A photo of an Animal Crossing: New Horizons villager surrounded by white and red folowers.

How to Grow Animal Crossing Flowers in Real Life

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is selling beyond any original industry forecasts. The game’s positivity, escapism, and ability to “visit” friends is an excellent way to spend an afternoon—but what if you could bring some of that joy into real life, too?

One of our favorite Animal Crossing activities is planting flowers. Your Animal Crossing garden can be beautifully decorated with a variety of eight flower types. In as little as three days, you can have beautiful flowers on your island by planting seeds and watering them. However, in real life flower gardening isn’t as easy, unless you have a garden plan to back you up.

We’ve compiled a guide for how to grow Animal Crossing flowers so that your “real life” home can match your fantasy island!

A screenshot showing an Animal Crossing villager next to a lily of the valley plant.

How to Plant Cosmos

An attractive flower for tiny winged neighbors, cosmos are very hardy and easy entry-level into real-world gardening.

A photo of a pink cosmos flower.
Difficulty: Easy

Weather: Cosmos flowers can tolerate warm and dry weather. They are even drought-tolerant in extreme cases.

Planting Season: Winter-Spring

How to Plant:

  • Plant seeds or transplants ¼-inch deep and 12–18 inches apart after the danger of frost has passed.
  • Cosmos don’t need any special soil preparation. They can grow in low nutrient conditions, but blooms may not appear. If your soil contains adequate nutrients but your plant isn’t blooming, try reducing the amount of nitrogen in the soil.
  • Depending on the type of flower, cosmos can grow anywhere between 18 to 60 inches.
  • If you want a head start, you can plant cosmos indoors 4 to 6 weeks before the last spring frost in trays or pots with a good seed-starting mixture. Move them into 5-inch pots as soon as they’re 3 or 4 inches tall.

Watering: Regularly water, just be careful not to overwater. Cosmos can even survive droughts.

A photo of purple hyacinths.How to Plant Hyacinths

With their fragrant blooms and flagrant petals, these flowers make sure you know when spring is here.

Difficulty: Medium

Weather: Hyacinths prefer warmer weather as they are originally of Mediterranean origin.

Planting Season: Late fall

How to plant:

  • Choose soil in sun or partial shade
  • Before planting bulbs, loosen the soil and work in compost for increased nutrients.
  • Plant the bulbs 4 inches deep and a minimum of 3 inches apart. If you live in a colder weather biome, you should plant 6 to 8 inches deep.
  • Water the bulbs thoroughly after planting and covering with soil.

Watering: Water when necessary during spring, fall, and winter. Reduce watering during summer.

A photo of a white lily.How to Plant Lilies

Lilies are large trumpet-like flowers that draw attention with their showy blooms and fragrant smell. If you plant them in a good spot, they are an easy-care flower that will return every year with minimal care.

Difficulty: Easy

Weather: Most lilies like large temperature fluctuations between seasons, so they are not ideal for tropical regions.

Planting Season: Lily bulbs are ideally planted in the fall season or early spring.

How to Plant:

  • Choose a spot with a lot of sun and low wind exposure.
  • Plant in deep holes from 4-8” since lilies grow very tall at full bloom.
  • Space bulbs between 8-12” apart.
  • Lilies prefer porous and rich soil.

Watering: Water regularly during the growing season and decrease watering during the blooming season.

A photo of orange and yellow mums.How to Plant Mums

Mums come in many different varieties and are known for their hardiness. Unlike many other blooming flowers, they are synonymous with the welcome of fall.

Difficulty: Medium

Weather: Mums can withstand hot temperatures but prefer to be planted during cooler periods.

Planting Season: Spring

How to Plant:

  • Choose a spot with a lot of sun and plenty of room for mums to grow uninterrupted by shade or other plants.
  • Soil must be well-draining since mums will rot in standing water.
  • Rich fertilizer is strongly recommended for mums.
  • Plant starts 8-12 inches deep.
  • Plant 18-26 inches apart depending on the mature size of the mum.

Watering: Mums should be watered one inch per week during spring. Increase watering during summer to counteract warmer temperatures. Decrease watering to 3 times a week during the flowering fall season.

A photo of a yellow pansy.How to Grow Pansies

These simple yet vibrant Rorschach-like flowers are perfect for homes in the colder regions. They are commonly found in hardware stores and can be easily transplanted to decorate your garden.

Difficulty: Easy

Weather: Colder climate

Planting Season: Spring

How to Plant:
As mentioned above, it is easier to purchase established plants at stores, but if planting seeds it is best to plant them in the fall.

Choose an area with good morning sun and low heat in the afternoon.

Pansies prefer a humid, cooler environment.

Space and plant pansies 7 to 12 inches apart.

They can be left in pots or transplanted to garden beds. Pansies spread quite easily, so keep an eye on new sprouts if you don’t want them to spread throughout your beds.

Watering: Water regularly since pansies prefer a high humidity environment.

A photo of red roses against a blue sky.How to Plant Roses

The chosen favorite of many couples for centuries, roses come in a staggering amount of colors and sizes. You can spend hours researching varieties, but we will focus on easy-to-grow modern hybrid roses.

Difficulty: Easy

Weather: Hot and humid weather is a favorite of most roses.

Planting Season: Spring

How to Plant:

  • Location is everything here. Choose a spot where roses will get 5-6 hours of full sun during the early hours of the day.
  • If you live in the great northwest like Transblue or if you live in colder temperatures, be sure to plant them closer to your home as it provides a higher degree of protection against winter frosts.
  • We recommend bare root rose starts which will look like a spiky stick bundle. Even though they look dead, we assure you it is the best and easiest way to get roses since they can be found this way in almost any outdoor hardware store.
  • Wear gloves since you don’t want to get poked by the thorns.
  • Soak rose starts in water for 8-12 hours before planting.
  • Dig a hole deep enough to cover most of the rose start
  • Make sure it is anywhere from 15—19 inches wide, which you will then fill with compost and fertilizer.
  • Water thoroughly after first planting to encourage the roses to acclimate to its surrounding.

Watering: Roses appreciate a lot of water. Make sure you give them enough H20 to reach all the way down their roots. However, don’t drown them!

A photo of orange and yellow tulips against a blue sky.How to Grow Tulips

One of the national symbols of the Netherlands, these Dutch flowers are also a spring favorite!

Difficulty: Intermediate

Weather: Tulips love a cold winter and warm spring, so if you live in milder climates this is the flower for you.

Planting Season: Early to mid-fall

How to Plant:

  • Choose a spot where they will get plenty of sun, but if you live in a hotter climate environment make sure you plant them somewhere where they won’t be overwhelmed by heat. Also be wary of areas with strong wind.
  • Choose soil that won’t let water accumulate as tulips dislike excessive moisture.
  • Loosen the soil to a depth of 12-15 inches.
  • Add fertilizer or compost to loosened soil.
  • Plant bulbs 8 inches deep.
  • Water bulb immediately after planting them to trigger growth.

Watering: Tulips should receive watering once a week unless it rains.

A photo of a red windflower.How to Plant Windflowers

A Pacific Northwest native and favorite, these resilient flowers grow naturally and help support bird, bug, and bee life!

Difficulty: Very easy

Weather: Windflowers are sturdy and love a good rainy climate.

Planting Season: Fall for spring blooms, or early spring for blooms later in the year.

How to plant:

  • Choose a partially sunny and shady spot.
  • Contrary to their name, it is preferable for them to be in a non-windy spot.
  • Loosen the soil to a depth of 16-18 inches.
  • Add fertilizer or compost to loosened soil.
  • Dig holes for the windflower tubers 1 and 2 inches deep.
  • Space holes 8 to 12 inches apart.
  • Place one tuber per hole and cover with soil afterward.
  • Water the windflowers slowly with a healthy amount of water to promote growth, but don’t water again until first bloom.

Don’t water until first bloom. After the first bloom, provide one inch of water every week if there is no rainfall.

Growing flowers in real life may not be as easy as it is in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but the process can be just as rewarding. Many of these flowers don’t require a ton of space, time, or resources to beauty up your garden, patio, or balcony. Bring your Animal Crossing garden to life, and don’t hesitate to share a photo with us on Twitter or Instagram!

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A photo of Zack Chihuaque.

Zack Chihuaque

Zack Chihuaque is Transblue’s marketing powerhouse, a Photoshop brown belt, and a maximum-level trainer in Pokemon Go. His favorite Pokemon is Charizard, because he, too, loves to burn away the (marketing) competition.

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