Growing flowers can be expensive if the process involves buying pricey seeds or plants and improving the soil with various amendments. However, many flowers are cheap to grow because they adapt to nearly every soil condition if planted where temperatures stay above freezing. Although some flowers, such as carnations and daises, are inexpensive to buy at a florist, you can have a never-ending supply of cheap flowers by choosing the right ones for your garden.
Zinnias are famous for their ability to bring color to the garden under the most demanding situations. They make a great cut flower if cut when fully open and can last for more than a week in a vase. Zinnias are available in a multitude of colors and sizes, from the small types to use as a border to the tall cutting types. All varieties continue to produce flowers if deadheaded to remove spent blooms during the growing season. Zinnias are easily grown from seed. They grow in any garden soil if given moisture during dry periods. Zinnias prefer at least six hours of sun each day.
Marigolds have gone through a lot of changes over the years. They come in all sizes, with some border types only growing a few inches high and some growing much taller. There are even some varieties that are light yellow or white instead of the standard marigold orange. But the most inexpensive and dependable type continues to be the open-pollinated heirloom known as "Crackerjack." It grows to 36 inches tall and produces flowers as long as it is deadheaded throughout the growing season. Crackerjack marigolds reseed every year if a few blooms are left on the plants so they produce seed. Plant marigolds in average garden soil in a location that receives at least six hours of sun each day.
The wild Rudbeckia is also known as the Black-eyed Susan. Because Rudbeckia reseeds freely throughout the garden, you can have beautiful flowers year after year. New varieties include double flowering types along with some bi-colors and even a dark red. Rudbeckia grows best if purchased as 1-year-old plants. Rudbeckia are native in most of the United States, so they will grow under a wide range of garden situations. They grow best in a location that gets at least six hours of sun each day.
There are several different kinds of sunflowers that can be grown in the home garden besides the giant varieties used for seed. The lower price of hybrid seed for the pollen-less florist type of sunflower has made them affordable to grow in any garden. Look for day-length neutral varieties that are not sensitive to day length so you can cut beautiful sunflowers all season long.
Impatiens are a flowering annual that performs well in shade and cooler climates. They can be brittle in high winds, so some protection is a must, but impatiens are a dependable bloomer for shady spots. There are some newer double-blooming varieties available that have a greater impact in the garden than the old fashioned single-flowering type. Impatiens are available in a number of pastel colors. For best results, plant seedlings or plants from flats rather than the seed. Impatiens are easy to grow in average garden soil and prefer dappled shade and protection from the hottest afternoon sun.