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Garden FAQ

Garden Science: breeding, self watering vs. friend watering, hybrid islands, flower availability, trees, bushes, layouts

animal crossing, games, flowers, guide, ACNH

Garden Science

Garden FAQ

FAQ upkept by Discord: sʇolᴉԀ#6938 or Instagram: GreyIsleGardner

Waterjar#2219 and Chelidonia#1602 are also able to edit this document

Table of Contents

Outdated Guides

General Info

Gold Roses

Self Watering vs. Friend Watering

Hybrid Islands

Flower Availability








Someone told me to read this FAQ??

It means your question has been answered. You can CTRL+F or use the bookmark outline (Button on top left) to find your question quicker.

If your question hasn’t been answered, it means we don’t know yet or don’t have enough conclusive evidence to confirm it. We are spending our free time researching virtual game flowers, do not get frustrated or impatient with us when we don’t answer your question.

Direct link to compiled list of garden documents


Does this guide still work / accurate / right?

If you see the guide listed here, it’s outdated / wrong.

Okay but what about these videos??

Many videos concerning AC:NH flower breeding are inaccurate. Read more breeding videos reviews in this Breeding Video Review doc.

Okay, so those don’t work, which ones do?

All visuals made by @Peach-n-key have and @yuecrossing been looked over, confirmed and approved by gardeners in #garden-science-discussion! These visuals can be found in the #garden-science pins or in their imgur albums!

Peach’s album

Yue’s album

Many other approved visuals can be found in the pins and in #garden-science-info as well, give them a look!

All the guides are missing my combo! / Why did __ flower make __ flower??

There are over ten thousand breeding combinations (no, seriously). The guides show the quickest breeding combo to get a particular color. Listing them all (while keeping track of ancestry) would be tedious and redundant. (See Aeon’s Simulator or Back’s Hairball Guide.)


What are all the colors / types of flowers?

What does it mean to breed?

People often think breeding means to “produce new hybrid colors”. Breeding actually means to “produce offspring using two parent flowers”. Hybrids with different colors just take up only a portion of those offspring.

Two flowers will breed if they are touching in any direction. For example, the red rose in the image will try to breed with any rose in the 8 neighbouring tiles. If you place a rose in one of the spots marked in the image by the white rose, the two roses can breed.

How often do I need to water my flowers?

Just once a day. You’ll know a flower is watered by seeing sparkles on their petals.

When can I start watering my flowers?

You can start watering your flowers to produce new offspring once you see the color of their buds. Watering from the time you plant them also has benefits as it allows them to have a higher chance of reproduction sooner. (Photo examples below.)

When do flowers spawn?

All flower breeding and growths happen during the first loading screen of the day, no further changes will happen while you're playing or during subsequent loading screens.

Do flowers wilt?

They do not wilt in NH.

People are saying “start over from seed flowers”. Why?

The reason you should start from seeds is that flowers have genes. You can have two flowers that look exactly the same but have very different genes, and you have no way of knowing their genes unless you started from seed flowers or mystery island flowers (which have fixed genes) and you kept track of the offsprings’ genes by knowing which parents produced them.

I haven’t been keeping track of my flowers at all! Should I start over?

Yes, for your sanity and ours. Start over and do your best to keep track.

Is it better to breed x with x to get more of x?

If you have two of the same colored flower and you want more of that color, it’s better to clone them instead of breeding them together. Read more about this below.

What does it mean to clone a flower?

Unlike other Animal Crossing games, New Horizons introduced self-cloning. When a flower is not touching another flower of its same species in its surrounding tiles OR if its surrounding flowers are locked, there’s a chance the flower will clone (see below for explanation of ‘locking’). You can purposefully clone by isolating a flower and watering it daily for an average 14.8% chance.

What flowers can’t clone? What flowers can you clone?

Lilies of the Valley and Gold Roses can’t clone. The rest of the flowers can be cloned.

What's the difference between breeding and cloning?

Cloning only happens when a flower is selected to breed but can't find an available partner in range. It can happen with a bad layout (like the X layout or the checkerboard) or it can be an intentional method to get more of the same flower. In both cases, the new flower will have exactly the same genes of the parent.

Sometimes, a pair of flowers can produce a new flower that looks like one of the parents - this is not cloning, this is still breeding. The new flowers got half of the genes from one parent and half from the other, so even if the color is the same the new flower could be very different. This is why some paths to rare flowers have "hybrid reds" or "hybrid yellows"

What does it mean when a flower is locked?

When a flower is locked, it means it has already bred with a flower therefore becomes unavailable to breed with any other flowers during the update cycle. This is only important / happens during the update cycle of the day, 5am or when you first open your game. You want to keep “locking” in mind when creating patterns (see “Why Xs are worse than Diamonds?”) as it can create unwanted clones (See above questions.)

The significance of locking is that, during the day update process (when flowers grow and breed), if the game successfully pairs the middle red with 1 of the white roses for breeding, these 2 get locked, so all the remaining white roses will no longer have a valid partner to breed with. Not only that. once the red one gets locked, the whites will no longer have a valid partner to breed with, so they'll attempt to clone. depending on what you're breeding, you may not want your parent flowers to clone because it may get mixed up with the children flowers that you want if they're the same color.

What does it mean when a flower “rolls”?

Think of rolling a 6-sided dice. In order for a flower to produce an offspring, it needs to roll a 6. If it doesn’t roll a 6, it doesn’t produce an offspring! If it does roll a 6, next it looks for space! If it finds space, it looks for a partner. If there is a partner nearby (surrounding 8 blocks), it’ll breed with that flower. If it finds space but can’t find a partner, it may self clone.

Is there a cap to how many flowers can spawn each day?

No cap!

Can I start breeding with the flowers that are on my island?

You could, as any flower except gold roses and lilies of the valley can breed. However, be cautious when using them for breeding projects as they could have bred with the surrounding flowers after rain, preventing you from tracking genetics in a reliable way. (When in doubt, just scrap them all and start from seed.)

Can I start breeding with basic colour flowers I bring back from Nook islands?

Yes, their genes are also the same as those from seeds.

Someone plucked my flowers! / Someone trampled my flowers! When can they start breeding again?

Sorry to hear that! Flowers are ready to breed again when you can see their bud’s color. The empty buds should show color the next day. Here are some examples of empty buds next to colored buds for better understanding:

How do I get Lily of the Valley?

You can get Lily of the Valley (LotV) by getting a 5-star island. Slowly more of these flowers will spawn around your island as you hold a 5-star rating. (Rate at which they spawn is still TBD.)

Does Lily of the Valley increase chances / do anything?

No, they don't do anything in NH and are just for aesthetics.

Gold Roses

Do gold roses clone?


My black rose gave me a gold rose though I didn't water it with the golden can yesterday. Why?

If you watered your Black Roses with a GWC then this is totally normal! Black roses “remember” when they were watered by a golden watering can. They hold onto that “memory” forever until they produce a gold rose. If you bought them recently, the previous owner could have watered with a golden watering can before selling them to you! The Black Roses will still carry that “memory” even when moved to another island.

Can I still water my Black Roses with a golden watering can even if it’s raining?

Yes! The Black Rose will still hold onto the “memory” of being watered with a golden can, rain will not override this or cancel it out.

Someone plucked / trampled my Gold Rose!! Will it grow back?

Yes, it will grow back as a gold rose in NH.

How do I make a Golden Rose?

You water a black rose with a golden watering can. The black rose, when selected to breed with other roses or clone itself, will have a 50% chance of producing a gold rose instead of a normal offspring/clone. For this reason, the best way to optimize your gold rose production is having the black roses in a cloning layout (see more on cloning in the section above)

How can I get a golden watering can?

You can get the golden watering can recipe by having a 5-star island!


Wow, there’s a confirmed bonus if your friends water your flowers???


What are the rates of x friends watering?

They add a bonus to your chances of your flowers producing an offspring. (When 5 friends water, you may get big sparkles on your flowers, this is normal.)

Garden FAQ
Tags Animal crossing, Games, Flowers, Guide, ACNH
Type Google Doc
Published 19/10/2020, 05:07:23


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