Self-Seeding Annuals and Biennials

Self-seeding annuals and biennials scatter copious amounts of seed across the garden and can be relied upon to appear year-after-year without help from the gardener. They are a good choice for gardeners who like a little touch of wildness to their planting, as they pop up in places where they would never be deliberately planted – along the edge of beds and borders, in paving, in gravel paths and drives, and in nooks and crannies in walls. If the idea of such insubordination bring you out in a sweat, self-seeders may not be the right choice for you. If, on the other hand you like the idea of reliable self-seeders that don’t need to be planted anew each year, the following varieties are a good start:

Borago officinalis (borage)
Calendula officinalis (pot marigold)
Centaurea cyanus (cornflower)
Digitalis purpurea (foxglove – a biennial)
Eschscholzia californica (California poppy)
Fagopyrum esculentum (buckwheat)
Iberis umbellata (candytuft)
Lunaria annua (honesty)
Lobularia maritima (alyssum)
Myosotis sylvatica (forget-me-not – a biennial or short-lived perennial often treated as a self-seeding annual)
Tropaeolum cvs. (nasturtium)
Viola tricolor (heartsease).

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