5 flower seeds to sow in April: add these to your planting list

Trying to decide what flowers seeds to sow in April? Give some of our top picks a go and get ready for beautiful flowers this summer

flower seeds to sow in April: aster
(Image credit: Thompson & Morgan)

If you've already been thinking about what flower seeds to sow in April, you might want to check our list of favorites too so you can add some more choices to your flowerbed ideas

There's still the threat of late frosts until the end end of this month, so hold tight on direct sowing in the ground unless you live in a warmer climate where there's higher overnight temperatures. For those areas that are still likely to see the odd frost, you can start your seeds off indoors before moving them outside as the weather warms up. 

There’s plenty of choice available, and most flower varieties are fine to sow until around May if you want them to bloom this summer. We’ve sourced five of our favorites below to get you started this month. 

1. Canterbury Bell 

flower seeds to sow in April: canterbury bell

(Image credit: Dobies)

These oh-so-pretty flowers are ideal for traditional cottage garden ideas with their distinctive pastel colored ‘bell’ shaped heads. This variety has the RHS 'Perfect for Pollinators' approval too. Team them with lupins and Sweet William for a bright and cheery display.

They can be sown from April through to June. Start them off indoors on a moist well-drained seed compost and only plant out once the threat of frost has passed. They like sun and partial sun, and may need staking as they get taller. 

2. Sunflower

flower seeds to sow in April: sunflower

(Image credit: Suttons)

If you're looking for garden activities for kids, this is such a favorite to sow with children. Sunflowers in bloom will delight any child thanks to their happy round faces! This variety has F1 hybrid vigour and flowers early, it’s long-flowering and pollen free. It won’t need staking and can grow up to 2 metres in height. 

You can sow them either indoors or outdoors in April, though do wait for the last frost to pass before you do. They will flower from July to September. 

There's more advice on how to grow sunflowers in our guide. 

3. Eschscholzia 

flower seeds to sow in April: eschscholzia

(Image credit: Dobies)

Known as the California Poppy, these are definitely worth considering with their attractive double and semi-double ruffled petals in a range of bright colors. Ideal for edging paths, you can also cut them and use them in vases. They are also a great if you're after bee friendly plants as they are a favorite for pollinators. 

They can be sown directly outside, but as always, check the weather first. The last month to sow is May, and they will flower from June through to September. 

Our guide to the best edging plants has more suggestions on how to line your paths with plants. 

4. Aster 

flower seeds to sow in April: asters

(Image credit: Thompson & Morgan)

This half-hardy annual is one of the best dwarf asters and has unusual spider-like flowers. April is the last month to sow, so don’t delay if you want to see these beauties in your garden this summer. 

As for how to grow asters, you can sow these inside and place in a propagator, or seal your seed container inside a polythene bag and keep at 20-25˚C until after germination, which will be between 7-21 days. Once the seedlings are large enough, pop them in trays and after hardening off, plant them outside. 

You can find out how to transplant seedlings in our guide. 

5. Calendula

flower seeds to sow in April: calendula

(Image credit: Suttons)

These more subtle colored calendula have a unique white-lemon color with edible petals should you wish to use them on a cake or in a salad. They are easy to grow and fast to flower, which is always a bonus especially if you are new to growing. 

Sow between now and the end of May – if the last frost in your area has happened then you can sow directly into your garden, or start them off inside to be safe. They will flower from June until the first frost of autumn. 

Head over to our guide to edible flowers for more flowers you can grow and eat. 

Sophie Warren-Smith
Sophie Warren-Smith

Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 20 years and has worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time, both in-house and as a freelancer. On the side, as well as being the News Editor for indie magazine, 91, she trained to be a florist last year and recently launched The Prettiest Posy where she curates beautiful flowers for weddings and events.