Do you love gardens and want one of your own, but you don’t actually love the act of gardening itself? Lucky for you there are such things as self-seeding plants that once you plant them, they will continue to grow again and again without the need to replant them every year. You may also want to check out our article about 10 easy herbs you can grow indoors.
18 Self-Seeding Plants You Need for Your Garden
When you plant your garden using self-seeding plants, you are planting a garden that is as low-cost as it is low-maintenance. For most of us who lead busy lives and have several demands on our time, energy, and bank accounts, this is the best kind of garden to have.
These plants all reseed themselves so that you don’t have to do much of anything from year-to-year. Just plant, water, harvest and let them be.
Tips For Growing Self-Seeding Plants
Before we get into what to plant, read through these tips to give your self-seeding plants the best possible opportunity to flourish (1):
- Plant heirloom varieties
- Don’t deadhead (you want to encourage blooming)
- Educate yourself on each growth stage of your plant so that you don’t mistake them for a weed the following spring.
- Plant your self-seeding vegetables in their own patch, separate from non-self-seeding plants.
Keep all of those items in mind when choosing which plants you will use in your garden. Let’s begin with the flowers.
10 Self-Seeding Flowers
Who knew decorative and low-maintenance could be used to describe the same plants? If you want a gorgeous flower garden that grows year after year with little help from you, then these are the plants for you.
1. Field Poppy
This is a flower that has proven itself to grow even in places nearly completely destroyed by war, so it will definitely do well in your home garden. These flowers will range from nine to 18 inches in height and bloom late spring into early summer. They do best in hardiness zones 3 to 10 and in full sunlight. (1)
2. Morning Glory
Available in purple, pink, blue, red, and white, these trumpet-shaped flowers are nothing but gorgeous. They can grow up to 15 feet tall and will use anything nearby for support – a fence, trellis, even other plants. Each year they regrow more numerous than before, so you may have to remove some and plant them elsewhere or they will take over your whole garden. (1)
Morning Glory does best in zones 3 to 10 and in partial shade to full sun. (1)
These beauties bloom starting in June and continue until the first frost, keeping your garden colorful all season long. They grow to be about four feet tall and typically come in pink, purple, and white. (1)
Cosmos grow best in zones 2 to 11 and in full sun. (1)
A yellow-gold color, these are true gold for your garden. This is because they are the perfect companion plant for many others, including (1):
They also help to attract pollinators to your garden which will help it grow even better. Calendula grows best in zones 2 to 11 in partial shade to full sun. (1)
5. Giant Larkspur
With tall pink, blue, or white spikes, this flower is a show-stopper in any garden. They can be up to four feet tall and bloom for about two months. Giant Larkspur grows best in zones 2 to 11 and full sun. (1)
In bloom from June until August, these unique, stunning flowers can be seen in various blues, purples, pink and white. They grow best in zones 2 to 11 in full sun. (1)
7. Sweet Alyssum
This is the perfect flower to fill in the gaps in your garden as it grows lower to the ground and forms a sort-of mat on your garden floor. Colors include purple, yellow, pink, and white. They can double in number from year to year, so transplanting some might be necessary each year. (1)
Sweet Alyssum grows best in zones 5 to 9 in partial shade to full sun. (1)
8. Common Blue Violet
This low-growing perennial wildflower is a stemless plant, meaning that the flowers bloom directly from the plant’s underground rhizomes. It grows best in zones 3 to 7 in partial shade to full sun. (1)
9. Garden Angelica
Though these flowers won’t add much color to your garden, they will certainly add visual appeal via shape. They grow up to six feet tall and their flower orbs can be up to six inches in diameter, so be sure to plant them with room to grow. (1)
Garden Angelica grows best in zones 5 to 7 in partial shade to full sun. (1)
These flowers will not only attract important pollinating insects to your garden, but they will also attract hummingbirds for you to marvel at. As the season goes late and the weather gets cooler, they will deepen in color, turning a bright blue. (1)
Honeywort grows best in zones 2 to 11 in full sun. (1)
8 Self-Seeding Plants You Can Eat
Growing an herb and vegetable garden each year is a lot of work. Lighten your load by planting these low maintenance plants. (1)
1. Mountain Spinach
If it comes from the mountains, it has to be hearty, right? Mountain spinach comes in green, red, and white leafed options and is an amazing warm-weather alternative to regular spinach. The plants will reach six feet in height and will regrow each year without much input from you. (1)
Mountain spinach grows best in zones 4 to 8 in full sun. (1)
Known in some parts of the world as rocket, this green will add a slightly peppery flavor to your salads and sandwiches. This soft green doesn’t do well in the heat, so you will finish harvesting it by early summer. (1)
Arugula grows best in zones 5 to 9 in full sun. (1)
Often used primarily as a garnish in restaurants, parsley can add a lovely bit of flavor to your dishes. The first season you plant parsley, harvest it as normal. The second season, allow it to flower so that it will sow seeds for the following year. Do this a couple of times and you will quickly find yourself with a permanent little parsley patch. (1)
Parsley grows best in zones 5 to 9 in partial shade to full sun. (1)
When it blooms, dill does a fantastic job of attracting pollinators to your garden. Dill grows best in zones 2 to 9 in full sun. (1)
A polarizing herb to say the least, for those who love the flavor is an easy herb to grow. Known as coriander in some countries, it is important to plant this one early so you can harvest it before it becomes too hot for the plant. You can harvest it for longer if you pluck off the flowers as they grow in, however, if you leave a few they well self-sow for the following year. (1)
Cilantro grows best in zones 2 to 11 in partial shade to full sun. (1)
Lettuce is another plant that as long as you don’t cut too many of the leaves off of each plant, it will continue to grow back over the season until it becomes too hot. Allow it to flower and it will re-sow itself and come back again the following year. (1)
Lettuce grows best in zones 4 to 9 in partial shade to full sun. (1)
One of the hardiest vegetables you can plant, kale plants will continue to grow in temperatures as cold as 5 degrees Fahrenheit. It will then go dormant for the winter and spring back up again the following season. (1)
Kale grows best in zones 7 to 10 in full sun. (1)
Carrots are another biennial plant, meaning that they won’t flower and sow their seeds until the second season. When harvesting them in their first season, leave a few of the carrots underground for the winter. In the spring, they will grow beautiful leafy greens that will bloom and then sow seeds for the following spring. (1)
Carrots grow best in zones 3 to 10 in full sun. (1)