10 Easy Flower Seeds You Can Sow in Your Garden in June to Bloom This Autumn

Marigolds blooming in a garden

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By late summer, flowers begin to burn out as they complete their life cycle and go to seed. But you can extend the parade of color in your garden by planting in June for fresh life in September.

The trick to summer planting is to sow directly into the ground, containers, or raised beds. It does take a bit of extra effort to keep them watered, as dry soil can easily kill sprouting seeds. In addition to providing an abundance of autumnal color, many are also a late-season treat for pollinators.

Here are 10 quick-blooming flowers to plant in June.

Some of the plants on this list are toxic to pets. For more information about the safety of specific plants, consult the ASPCA's searchable database.

1
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Marigolds (Tagetes)

Close-up of a field of yellow marigolds
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Marigolds can begin blooming in late spring, but will continue to exhibit their rich golden-to-red hues in early fall. These annuals are quick to germinate (within a few days) and bloom (about eight weeks), so plant them in June for August displays of color. Marigolds are considered a low-maintenance plant ideal for the beginner gardener — they're exceedingly tolerant to heat, drought, and pests.

The blooms are abundant, sunshiny, and pom-pomlike. Similar to carnations, they comprise layers upon layers of overlapping petals. They're also a prominent symbol of Hinduism, representing prosperity and wisdom.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs: Well-draining, fertile, rich in organic matter.
2
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Zinnias (Zinnia elegans)

Assortment of pink-shaded zinnias in a flower patch
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Zinnias are cold-hardy and will bloom until autumn's first frost. You can sow their seeds through the first week and July and they'll take about 60 to 70 days to flower. These annuals are not only fast-growing, weed-shading, and low-maintenance, they also attract butterflies and hummingbirds with their explosively colorful, nectar-rich flowers.

Propped on long, solitary stems, its blooms also make great cuttings. You should cut them, in fact, to encourage more flowers to bloom. This is called "deadheading."

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 10.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs: Well-draining, fertile, rich in organic matter.
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Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum)

Patch of red nasturtium
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Nasturtiums have an especially long flowering period, lasting from summer until autumn's first severe frost. Seeds sprout within a few days and two weeks, depending on growing conditions, and may take up to 52 days to flower. If planted in June, you may see its first blooms in July or August.

The nasturtium is an easy-to-grow annual that's a favorite among culinary creatives as it produces edible leaves and jewel-toned flowers. Most grow as vines, but certain varieties can be bushy instead.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 8.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs: Well-draining, reasonably poor.
4
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Sunflowers (Helianthus)

Close-up of a sunflower in a patch of flowers
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The peak season for sunflowers is the middle of summer, but these big, cheery flowers continue to bloom through a portion of fall. If planted in June, the sunflower should grow up to 12 feet by October.

Sunflowers can be annuals or perennials. They're part of the daisy family, and their large, dark centers (made up of a bunch of tiny disc florets) act as a spacious landing pad for bees. Whereas humans only see a big, fuzzy, brown circle surrounded by cheery yellow petals, bees see UV light reflected on the petals, leading to the bullseye of pollen and nectar.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs: Well-draining, slightly acidic, evenly moist.
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Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus)

Patch of pink cosmos
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These white-to-red annuals, cousins of the daisy and marigold, take two or three months to bloom and will produce silky, three- to five-inch flowers until the first frost. Cosmos grow on slender stems that vary between one and six feet in length, which makes them great additions to a cutting garden.

This is a low-maintenance plant that tolerates (and thrives in) fairly poor soil, so long as it drains well. However, it is known to be frost tender, so don't expect late-autumn blooms.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs: Well-draining, reasonably poor.
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of 10

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Blooming orange Calendula in the garden
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Calendulas don't like the extreme heat of summer and do much better in the cool temperatures of spring and fall. If planted in June, they'll flower around the beginning of September and, if regularly deadheaded to encourage new growth, they'll continue to display their sunshiny, daisylike blossoms through fall.

Although calendulas are often called "pot marigolds," they are not true marigolds. They grow as perennials in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9 to 11 and as annuals in Zones 2 to 11.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 11.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade.
  • Soil Needs: Well-draining, rich in organic matter.
7
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Limnanthes (Limnanthes douglasii)

Patch of limnanthes in the garden

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Limnanthes, also known as the poached egg plant because of its yellow-and-white appearance, blooms from mid-spring to early fall. In addition to being long-blooming, it's also fast-growing, easy to care for, and a magnet for bees and butterflies.

This annual is part of the meadowfoam family, meaning it grows in bushes, carpeting marshy habitats in delicate, two-toned blooms. Limnanthes are easily damaged by hard freezes but love wetlands — even cool, windy environments like Northern California and the Pacific Northwest.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 8.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs: Well-draining, moist, loam.
8
of 10

Johnny-Jump-Up (Viola tricolor)

Two Johnny-jump-ups in a garden
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Johnny-jump-ups are late bloomers, continuing to flower through fall and even into winter. They may wither in cold temperatures, but the resilient perennials often come back to life over and over. Like their botanical name suggests, Johnny-jump-ups produce tricolored flowers that look similar to that of the pansy (hence the nickname "wild pansy"), except they're smaller.

These often grow as wildflowers in Europe; due to their spreading nature, they could take over your garden.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade.
  • Soil Needs: Well-draining, rich in organic matter.
9
of 10

Candelabra Primulas (Primula section Proliferae)

One yellow candelabra primulas on a green background
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Candelabra primulas blooms have been known to survive even past the first snowfalls. They take about four to six weeks after sowing to flower and they're profuse self-sowers, too, so you can be sure their colorful whorls come back every summer for the next three to five years.

This perennial is known for the unique, apricot-to-orange flowers spiraling around its stems. As it generally prefers boggy conditions, soggy soils are tolerated.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 8.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs: Well-draining, moist.
10
of 10

Night-Scented Stock (Matthiola longipetala)

Night-scented stock growing in a garden
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Sow night-scented stock in June for a burst of elegant, faded-pastel flowers by September. They're easy to germinate and hardy, able to be planted even after the first frost for spring color. The one thing they don't like is extreme heat.

As their name suggests, these annuals let off a delightful vanilla-spice smell. They open in the evenings only and reach their peak fragrance at twilight.

  • USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 10.
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun.
  • Soil Needs: Well-draining, moist, fertile.

To check if a plant is considered invasive in your area, go to the National Invasive Species Information Center or speak with your regional extension office or local gardening center.