting instructions as above. Keep in mind the pot needs to be large enough to accommodate the size of the rhizomes as they grow. The pot should also drain well, as ginger is prone to root rot if it sits in soggy soil.

When planting, only place one piece of ginger in each pot. Let it sit in indirect light in a warm part of the house. Watch and wait!

How to Harvest Ginger

Remember senescence? This is when the plant begins to slow down before it dies. The leaves will start to turn yellow and brown. This usually occurs when the plant gets less sunlight and it cools down, signaling the ginger to grow more rhizomes to begin to store energy for the colder season. This is also when the rhizomes grow their protective skin. And you guessed it?it?s when we?re ready to harvest!

Ginger takes some time to grow. Baby ginger can be harvested after 6-8 months. You want to harvest the ginger before it reaches senescence. Mature ginger, on the other hand, takes more than 10 months and you want to harvest after senescence has occurred. Be sure to save the best rhizome (fat and healthy-looking) to use for future planting.

Tasha says you can also trick the ginger into an early harvest. ?To initiate premature senescence, cut the top few inches of leaves to reduce photosynthesis. Then harvest in 2?3 weeks.?

When harvesting, you can dig out and use the whole rhizome. Alternatively, you can cut away a piece of the rhizome if the plant is still growing. In this case, cut a piece that is at least 2 inches from the stock. The rest of the plant will continue to grow.

Now that you know how to grow ginger at home and harvest it, it?s time to enjoy it. Be sure to check out my recipe for . It tastes so much better than the canned stuff!

Organic Ginger Ale Soda in a Glass with Lemon and Lime

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