There are seeds that need to be sowed from six, eight, ten, twelve, and even sixteen weeks in advance before transplanting. Depending on the growing rate after germinating that is.

A coleus needs up to twelve weeks to grow from seed before transplanting because it grows slower than marigolds and zinnias.(They need 8 weeks only). Petunias need ten weeks. I know what is to live that because I’ve seen coleus, foxgloves, impatiens, petunias, etc; growing at a slower rate than marigolds, zinnias, and others. If a coleus and a marigold sprouted at the same time, you will see the marigold growing strong during the next three to 6 weeks, while the coleus remains in a nano-size. That’s why you do your sowing in advance.

When you sow seeds for late autumn to late spring, you have to know that those plants like cool and even light frost weather. So you have to start them indoors here in the south(at that time the AC is on), because two and three months before November is still very hot for them, and would not germinate out at those temperatures.

Yesterday was impossible to write here, the servers were a mess, at least I got the chance to search for more info for this post. Right now is summer and here in Houston the low 90’s F can be felt early-mid spring, but July-August-September are as high as 101’s F to 108 F or bit more.

The last winter I sowed several flower seeds indoors, some germinated, some not, the ones that did it are growing, some of them died. You know is all about experience. Nobody will teach you in theory what you have to learn in practice. Now I know why my calendula didn’t survive in clay soil in late spring after little flowering(“poor drainage and too much sun for those high temperatures even at that time of the year”). 

Here are the types of annuals you need to know. 

Long blooming annuals.

Temperature limits for annuals.

Annual dwarf flowers blooming in spring.

Annuals for the winter.

Number of weeks before transplanting.(Growing from seed indoors)

  • Antirrhinum. 10 weeks
  • Alyssum. 8 weeks.
  • Amaranthus. 8 weeks.
  • Angelonia. 8 weeks.
  • Ageratum. 8 weeks.
  • Petunia. 10 weeks.
  • Pansy. 12 weeks.
  • Sweet William. 8 weeks.
  • Dianthus. 8 weeks.
  • Lobelia. 8 weeks.
  • Coleus. 12 weeks
  • Salvia. 8 weeks.
  • Impatiens. 10 weeks.
  • Celosia. 8 weeks.
  • Vinca. 16 weeks.
  • Mirabilis. 8 weeks.
  • Portulaca. 8 weeks.
  • Myosotis. 10 weeks.
  • Phlox. 8 weeks.
  • Rudbeckia. 8 weeks.
  • Zinnia. 8 weeks.
  • Torenia. 8 weeks.

Just remember, if you want to plant an annual bed, do so with varieties requiring the same needs. Drought tolerant plants go together. Water-loving plants go hand-in-hand. Never mix them, especially because some drought tolerant annuals can’t stand wet feet and develop diseases.(Vinca,as an example). Here is a list of drought tolerant annuals.

Now if you want to know what annuals do not need deadheading, follow the next link. Birds & Blooms.

For a list of annual flowers and descriptions come here.

Annuals under 12".

This is another post I had in the blog about the same subject. I deleted it and wrote it here…..

One of the first things you notice when sowing seeds—in the garden soil, or seed starting mix—is the rate at which the seeds germinate and grow. Some seeds take forever to germinate or are very slow to grow after sprouting. Others are fast to germinate with a great sprouting ratio.

I had been sowing different seeds for two years, and I noticed that some annual plants grow faster than others. BMH have a list according to them.

Some people prefer seeds big enough—so they can handle them easy. That is a good case, although it doesn’t mean that small and diminutive seeds wouldn’t germinate fast too. Celosia and snapdragon seeds are clear examples of that rule, and they grow as fast as zinnias and marigolds.

After sowing and watching for two seasons, I learned things and promised not to repeat the mistakes I made before. What do I mean? Well, to start off, nobody learn what works and what doesn’t with nature unless you involve in the process and pay attention. You live in an environment subject to rain, humidity, temperatures, soil type, sun, shade, etc.

First thing is to select the seeds or plants that grow well in your hardiness zone, and that’s the easy part. But then you’ve to know very well your climate. Here in the city the dog days of summer are lethal to many plants—for that reason I use heat tolerant annuals—from mid May to November—Although the real heat kicks in from July to September, but that way I stay with the same annuals for 6 months. The flowerbed in my garden is soil-less, I use organic matter.(a potting soil mix)

Last year I grew plants supposedly to stand the raging heat from Sirius the dog, but I found Joseph’s coat was not match for him and the plant died. So bad that the next day when I went to see the plant, it appeared mushy!. But Sirius found rivalry in other annual plants, like the celosia, salvia, and some others. It’s good to know those super-heroes can resist Sirius rage and sent him back defeated.

As you can see, it’s all about practice. You never end learning. I could say more things, but for now that’s all.