Self Sowing Plants for the Garden

As previously mentioned in my 2009 garden project list I am working on a self sowing garden. I mentioned the advantages to a self sowing garden earlier in the week and my own personal reasons for wanting to plant it and now it's time for the next step...seeds. But first, what are self sowing plants? Since plants generally reproduce from seed aren't they all self-sowing? Technically I guess that fits the definition but what people generally assume to be self sowing plants are those that self seed very easily or very reliably. Plants like rudbeckias and cosmos are great examples as they flower prolifically then seed very well. Here is my long list of self sowing plants that I will pick from when choosing the plants to start my self-seeding garden. I'll be weeding the list down a little smaller soon. I left off a couple plants that I plan to include due to a more unreliable reseeding nature like zinnias, sunflowers (won't reseed since the birds will eat them but might otherwise), and Russian sage (I can't help it I'm addicted to Russian sage).This list contains mostly self seeding annuals (at least here in Tennessee) but a few of them may comeback with a mild enough winter.

Self Sowing Plants

Bells of Ireland
Coneflower (Echinacea)
Morning Glory

Salvia (Clary Sage)
Sweet Pea
Verbena bonariensis

Many of these plants are great for the birds and wildlife which is always a bonus!

I added a link to the University of Wisconsin's Horticulture page about the Bells of Ireland.  I've never tried it in the garden as the seed I started last year died as seedlings due to damping off.  I'll be giving it another shot this year. It is said to self-seed if the dried flower stalks are allowed to stay on the plant.  That means no cut flowers for the Bells of Ireland! Or at least just a few!