Planting wildflowers is an easy way to add an extra splash of color and beauty to your garden. Most kinds of wildflowers are low-maintenance, drought-tolerant, and easy to grow. They even flourish in a variety of soil types and reward you with beautiful blooms throughout the growing season.
Wildflowers attract pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to your garden. Growing native wildflowers helps to support biodiversity, provide habitat for local wildlife, and preserve the local ecosystem. What’s more, they can also improve the health of your garden soil. Many wildflowers have deep root systems that help loosen and aerate the earth, improving its structure and fertility.
The best types of wildflowers to plant in your garden will depend on your climate, soil type, and the amount of sunlight your garden receives. Here are a few examples of popular wildflowers that are easy to grow in many areas.
Penstemons are perennial wildflowers that produce columns of colorful, tubular blooms from mid-spring through early summer. Penstemon is an excellent choice for attracting bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. They’re also deer-resistant.
These wildflowers thrive in full sun to partial shade and require well-draining soil. They prefer dry to medium moisture and should get fertilized once each spring. Penstemon plants grow between 1 and 3 feet tall and wide, depending on the variety.
Also called beardtongue, more than 270 species of penstemon are native to North America. Check with your local extension service to find out which ones are native to your area.
Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is a popular choice for butterfly gardens because it’s a host plant for several types of butterflies, including monarchs. Once mature, the plants grow about 1 to 3 feet tall by 2 to 3 feet wide.
This vibrant wildflower produces bright clusters of flowers from late spring through summer. The plants are deer-resistant and grow best in full sun and well-draining soil. It’s not usually necessary to give them extra fertilizer.
Goldenrod (Solidago) is a hardy, easy-to-grow perennial native to North America. Depending on the variety, the plants grow 1 to 5 feet tall by 1 to 3 feet wide.
Known for its bright yellow flowers and tall, spiky stems, it often appears in wildflower gardens and backyard meadows. The blooms attract pollinators and are a vital food source for native insects late in the growing season.
Goldenrod thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. It blooms from late summer through early fall. Along with being drought-tolerant and deer-resistant, goldenrod plants don’t usually require extra fertilizer.
Asters are popular fall-blooming perennials that produce gorgeous, daisy-like flowers in various colors, including white, pink, purple, and blue. They provide a burst of color in the garden when many other plants start to fade.
These versatile plants can be grown in a wide range of soil types and conditions, making them suitable for most landscapes. Give your asters about an inch of water per week and fertilize once each spring. Regularly removing spent blossoms encourages the plant to produce more flowers.
Most aster varieties grow between 1 and 4 feet tall, with some types reaching up to 6 feet tall. The plants typically measure between 1 and 3 feet wide.
Asters are native to North and South America, Europe, and Asia, with hundreds of species found worldwide. It’s always best to plant native wildflowers whenever possible, so find out which varieties grow in your region.
Blanket Flower (Gaillardia) is a beautiful and low-maintenance addition to any garden. These vibrant wildflowers produce bright, colorful pinwheel blossoms in shades of red, orange, yellow, or a combination of these colors. They bloom from early summer through mid-fall and grow 2 or 3 feet tall by 1 or 2 feet wide.
Blanket Flower grows best in full sun and well-draining soil. Once established, the plants don’t usually require extra fertilizer. These versatile wildflowers are remarkably drought-tolerant, making them an excellent choice for xeriscaping or areas with limited water. They’re also deer-resistant.
Grow Local and Plant Wildflowers
Planting a mix of wildflowers can provide a range of colors and textures in your garden throughout the growing season. There are numerous species of wildflowers to choose from, each with a unique appearance and bloom time. It’s a good idea to research the specific wildflowers that are native to your area, as these are well-adapted to the local growing conditions.
What are your favorite types of wildflowers to plant in your garden? Do you have any questions or recommendations about planting wildflowers? Please let us know in the comments!