The ultimate guide to Breeding Flowers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

by | May 3, 2021 | Flower Breeding

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Flower breeding is one of the many activities in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It has been a part of the series for a very long time, and with every new game release it seems to be getting more and more complex. In general, breeding flowers is pretty simple. 

One thing to keep in mind when breeding flowers is that it might take a while before you are able to spawn the flower you want. That is why it is important that you water your flowers every day, except for when it’s raining, as rain will have the same watering effect as the player. As a side note: You can ask your friends to come over to water your flowers for an increased chance in spawning a flower (more on this later).

How to care for your flowers

To achieve the best result when breeding flowers in acnh, it is important to have a good and efficient layout. For this reason it is also important to know the difference between breeding and cloning. When you breed flowers there are two or more flowers involved with different genetics. Breeding them will mix their genes and make an offspring. When cloning a flower there is only one flower that will be making an exact copy of itself (genetics included). Let’s take a closer look at the two methods.

Creating a Breeding Layout

A very common misconception when it comes to flower breeding is that the checkerboard layouts are efficient and a good way to go. This doesn’t mean that it is not a good layout. It just means it is not a good layout for flower breeding as it is highly susceptible to cloning and therefore does more cloning than breeding.

The X layout

In a 3×3 grid the checkerboard layout is known as “the x layout”, because the flowers together shape the letter X (see illustration X Layout). Here the red flower can only breed with one of its surrounding flowers. Since the other three flowers then end up alone without a red partner, they will try to clone themselves. Since this is a layout for breeding flowers, all the flowers should have a partner to breed with if we want to maximise the efficiency. So if you are focusing on breeding flowers and want it to be as efficient as possible, I would recommend using the “Diamond Layout”. If you don’t really care and just want plenty of flowers to spawn fast, you should stick with the X layout.

PRO: It can spawn a lot of flowers that can be used for decorating.

CON: It does more cloning than breeding

X Layout

Diamond Layout

The diamond layout

The diamond layout positions its flowers in the shape of a diamond, hence the name. It uses the same amount of space and one less flower that the previously mentioned layout, but is 50% more efficient. Compared to the X layout that has a chance to breed 1 flower and clone 3, the diamond layout has the chance to breed 2 flowers and clone none. In this layout the breeding efficiency has been improved because all the flowers have their own partner. This layout is 100% clone resistant and takes up less space. 

If you are to copy the layout to make more diamonds, make sure the diamonds don’t touch as it will mess up the efficiency.

PRO: It is not at all susceptible to cloning and focuses 100% on breeding.

CON: It is not as easy to copy as the diamonds should never touch.

Diamond Layout

Cloning Layout

If you wish to clone a flower all you have to do is isolate that flower. Just place it far away from another flower of that same breed and water it. Eventually it will clone itself and will contain the same genes as the original flower. If you want more of that flower you can place the two flowers next to each other and keep cloning them that way. 

As mentioned earlier, flowers carry genetics. This is not something you will really notice in the game, especially early on. But later on you may run into some problems when trying to get your hands on the blue rose, like many other players out there surely can confirm. The genetics of the flowers you use when breeding can mess up the spawn chances of your desired flower. In this case it would be better to plant flowers from seed bags, for the chance to start off with a clean slate. The flowers from the seed bags don’t carry their parents’ genetics like the already spawned ones. This could make a huge difference for you when it comes to breeding the blue rose, unless you are just one of the lucky ones. In that case, good for you.

Testing Layout

Sometimes when breeding flowers you need to know whether the flower carries the right genetics or not. In order to do so you test them. This is a necessary step when breeding the blue rose to make sure the outcome is what you want it to be. I will use an example from the blue rose breeding method and explain how it works:

In one of the steps you will have to test a bred purple rose with a yellow rose from a seed bag. In order for the rose to pass the test it will have to give us a yellow rose bud. The good rose has the chance to spawn both a white rose bud and a yellow rose bud. The bad rose will only spawn white rose buds 100% of the time.

Watering Your Flowers

Flowers can be watered by you and your friends. Rain and snow will also water your flowers, but it will act as if it was you that watered them. Meaning that it will only save you the time of watering your flowers that day, but it won’t increase the production rate any more than if it was you who watered them. When watering the flowers yourself (or by rain), you will increase the production rate by 5%. If you have had five visitors, this rate will be increased by 80%.

Why You Should Breed Your Flowers in ACNH

Breeding flowers is one of many things you can do in Animal Crossing: New Horizons and it is a bigger part of the game than you would think. Flowers are useful for a lot of crafting recipes like different crowns, wreaths, wands and furniture. They are also a good way to attract bugs that are worth a decent amount of bells, like the Orchid Mantis. 

Valuable butterflies are also attracted to flowers, so if you are short on bells or aim to get the golden bug-off trophy, you should definitely get yourself a nice flower garden. In general the flowers are a pretty addition to your island when decorating. A Lot of people also like to collect every single flower and display them in a flower garden. 

There are 8 different types of flowers in the game: Tulip, Lily, Rose, Windflower, Hyacinth, Pansies, Mums and Cosmos. Every island will have their own starting flower and they all come in at least six different colors but most of these must be bred. While the blue rose is not the rarest flower in the game, it is definitely one of the most difficult ones to breed. The rarest flower in the game would be the lily of the valley.

If you would like to know more about flower breeding or optimizing your flower production, I recommend checking out Yue’s Guides: Garden Layouts. Here you will find a variety of layouts for both flower breeding and cloning, as well as flower isolation and testing layouts.


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