Planting Flowers in Minnesota

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planting flowers in minnesota

Blooms All Around: Mastering Flower Planting in Minnesota with Grow Bags

Planting flowers in Minnesota’s diverse climate, with its cold winters and brief growing seasons, can pose challenges for flower enthusiasts. However, with the innovation of grow bags, gardeners across the state are able to extend the flowering season and cultivate a variety of blooms. In this article, we will explore the art of planting flowers in grow bags, focusing on the perfect timing to ensure a blossoming success.

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Blue Borage Plant Star Flower Up close

Understanding Flower Growing Seasons

Flowers come in a plethora of varieties, and each has its ideal growing season. Understanding Minnesota’s climate and the specific characteristics of the flowers you intend to cultivate is essential:

  • Last Spring Frost Date: In Minnesota, the last spring frost typically occurs mid May. Planting before this date can expose your delicate flower seedlings to cold damage.
  • First Fall Frost Date: The first fall frost in Minnesota occurs around late September to early October. This marks the conclusion of the growing season for most plants, including many flowers.
  • Ideal Growing Temperatures: Flowers can be categorized into cool-season and warm-season varieties. Cool-season flowers thrive in cooler temperatures, while warm-season blooms prefer warmer conditions.
"Magic Beanstalk" Runner Bean Plant flower

Using Grow Bags for Flower Cultivation

Grow bags offer several distinct advantages for flower gardeners in Minnesota:

  • Mobility: Grow bags are portable and can be moved around to seek the best sunlight, shield blooms from harsh weather, and extend the growing season.
  • Temperature Control: The soil inside grow bags warms up more quickly in the spring, allowing for earlier planting, and can be moved indoors during the fall to prolong the growing season.
  • Soil Quality: Gardeners have complete control over the quality of the soil in grow bags, ensuring optimal conditions for seed germination and flower growth.
  • Space Efficiency: Grow bags are ideal for small spaces such as balconies, patios, and small gardens, making them a suitable choice for urban gardeners.
Little crunch snap pea flowering stage

Optimal Timing for Planting Flowers in Grow Bags

The flexibility of grow bags allows for precise control over planting schedules, granting the ability to extend the flowering season. Here’s a month-by-month guide on when to plant flower seeds in Minnesota using grow bags:

1. Early Spring Planting (April)

  • As soon as the last spring frost has passed (usually late April to early May), commence sowing flower seeds in grow bags. Flowers that can withstand cool temperatures are ideal for this early spring planting, such as pansies, violas, and snapdragons.

2. Late Spring Sowing (May)

  • Continue sowing flower seeds in grow bags throughout May to stagger the flowering season. Flowers like petunias, marigolds, and zinnias thrive in the warmer weather of late spring.

3. Preparing for Fall Blooms (July)

  • In early July, consider sowing another round of flower seeds in grow bags. These flowers will be ready for a stunning display in the fall.

4. Preparing for Overwintering (August)

  • For those interested in overwintering certain flower varieties, early August is the time to sow seeds in grow bags. These blooms can be left in the bags and will continue to bloom throughout the winter.
"Music Box" Sunflower

Tips for Successful Flower Planting in Grow Bags

To ensure the success of your flower planting in grow bags, consider the following tips:

  • Soil Preparation: Select a high-quality potting mix that suits the specific needs of your chosen flowers. Ensure it has excellent drainage and aeration properties.
  • Proper Watering: Maintain consistent moisture levels in the grow bags, being cautious not to overwater, which can lead to root rot. Different flower species have varying water requirements, so pay attention to their specific needs.
  • Spacing: Ensure proper spacing between the planted flower seeds to prevent overcrowding as the blooms grow. Refer to the seed packets for guidance on optimal spacing.
  • Mulching: Applying a layer of mulch over the soil in the grow bags can help conserve moisture, regulate soil temperature, and reduce weed growth.
  • Pest and Disease Control: Regularly inspect your flowers for signs of pests, diseases, or nutrient deficiencies. Swiftly address any issues to ensure a vibrant and healthy garden.
  • Fertilization: Follow the recommended fertilization guidelines for the specific flower species you are growing. Flowers in containers like grow bags may benefit from a balanced, slow-release fertilizer.
  • Protection from Cold (Fall): As autumn approaches, consider using row covers or frost cloth to protect your flowers from the cold and extend the flowering season.
Orange and Yellow Calendula Flashback
Orange and Yellow Calendula Flashback

Harvesting and Storing Flowers

While we don’t harvest flowers in the same way as fruits and vegetables, it’s important to know how to care for cut flowers:

  • Harvesting: Cut flowers for arrangements early in the morning when they are well-hydrated. Use sharp, clean scissors or pruning shears to make clean cuts.
  • Cleaning: Remove any leaves that will be below the waterline in your vase to prevent bacterial growth. Recut stems at an angle under running water.
  • Storage: Place cut flowers in a vase filled with fresh water and floral preservative. Change the water every few days to extend the vase life of your arrangements.
"Flashback" Calendula open flower
“Flashback” Calendula open flower


Cultivating flowers in Minnesota can be a delightful and rewarding experience with the use of grow bags, which provide control over planting dates and environmental conditions. By considering the state’s growing seasons and taking advantage of the benefits of grow bags, gardeners can enjoy a prolonged and colorful display of flowers throughout the year. Whether you wish to greet spring with pansies, enjoy the summer hues of marigolds, or add a burst of color to your fall garden, grow bags provide a practical solution for growing a vibrant array of flowers in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.