Animal Crossing: New Horizons, How to Breed More Flowers With Friends

Visitors to your personal island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons can actually help you grow your flowers faster. Here's how.

New gardening technology has been discovered by fans of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Fans have discovered a way to use the power of friendship to make your flowers cross-pollinate faster.

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Well, not literally. You don’t stand around and hug the flowers into productivity. Still, with the help of a few visitors, you can breed new flowers faster than ever before.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons, How to Breed More Flowers With Friends

If you’ve been getting really into your flower garden in New Horizons, whether you’re sending gratitude or just decorating your island, you’ve probably dipped into the world of hybridization before now.

To race through it: your island has a single native flower species that only grows at high elevations, but you can’t reach it until you learn how to make a ladder from Tom Nook. Once you’ve got that, you can use a shovel to pick up the whole flower and bring it with you to lower ground. You can also buy up to three more kinds of flowers, in three different colors each, by upgrading Nook’s Cranny.

There are a total of eight kinds of flowers in the game, and like a lot of other facets of New Horizons, you’re meant to complete your selection by trading seeds with other players.

By default, every flower in the game comes in red, white, and yellow-orange colors. You can expand their palette via creating hybrids, however, in a variety that’s specific to each flower’s species.

When you water a planted flower, it can pollinate and spread to any unoccupied tile that surrounds it, in a nine-tile grid. However, if there’s another flower within five tiles of it, the two flowers may cross-pollinate and spawn a new color.

The current thinking on the matter in the fan community is to plant your flowers in a diagonal grid formation, leaving plenty of unoccupied space between each one, and to water them every day. It may take a while for this to work, but eventually, you’ll get something new. When you’ve successfully grown a flower, you’ll see buds emerge from the soil, which will fully sprout the next day.

If you’ve unlocked a gold watering can, you can plant a rose garden in order to farm it for rare black roses. If you cross-pollinate black roses and water them with a gold can, you can get a rare golden rose. These can be sold for 1,000 Bells each, or simply used as a decoration to bling out your island.

Over the course of growing flowers, fans have discovered that there’s a hidden mechanic in play that dramatically speeds up the rate at which your flowers grow. It’s now been tested and the math appears to be sound.

If you water your own flowers, you have a 5% flat chance that the flower will reproduce and plant buds on adjacent tiles. If you invite other players to your island, however, and have them also water your garden with you, it dramatically increases the odds of growing new flowers. That, in turn, raises the chance that your flowers will cross-pollinate and spawn new hybrid colors.


Grow Rate











5 or more


You’ll be able to tell that your flowers are getting this benefit, because they’ll sparkle in new and different colors while they’re being watered.

As such, if you’re working to create hybrid flowers, whether it’s to decorate your island, send gratitude, sell for profit, or just for its own sake, it helps to make new friends. Form a chain of island travelers to hang out on one another’s islands and water your plants to ensure a big new harvest.

We’re still learning a lot about New Horizons, ranging from weird flower techniques like this one to the secrets behind the gold tools. Check out our game hub for more information, including:

In retrospect, I kind of wish more things in Animal Crossing: New Horizons actually did literally involve the power of friendship. You could just hang out and spam the “joy” emote in your friends’ gardens to encourage the flowers to grow faster. A Care Bear Stare could be involved. Share your personal gardening tips with us via our official Twitter, @PrimaGames.

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Thomas Wilde
Thomas has been writing about video games in one capacity or another since 2002. He likes survival horror, Marvel Comics, and 2D fighters, so that one part of Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite where Spider-Man teams up with Frank West and Chris Redfield was basically his fanboy apotheosis. He has won World War II 49 separate times.