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5 Favorites: Flowers to Sow in June for an Autumn Bloom

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5 Favorites: Flowers to Sow in June for an Autumn Bloom

June 6, 2024

Even though Memorial Day is behind us, we’re still technically in the midst of spring (summer solstice falls on June 20 this year). This means you still have time to direct-sow seeds in your garden to fill in the gaps and guarantee color come autumn.

Note that different varieties of flowers may have different days to maturity, so please check the back of the seed packet to make sure it has a short maturity date. And as always, don’t forget to meet your plants’ needs with full sun, good soil, and the right amount of water.

Here are five flowers you can start from seed in June that will bloom before frost.

Photography by Joy Yagid.

Nasturtiums, Tropaeolum majus, 28 to 42 days to bloom.

Nasturtiums come in at first place for their ability to bloom in as little as a month after sowing. Cheerful, edible flowers, they&#8\2\17;re loved by bumble bees and available in different shades of red, orange, yellow, and a mix of the three colors. Plant in your garden beds as a green mulch under tomatoes.
Above: Nasturtiums come in at first place for their ability to bloom in as little as a month after sowing. Cheerful, edible flowers, they’re loved by bumble bees and available in different shades of red, orange, yellow, and a mix of the three colors. Plant in your garden beds as a green mulch under tomatoes.

Zinnias, Zinnia elegans, 55+ days to bloom.

Zinnias can bring a riot of color to your garden by August and are a hit with butterflies and bees. They also make great cut flowers. Choose your variety carefully; some grow to less than two feet tall and others can reach over four feet! They are very susceptible to mildew, but it doesn&#8\2\17;t stop them from flowering. They will keep blooming until frost.
Above: Zinnias can bring a riot of color to your garden by August and are a hit with butterflies and bees. They also make great cut flowers. Choose your variety carefully; some grow to less than two feet tall and others can reach over four feet! They are very susceptible to mildew, but it doesn’t stop them from flowering. They will keep blooming until frost.

Marigolds, Tagetes spp, 56 days to bloom.

Marigolds are another happy flower that can do double duty as both a cheery welcome in a container on your front steps and an insect repellent in the vegetable garden.When their blooms fade, you can use the petals to make dye. (See 5 Flowers to Grow for a Starter Natural Dyes Garden.)
Above: Marigolds are another happy flower that can do double duty as both a cheery welcome in a container on your front steps and an insect repellent in the vegetable garden.When their blooms fade, you can use the petals to make dye. (See 5 Flowers to Grow for a Starter Natural Dyes Garden.)

Cosmos, Cosmos bipinnatus, 65 to 70 days to bloom.

Tall and wispy, cosmos add movement in addition to color to your garden. Their feather-like foliage moves in the slightest breeze. Another bonus is they don’t mind the heat and deer don’t like them. In New Jersey, they are planted on highway medians for beautification.
Above: Tall and wispy, cosmos add movement in addition to color to your garden. Their feather-like foliage moves in the slightest breeze. Another bonus is they don’t mind the heat and deer don’t like them. In New Jersey, they are planted on highway medians for beautification.

Sunflowers, Helianthus annuus, 70 days to bloom.

The quintessential happy flower, sunflowers can be started in June and will bloom by September. And while their flowers are associated with summer, their coloring makes them the perfect fall bouquet flower. Better yet, don&#8\2\17;t cut them and leave them for the soon-to-be migrating birds, who love to snack on their high-calorie seeds in preparation for the flight south. (See In Praise of Hulled Sunflower Seeds (the MVP of Bird Food).
Above: The quintessential happy flower, sunflowers can be started in June and will bloom by September. And while their flowers are associated with summer, their coloring makes them the perfect fall bouquet flower. Better yet, don’t cut them and leave them for the soon-to-be migrating birds, who love to snack on their high-calorie seeds in preparation for the flight south. (See In Praise of Hulled Sunflower Seeds (the MVP of Bird Food).

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