Black-Eyed Susans, Sunflowers, and Foxglove are just a few of the wildflowers commonly seen in gardens. Not only do wildflowers provide some of the most beautiful colors seen in any garden, but they also provide homes to insects, and attract pollinators. All the while, they require less water and fertilizer than most flowers!
So, when is the perfect time to plant wildflowers in your garden? Well, they can actually be sown in Spring and Fall! These two seasons offer the best environments for wildflowers to thrive, depending on the specific species and location. Learn why these seasons can both be the perfect times to plant wildflower seeds.
Follow the Natural Cycle
During the Fall months, flowers naturally drop their seeds. The fallen seeds are then in the perfect state to germinate. Germination occurs throughout the Winter, which makes it possible for them to bloom in the Spring. It should be kept in mind, that most wildflowers will bloom about 60 to 80 days after being sown.
More Time to Plant in the Fall
While “April showers bring May flowers”, it’s the Autumnal months that, in general, provide the perfect climate for planting seeds. In fact, many gardeners say the Fall season is the most important when it comes to the majority of gardening projects. Plus, there is no need to worry about heavy April showers getting in the way of any gardening plans.
Planting in Cooler Climates
If you live in a cooler climate, it is recommended to wait until there is absolutely no chance of having freezing temperatures. If you plant them prematurely, and an unfortunate episode of freezing temperatures occurs, the chances of the wildflowers surviving, are slim to none. We understand you’ll be excited to get the process started, but trust us when we say to stay patient!
To help gauge if the time has come to safely start planting, use a thermometer to test the temperature of the soil. If it consistently reads 55°F, begin planting! A good rule of thumb is if the temperature has been trusted enough to begin growing tomatoes outdoors, it’s a sign that it’s safe to plant wildflower seeds.
Planting in Hotter Climates
For planting in hotter climates, it’s best to choose wildflowers that are native to hotter regions. In doing so, you will be planting wildflowers that are more drought-resistant, and will therefore have a greater chance of thriving. These packages may include seeds for “South of the Border” Zinnia, White Yarrow, African Daisy, and Wild Cosmos.
To make things easier for gardeners, many nurseries sell packages of seed mixtures full of dry area wildflowers. The packages may contain the seeds of wildflowers such as Wild Lupine, California Poppies, Scarlet Sage, Pale and Purple Coneflowers, and several others. Many of the wildflowers in these mixtures are wonderful for attracting butterflies. Therefore, not only do these wildflowers make the perfect sense for the type of area they will be planted in, they will aid in the care of butterflies.
1. A little tip for wildflowers? Less is more. Of course, the goal is to have an array of beautiful wildflowers. However, having too many seeds sown within the same space won’t help you accomplish this! While it seems like the proper thing to do, if there are too many seeds in one place, they will crowd one another. Thus, limiting their growth. We don’t want the seeds competing for space. Most packages of seed mix will provide the coverage rate to give an idea of how much seed should be planted within a certain amount of space. Take this information to heart!
2. Wildflowers love the sun! When looking for the perfect place to plant your seeds, check to see which part of the property receives at least six hours of sun. If this amount of sun simply isn’t possible for your location, ask if your store sells packages of “Partial Sun” Wildflowers seeds. This will give you a greater chance of having a flourishing garden.
3. Sand can be your friend. Mix a bit of dry sand with your seeds before planting, the ratio being 8:1. This will help with the visibility of what you scatter. If possible, you should use a seed spreader to make this easier.
4. If you’ve covered a large area, either walk or use a roller to press the seeds into the ground so they have proper contact with the soil.
5. Ensure the area receives a proper amount of water after planting. We don’t wish to flood the seeds out! Just a bit of water at the beginning of the growing process will help at the beginning.
To Sum Up
Wildflowers are truly beautiful and can make every garden look way better. It’s important you know when to plant them so you can enjoy their view in during these warm months. Even though planting is considered to be a job, make sure you have plenty of fun while doing it!