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No Animal Crossing: New Horizons island would be complete without a dash of floral colour. Thankfully, there are flowers aplenty to choose from right from the start of the game and, if you’re clever about it, lots of rare hybrid varieties as well. But how do you go about growing flowers and breeding hybrids? Don’t beat about the bush, follow our step by step guide below to find out!

If you want to find out how to get and grow Lily of the Valley flowers, be sure to check out our guide to getting a 5-star island rating.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Growing And Breeding Flowers Guide

What do I need flowers for?

At the beginning of the game, your island is a blank canvas just waiting for you to start your unique customisation process. While trees can alter the general look and feel of your island, there’s nothing quite like the smaller, daintier flower to make your new home that little bit more visually appealing.

As well as having aesthetic and bug-attracting qualities, flowers are useful tools in many DIY crafting recipes. It’s also easy to earn Nook Miles while tending to them. Excitingly, a new feature in New Horizons means that you can take the bloom from a fully developed flower whilst leaving the stalk intact. After a few days, the flower will bloom once again.

Many objectives in the game also tie in with the plant life of your island. For example, to unlock K.K. Slider you’ll need a three-star island rating from Isabelle – something you need to plant a minimum of fifty flowers to achieve. So not only are flowers pretty to look at, they are a key tool for advancement in the game.

How do I get flowers on my island?

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As your island life begins you’ll notice that your new home has been assigned with one type of native fruit. Explore further (specifically in the higher elevations of your island) and you’ll see that you also have three types of flower growing naturally. There are a total of eight flower types in New Horizons: Lilies, Roses, Cosmos, Mums, Hyacinths, Windflowers, Tulips and Pansies. You can dig them up and re-plant them around your island as you choose.

At first, you’ll be able to find flowers in three natural colours, usually red, white and yellow. Timmy and Tommy also sell native flowers at Nook’s Cranny and they’ll add more as you upgrade your store. Unfortunately, they’ll never stock all eight variants, meaning that you have to source the remaining five non-native flowers in other ways.

One of the best ways to complete your floral collection is by visiting friends’ islands via local or online multiplayer and taking the flowers that you don’t have from them. There is also a small chance that non-native flowers will spawn on islands you visit during Mystery Tours, but getting them from friends is much faster.

The final way to add new flowers to your island is by breeding hybrid colours that you can’t buy anywhere else. Creating hybrid flowers is a feature that’s been present in other Animal Crossing games and it’s just as easy to do in New Horizons as it was in New Leaf and City Folk.

How do I breed hybrid flowers?

Hybrid flowers are flowers that are not the same colour as their parent plants. To cross-pollinate flowers and receive the rare hybrid varieties you need to plant your flowers in a diagonal or checkerboard pattern (see picture) with a gap between each plant, so new flowers can grow from the parent plant beside them. You’ll also need to make sure that each flower is adequately watered, a metric you can gauge by seeing whether a given plant sparkles or not. Sparkling flowers are happy, healthy and ready to breed, so use your watering can or wait for rain.

Complete these steps and a new flower with a unique hybrid colour should eventually begin to grow in one of your empty spaces. However, offspring may also be the same colour as the parent plant, but if you have at least one other plant of the same species touching a parent plant along the diagonal, you will produce rare hybrid offspring of a different colour eventually. For a more detailed guide on which colour pairs produce what, read the sections below.

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Cosmos

Target Cosmos colour Breeding method
Black Breed Red with Red
Pink Breed Red with White
Orange Breed Red with Yellow

Lily

Target Lily colour Breeding method
Black Breed Red with Red
Pink Breed Red with White
Orange Breed Red with Yellow

Mums

Target Mums colour Breeding method
Pink Breed Red with White
Purple Breed White with White
Green Breed Purple with Purple
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Hyacinth

Target Hyacinth colour Breeding method
Pink Breed Red with White
Orange Breed Red with Yellow
Blue Breed White with White
Purple Breed Blue with Blue

Windflower

Target Windflower colour Breeding method
Pink Breed Red with Orange
Blue Breed Orange with White
Orange Breed Red with Yellow
Purple Breed Blue with Blue
Purple Breed Blue with Pink
Blue Breed White with White
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Tulips

Target Tulips colour Breeding method
Black Breed Red with Red
Orange Breed Red with Yellow
Pink Breed Red with White
Purple Breed Black with Black

Pansy

Target Pansy colour Breeding method
Purple Breed Red with Red
Orange Breed Red with Yellow
Purple Breed Blue with Blue
Blue Breed White with White

Roses

Target Roses colour Breeding method
Black Breed Red with Red
Orange Breed Red with Yellow
Pink Breed Red with White
Purple Breed White with White
Hybrid Red (different to normal Red) Breed Purple with Orange
Blue Breed Hybrid Red with Hybrid Red

Gold Roses

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Gold roses are something of a special case in New Horizons and getting them is no easy task. Firstly, you’ll have to raise your island rating to the five-star level. Succeed and Isabelle will give you the DIY recipe for the golden watering can (you’ll need a golden nugget to craft it) which is an essential tool in breeding gold roses.

Next, you’ll need to breed some black roses (see section above) and plant them in a checkerboard pattern with spaces in between. Simply water the black roses with the gold watering can and each day check your planting bed to see if any gold coloured flowers have begun to grow.

If you’re successful you’ll end up with a flower bed full of fancy golden roses and you’ll even receive a new DIY recipe as a reward for your hard work!

That's all for now, but let us know if you have any questions or tell us what your New Horizons petal plans are going forwards!


This article is part of our Animal Crossing: New Horizons walkthrough, which includes a Complete Fish List, Complete Bug List and Complete Sea Creatures List. If you're looking for specific fish or bug, we can tell you how to catch the elusive Coelacanth, Mahi-Mahi, Giant Trevally, Stringfish, Golden Trout and all the Sharks, along with a list of Fish And Bugs leaving at the end of August. We've also compiled a Complete Villager List and a Complete List of K.K. Slider Songs, as well as selections of the Best Custom Design Codes and Islands we've found so far, as well as islands you can visit using Dream Address Codes.

We can also help with How to Spot Redd's Fake Paintings and Statues, How to Make Bells Fast, How to Breed Flowers, How to Get more DIY Recipes, How to Upgrade Nook's Cranny, how to make friends with special characters like Gulliver, Sable, Label and Wisp, plus tips on using the Star Wand, Tool Ring, Rock Trick, Cutting Down and Moving Trees, using amiibo on Harv's Island, How to Back Up Your Island Data and much more.

And finally Where to Buy Animal Crossing: New Horizons on Nintendo Switch if for some reason you haven't yet picked up the game.