Your Year Around Flower and Garden Guide

Wildflower Gardens

One of the easiest ways to grow beautiful mounds of flowers, wildflower gardening offers special appeal. Because wildflowers are hardier than most annuals, wildflower gardening is a very low maintenance way to grow flowers.

Most types of wildflowers flourish with little fertilization and are also likely to have natural pest repellants and built-in immune properties that guard them from garden pathogens.

wildflowersNatural wildflower gardens seem to look unplanned. Yet nature has a way of easily melding colors, textures and sizes of wildflowers into one luxurious bouquet. Follow these few tips to imitate Mother Nature and grow a successful wildflower garden of your own.

Wildflower gardening is most successful in a natural-habitat

Grow wildflowers in a spot similar to where you'd fine them in the wild. Some wildflowers, like primrose, hug the banks of a rocky outcropping and bloom profusely in springtime while others, like Columbine, do best when climbing the trunk of a shady tree! Wildflowers like flax and lupine seem to reach for the sun and relish hot, arid locations and other pixie-like wildflowers peek at you from shady homes underneath shrubs and other sheltering foliage and flowers.

It only takes from two to six weeks for most wild flower seeds to germinate, so plan in advance. Some seeds require scarifying by rubbing them in between sheets of sandpaper. Another type may need a cold-storage period in damp conditions before germination occurs. Save time, money, and effort by researching different seed-starting requirements before you begin wildflower gardening.

Planting wildflower seeds

Begin sowing seeds for wild flower gardening in early spring for northern regions of the United States. Southern and western states may call for fall planting to better ensure successful wild flower gardening.

Rather than a "patch", grow wildflowers in a larger "stand" for best visual effect. Clear all existing vegetation where you want to begin your wild flower gardening. Next, rake or till the soil to a shallow depth, usually no more than an inch.

One of the wonderful things about wildflowers is the ease of planting the seed. No lining up rows or deep digging, the best way to plant wildflowers is to broadcast the seed. Depending on your soil composition, mix wildflower seeds with sand, perlite, or potting soil at one part seed to four parts other material. Because many wildflower seeds are tiny, this helps you evenly distribute the seed and keeps the wind from catching your seeds before they hit ground.

Spread the wildflower seed uniformly in one direction, and then sow crossways from the first direction. Gently walk across your garden or better, use a roller to firm your wildflower seeds into the soil. Take care not to set your wildflower seeds too deep, since some seeds need sunlight to germinate and too much moisture will cause others to decay at depths over one-sixteenth inch.

After you've finished sowing, lightly water your wildflower seed garden. Once established, watering periodically during especially dry weather may be the only care your wildflower garden needs! Nature's adaptation factors provide built-in survivability in most wildflower gardening.

A garden full of blooming native wildflowers proves easy to grow and easy to maintain. Best of all, a wildflower garden paints your landscape with decades of natural beauty.