Skip to main content

7 easy outdoor flowers to grow for beginners

If you feel intimidated about picking out flowers as a beginner gardener, you’re definitely not alone. Many blooms require specific conditions to thrive — some will wither away in the swelter of summer heat or become prone to pesky pests. However, there are plenty of flowers out there that can flourish in the face of neglect or extreme conditions. With low-maintenance blooms, you can design a beautiful landscape without much fuss. From sunflowers to begonias, we’ve rounded up seven easy-to-grow flowers for beginners, breaking down the care requirements for each one.

Snapdragon
kuenlin / Shutterstock

Best for adding height to your garden: Snapdragons

Snapdragons feature tall, colorful blooms that can add cheer and height to your home garden. The taller varieties, including “Animation” and “Madame Butterfly,” can grow up to 48 inches. They thrive in organic, well-draining soil but aren’t very finicky otherwise. Water them weekly and add mulch to help your flowers retain moisture. Feed your snapdragons with a weak, diluted fertilizer and encourage blooms by removing spent flower spikes. Snapdragons can get leggy over time, so you might need to stake them for extra support.

Best for growing in dry environments: Cosmos

Do you live somewhere with low humidity? Perfect for cottage gardens, daisy-like cosmos have a high tolerance for drought and can survive neglect. Cosmos can grow in poor soil, so you don’t need to go out of your way to get them any special fertilizers. Plus, they complement a wide variety of plants, so you can mix and match them with other flowers easily. In order to help them thrive, give them full sun and water them when the top two inches feel dry to the touch.

Sunflowers in field
Ibrahim Rifath / Unsplash

Best for growing in warm environments: Sunflowers

Vibrant and lovely, sunflowers are not only easy to plant, they’re also easy to grow. They tolerate heat, resist pests, and grow at a steady pace. They do well in warm climates, thriving with six to eight hours of direct sun per day. They are heavy feeders, so you want to keep them in nutrient-rich soil to help them grow properly. Since they have long roots, make sure to water them deeply.

Best for gardening with children: Zinnias

Zinnias are perfect for anyone who loves low-maintenance and beautiful flowers. Zinnias come from easy-to-grow flower seeds, which make them straightforward to handle when you’re teaching young kids all about flowers. For little ones who might be impatient, zinnias also grow relatively quickly. Frequent mulching, watering, and pruning will encourage your zinnias to grow, all excellent activities for teaching your little ones the basics of gardening.

A close-up of a marigold bloom
milart / Shutterstock

Best for keeping pests away: Marigolds

Like all of the plants on this list, marigolds are extremely low-maintenance — plus, they add a beautiful pop of copper to your garden! But what we especially love about them is that they keep away insects like mosquitoes, cabbage worms, and more. However, they’ll attract beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, to help you get rid of pests like aphids. As long as you give them full sun and consistent watering, they should be a relatively no-fuss plant in your garden, blooming eight weeks after you plant them from seed.

Best for growing in cold environments: Pansies

Pansies are hardy in Zones 2 through 9, making them agreeable to a wide range of temperatures. They do very well in cool weather, capable of surviving even single-digit temperatures. However, they do tend to get leggy in the summer, so they make for better flowering plants in the fall and early winter.

Best for resisting deer damage: Begonias

If you get the occasional deer visitor, you might want to add some begonias to your garden. Flowers with fuzzy stems and waxy leaves tend to be deer resistant, which means that deer won’t feed on them and damage them. Begonias aren’t fussy — they can tolerate most lighting conditions and don’t require heavy feeding. The biggest thing with begonias is that you need to keep their soil moist, but not too moist to the point of giving them root rot. While they can be grown as annuals, some varieties, such as Rex begonia, can actually be kept indoors over winter as perennial houseplants.

Growing flowers can be a daunting task, but don’t let that fear keep you from bringing colorful blooms to your garden. Low-maintenance gardeners who may not want to spend much time or effort will still be able to track down easy-care flowers for their space. And even if you face hot weather or poor soil, there are lovely flower varieties out there that can seamlessly adapt to your environment!

Editors' Recommendations

Stacey Nguyen
Stacey's work has appeared on sites such as POPSUGAR, HelloGiggles, Buzzfeed, The Balance, TripSavvy, and more. When she's…
The 7 best types of Christmas trees to fill your home with holiday cheer
Everything you need to know about the most popular Christmas trees
Decorating a Christmas tree

Decorating your home for the holidays is so fun, and it's something the whole family can take part in. Choosing the Christmas tree is often an activity that families especially look forward to. And you can make a full day of it, bringing everyone out to pick the perfect tree.

This tradition is a great way to spend time together, and it ensures that everyone feels included in the festivities. But how do you know which tree is best for your situation? There are many types of Christmas trees to choose from, so it can be hard to understand how to narrow them down.

Read more
Get festive with these houseplant “holidadecoration” ideas
Give your indoor jungle a jolly makeover this Christmas
A small potted pine tree wrapped in Christmas decorations next to a tiny snowman figurine

As you decorate for the holidays, don't forget your plants! Incorporating your houseplants into your holiday celebrations and decor is a great way to brighten up your home. Christmas may be one of the most common holidays for decorations, so don't forget that plants can be useful for other holiday festivities as well. No matter what you're celebrating this winter season, this guide has something for everyone! For tips on how to make your plants festive for the holiday season, follow this simple guide to houseplant holiday decorations.

Add ornaments and lights to your houseplants
Here’s a simple holiday plant idea: Furnish your houseplants with ornaments, tinsel, and string lights. If you’re doing this in lieu of a Christmas tree, it’ll very likely be much cheaper than furnishing a 6-foot-tall tree, as you can buy most of the mini decorations at your local dollar store! Money trees, corn plants, and rubber trees are just a few houseplants with strong central stems that can handle minor weight from lights and ornaments. If you want to avoid placing anything onto your plants, create holiday stakes with cut-out Santas, snowflakes, ornaments, and more.

Read more
These are the 18 best gardening shows to stream right now
No matter your streaming service, there's a gardening show just for you
Family sitting on a couch watching tv.

Whether you're an expert or novice gardener, you might find yourself in need of inspiration to get your green thumb into shape come next gardening season. As it turns out, sometimes the best way to get your gardening mojo back is to watch TV shows that showcase extraordinary gardening.

Finding the right show can be daunting, though. There are so many options across every streaming platform and channel, how do you know where to start? We've compiled our favorite gardening shows from across the internet, so that you can sit back, relax, and get inspired! No matter what type of gardening show you're looking for, there's something on this list for everyone.

Read more