17 Useful Flowers To Grow On Your Homestead

On This Episode of The Modern Homesteading Podcast, Harold and Rachel Discuss 17 Useful Flowers You Can Grow On The Homestead.

The Modern Homesteading Podcast, Episode 188 – February 7, 2023

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17 Useful Flowers To Grow On Your Homestead

Calendula

(Annual) Direct sow outside or start inside. A pretty little flower with yellow/orange color.  It is a member of the sunflower family. It likes rich soil and sunshine. A medicinal, edible, and great for the garden. Brewed as a tea for pests and interplanted to avoid pests like cabbage worms. They are good for soil fungi and have been used to remediate soil from cadmium. 

Hyssop

(perennial) Start seeds outside in spring but you can take cuttings too. USDA zone 4-9.  These are small shrubs with flowers. I started mine from seeds. It is a member of the mint family, but mine have not spread as easily. Flowers are purple, pink or white and they smell beautiful. They like sunny, well drained soil. Great Ground cover and for guilds. It attracts pollinators and beneficial insects. But it also can attract cabbage white flies away from cabbage. The plant can be used as a tea to help with plant bacterial diseases.This plant is also edible (leaves, flowers, young stems). It is also medicinal. I have licorice hyssop, it literally tastes like black licorice. 

Rose

(perennial) Can be grown from seed, but they need stratification and many weeks to grow.  Cuttings are a more effective way to propagate plants. USDA grow zone 5-8. This is one I don’t grow yet, but I have ordered plants.  I do use rose hips and petals in teas and lotions/salves. It is an edible, medicinal, flower that also attracts beneficial bugs and birds. The plants like full sun, with rich well draining soil.  Some varieties do require heavy feeding and watering which is why I chose Rosa rugosa, it is far more hardy and needs less attention.

Lavender

(perennial) You can grow from seed, but it is pretty difficult. If you start from seed they need light to germinate, so barely cover the seed. They can take a long time to germinate too, so don’t give up. Cuttings are more successful and an easier option. USDA grow zone 5-9.  A beautiful plant with purple flowers, I am sure most know how lavender smells. The flowers are edible and can be used medicinally. It attracts beneficials like bees and butterflies and it can deter animals like deer. It likes well drained and poor soil, once established.

Violet, many varieties

(perennial, can be invasive if wild.  Annual if planting pansy) USDA grow zone 3-8. The wild violet is aggressive and will take over, I would suggest planting them in a pot. It is a great edible ground cover but it will take over. I use it medicinally and in hummus etc. If planting the pansy, it is an annual that is also edible but not invasive.  Start inside 8-10 weeks before planting date and keep them well watered once planted outside; they prefer cooler temps and like partial sun.

Dandelion

(perennial, can be invasive) USDA grow zone 3-9. Plant early spring outside. Probably the most hated plant for many, because it pops up in lawns.  It is one of the bees’ first foods in the spring. They are really medicinal and good for the soil.  They help with compaction, bringing minerals up from below with deep tap roots (dynamic accumulators).  Flowers, leaves and roots are used for food, tea, jellies and more.

Chamomile

(perennial) USDA grow zone 3-9. Start 6 weeks early inside. Many people are aware of this plant for its tea. Medicinally it is used to calm and promote sleep.  It is also used to help with stomach issues, of course it has man other medicinal benefits.  It is a great plant for the garden when used as a companion plant. It is used as a pest repellent and a beneficial insect attractant. Great for a fruit tree guild due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Sunflower

(annual)- USDA grow zone 4-9. Start outside unless you have issues like I do. Sunflowers vary widely in their appearance.  I guess I am referring to the sunflowers most of us think of, the tall flower that bears a seed we can eat. They attract birds and bees, feed our livestock and can be used in the fall as mulch once chipped or shredded.

Borage

(annual, self seeds easily)- USDA grow zone 3-10. Sow outside, late spring. It repels one of the most hated garden pests, the horn worm. But it also really attracts the beneficials.  My borage was always full of bees. Because it adds trace minerals it is good for the compost bin as well.  Flowers and leaves are edible and medicinal.

Hostas

(perennial) USDA grow zone: 3-9.  You can start from seed inside  8-10 weeks before the last frost date. Many people don’t realize this plant is also edible and medicinal.  We like it because it is beautiful, easy to grow in the shade we have and easy to take root cuttings from.  One downside is it’s like candy to deer. They LOVE it. You can eat the tender shoots as they come up, or you can eat the flowers.  They do like shadier spots and water.

Clover

(Annual or Perennial, depends on species).  I sow in spring but you can also sow in the fall. USDA grow zone: 3-10. It is most well known as a cover crop, many use it as a lawn or ground cover.  It improves the soil by fixing nitrogen, attracts bees and other pollinators, plus it is edible and medicinal. Mostly promoted for hormone issues in men and women but has other uses.

Echinacea / Coneflower

Perennial, Direct Sow in Early spring, Growing Zones 4-8, Immune Boosting Medicinal Tincture

Comfrey

Perennial, Suggest a bocking 4 or 14 hybrid, Growing Zones 4-9, Grow from root cuttings, Many qualities: Pollinators, Fertilizer, Animal Feed, and Medicinal

True Lillies

These Include: Chinese Lily, Orange Daylily, Tiger Lily, Perennial, Growing Zones 5-9, Great For Pollinators, The entire Plant Is Edible

Yarrow

Perennial, Growing Zones 3-9, Great For Pollinators and Beneficial Insects, Many Medicinal Properties, Often Taken as an Herbal Tea

Nasturtiums

Annual (Zones 4-8), Perennial (Zones 9-11), Direct Sow Early Spring, The entire Plant Is Edible, Attracts Beneficial Insects, Trap Crop For Harmful Insects, Great Groundcover Plant.

Nasturtiums
My Nasturtiums Used For Edible Landscaping

Marigold

Annual, Growing Zones 2-11, Plant Seeds Indoors 8-10 Weeks Before the Last Frost date, Great Pollinator Flower, Attract Other Beneficial Insects, Deterrent As A Scent Masking Plant, Edible

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