The long wait for a seed to bloom into a flower can be frustrating. But exactly how long does it take? Well, firstly, Mother Nature’s time is not as exact as your watch, so forget about measuring the time with any kind of precision. That wasn’t very helpful, was it? You can get a much more helpful answer from reading the seed packet. But the seasons will usually tell you when to expect flowers since the plants need to go through a progression of seasons to know when it’s time to bloom.

Different kinds of flowers take different amounts of time to grow, and some won’t even give you flowers immediately. Perennial plants, for instance, will only give you lots of leaves in their first year. But wait patiently, and they will award you with flowers in their second year. After that, they will keep growing bigger, until you can make more plants out of them after a few years. Then you can plant them, and not endure the agonising pain of waiting again.

Roses are a different kettle of fish entirely. They are temperamental beasts and can take anywhere from weeks to years to germinate. Firstly, they need their icy hearts cooled sticking them in the refrigerator for four months. This process is called Cold Stratification and stimulates the seed lying in the soil from fall and throughout the cold winter. Some hybrids can germinate as quickly as two weeks after emerging from the cold, but the most stubborn varieties can take up to two years. Once the seedling pops its head out of the ground, it’s usually not a long wait until it blooms.

Annual plants are very easy to grow, and they will usually seed themselves at the end of the season if you leave the flowers on the plants, and new flowers will appear.