How to Sow Seeds in the Fall for Cut Flowers in the Spring


The best time to start perennial and annual flower seeds is in the fall. According to horticulturists with Purdue University, plants started from seed indoors will flower earlier than those started directly in the garden in the spring. As long as you have an indoor space to keep your seedlings during the winter, they should be mature enough by spring to offer an abundance of cut flower opportunities.

Step 1

Decide whether you will be starting your seeds in pots or seed starting trays. Factors to consider include how much room you have indoors and the size of the light source. If you are only starting a few seeds, pots will be fine. For larger projects, use seed starting trays.

Step 2

Fill the pots or trays with seed starting mix to within one-half inch of the rim. Moisten the mix until the water runs out of the bottom of the container. Allow the container to drain completely.

Step 3

Sow the seeds according to the directions on the seed packet. Some seeds require deep planting, others need to be sown on the surface of the soil.

Step 4

Place the pots or seeding tray in a plastic bag and secure the top. Check the soil periodically to make sure that it remains moist. A few squirts from a misting bottle should moisten it without disturbing the seeds.

Step 5

Remove the bag from the planters when the seeds sprout. Place the container in an area that is free of drafts and receives bright light, but not direct sunlight. The amount of light required by the seedlings will be listed on the seed packet. If the seedlings require more light than you have available naturally, place them 6 inches under plant lights. As the plants grow, raise the lights so that there is always 6 inches between the lights and the top of the plant. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy.

Step 6

Repot the seedlings when they have their first set of leaves. Use the next size larger pot and fill it with potting mix. Dig a hole deep enough for the plant's roots, set the roots in the hole and pack the soil around them. Water the seedling until the water runs out of the pot.

Step 7

Fertilize the seedlings for the first time when they have two sets of leaves. Use a general, all-purpose water soluble fertilizer, diluted to half the strength recommended on the fertilizer package. Always water the soil thoroughly before you apply fertilizer.

Things You'll Need

  • Planting pots or seeding trays
  • Seed starting mix
  • Potting soil
  • Plastic bag
  • Plant lights
  • Fertilizer


  • Purdue University: Starting Seeds Indoors
  • "‬California Master Gardener Handbook‭;" ‬Dennis R.‭ ‬Pittenger‭; ‬2002
Keywords: sow seeds fall, cut flowers spring, fall seeds flower

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.