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flowering from seed

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

Bachelor's Button (Centaurea cyanus)

Marigolds have become somewhat ubiquitous, and that should tell you something about how easy they are to grow. Their large seeds are easy to handle, and they are very reliable growers. Sow the seeds directly in your garden after all danger of frost has passed, or start them indoors four to six weeks prior to your last frost date. They take around four to 12 days to germinate and 60 to 70 days to bloom. Pinching off spent blooms from young plants can encourage them to bush out and set more flower buds.

The Spruce / Marie Iannotti

Poppy plants are worth growing just to watch the drooping buds burst open and raise their heads high. Annual poppies don’t like being transplanted, so directly sowing in the garden is optimal. You can sow in early spring, even before the ground has thawed. The seeds need some light to germinate, so don’t cover them. Just press down on the seeds for them to make good contact with the soil. They take about two weeks to germinate, but when the weather warms they will shoot up. Blooming occurs in around 65 days. After the seed pods dry, you can shake the flat-topped seed heads throughout the yard to reseed.

Plants with less side branching and canopy spread need less space between them, increasing efficiency. As an example: 1x 15-litre pot produces one plant with a large volume and difficult maintenance issues in a cramped space. 4x 3.5-litre pots in the same sized space can produce just as much dried material with the benefit of being easier to rotate, so the whole plant gets 360-degree light. The entire crop is less hassle during maintenance as each plant is 100% accessible and physically easier to move about. There is no need for a separate sprouting and veg space or time wasted on 18-6 vegetation. The seeds can be sprouted under the 12-12 growing lights providing continual flowering plants.


12-12 simply refers to the hours of light and darkness a cannabis plant is exposed to – 12 of each. Normally, a cannabis plant is exposed to an 18-6 light cycle. This tells the cannabis plant conditions are good for growth, and it focuses on building up size and foliage. When light cycle is changed to 12-12 (either naturally or through human intervention), it tells the cannabis the seasons are changing, and it is time to flower. By forcing a 12-12 light period from the start, the cannabis plant goes directly into flowering, in a bid to reproduce. You are essentially tricking the plant into thinking the growing season is coming to an end, so it needs to produce flowers ASAP.


There are some haters of this method, but many love it. Those who hate on it often have not actually tried it. It is all about giving it a go and seeing what works for you. Even if you decide against it after trying it, it all helps expand your knowledge as a grower.

Everything to which you would pay attention in a normal grow remains unchanged and are still just as important. pH and water quality, nutrient mixing, pest control, grow medium conditions, EC and ppm all still play their major roles in the dankness and weight of your finished product.

The 12-12 lighting technique makes the grow cycle 7-9 weeks in general, rather than the much longer time needed when giving plants a vegetative phase. For the space constrained, and those willing to experiment and give it ago, it can be a dream come true.

Done with expert practice and a willing strain of cannabis seeds, it is not unknown to produce 1 gram of ganja per watt of lighting. That’s an impressive 250g in 7-9 weeks for a 250W light in a small cupboard!

Sunflowers don’t start blooming until late in the season, usually from around July to August. But when those giant blooms finally emerge, it’s well worth the wait. Plant the seeds directly in your garden after your final frost, ideally in a location that’s protected from strong winds. Seeds started indoors will typically flower at roughly the same time as seeds directly sown in the garden, so there’s really no benefit to starting them early. Sunflowers are annuals, so you’ll need to save some of the seeds to replant the next year. Cover a few of the seed heads with netting, so they can dry out without the birds feasting on them.

These flowers make a good ground cover for a spot that gets a lot of sun. They are highly tolerant of drought and require little maintenance. They’re even deer-resistant and typically don’t have pest or disease problems as long as their soil has good drainage. Sow your seeds directly in the garden after your last frost, or start them indoors. Expect blooms starting in the summer and lasting until frost arrives in the fall. You can deadhead the flowers to encourage further blooming, or leave some of the spent blooms to promote self-seeding.

These are perennials in some climates with a long blooming period from around July to September. They’re good for flower borders, as well as for use as cut flowers. Plus, they’re efficient at spreading, so you don’t have to plant many seeds to establish a large garden bed. Make sure you have good soil drainage, as soggy soil can be fatal. And remove the spent flower heads to encourage further blooming. Plus, after flowering is complete for the season, cut back the stems to their lowest leaves to conserve the plant’s energy over the winter.

Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima)

This vine is often grown on trellises or arbors. It is an annual, and when started from seed it can take until the end of summer to bloom. However, if you start the seeds indoors about six weeks before your projected last frost date, they’ll start blooming earlier in the growing season than if you directly sow them in your garden. Once the plant is established in your garden, it will self-seed and come back on its own year after year. Water your plant around once a week to ensure even moisture, and use a low-nitrogen fertilizer monthly or as needed during the growing season.

You can be nasty to nasturtiums, and these hardy flowers will tolerate your neglect. The leaves and flowers are edible and often added to salads. But they’re perhaps more popular as a cut flower because of their lovely fragrance and beautiful colors. Nasturtiums can tolerate poor and dry soil, though you should water them during extended dry spells. And protect them from the afternoon sun in hot climates. Plus, skip the fertilizer, as too much richness in the soil can actually inhibit blooming.

These blue flowers look like miniature carnations and tend to attract butterflies. Sow the seeds directly in your garden bed after the final frost of spring. Or you can start them roughly six to eight weeks before your projected last frost date, and then transplant the seedlings into your garden once the weather warms. They will flower from mid-summer until the first frost of fall and require very little care from you besides watering during prolonged dry spells. Collect the brown seed pods at the end of the season to plant in your garden the next year.

These annuals are climbers and make nice cut flowers. They do best in cool soil and will decline in hot, humid summers. Start seeds indoors six to eight weeks prior to your final frost date to maximize the plant’s blooming period before the hot weather takes hold. Keep the soil evenly moist via rainfall and supplemental watering. And add compost or fertilizer during the growing season, especially if you have poor soil.