Everything about Wildflowers and How to Plant Them
Having a wildflower meadow can make your garden looks attractive. But, some home gardeners are not always interested in having it. Most of them prefer the hybrid species of flowering plants because they are beautiful and more resistant to diseases and pests. But, wildflowers are actually interesting and available in various colors. Moreover, the process of how to plant wildflowers is easy to do.
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What You Must Know about Wildflowers
To have a blooming wildflower meadow, you must not only know about how to plant wildflowers. But, you must also understand more about these flowers. With a better understanding, you will be able to plant the plants on the right planting site. Moreover, you will also be able to take care of them properly.
These are several facts about wildflowers you need to know.
1. What is a Wildflower?
A wildflower is any flower that grows in the wild. It is usually native to the region. That’s why different regions usually have different wildflowers. Since it is a native plant, it is easier to plant. It even sometimes grows in your garden without you planting it.
This particular flower is not a hybrid. Therefore, it is more delicate compared to the hybrid or chosen varieties. In consequence, you will likely find that this flower will not last long in a vase. Moreover, the existence of certain wildflowers is endangered. As a result, they need to be conserved.
Wildflower is actually a term used by common people. Botanically, they are termed differently. Different wildflowers with similar characteristics are grouped differently. Some of them are labeled as native species. Moreover, others are labeled as invasive species. You will also find certain wildflowers labeled as naturalized, imported, and introduced species.
2. Why You must Plant Wildflowers
Wildflowers are not very popular among some home gardeners for several reasons. One of them is that they don’t know how to plant wildflowers. Moreover, some people are afraid that the wildflowers will become too invasive in their garden.
Actually, there are some advantages of growing this kind of flowers. That’s why you must plant wildflowers. Here are some of those advantages.
Make Your Garden More Attractive
Wildflowers are available in various species. They have flowers in different colors and shapes. Therefore, having wildflowers will make your garden more beautiful. To ensure that you grow beautiful wildflower garden, you must make sure that you have the right selections of wildflowers.
Help You Minimize Lawn Mowing
This type of flowers can be planted in various areas as long as they meet the growing conditions. You can even plant wildflowers in grass lawns. If you do it, you will have a meadow of beautiful wildflowers. And the best thing about it is that you will not need to mow your lawn.
Support Pollinators and Ecosystem
Many wildflowers are natives of the region. Therefore, they support the ecosystem in the region they live in. As a result, other creatures will get some supports from them. For example, the nectar of wildflowers feed native bees of the region and other pollinators.
In consequence, growing these flowers will not only support the ecosystem and pollinators. It will also help the pollination of your other plants in the garden. As a result, you will be able to have better yield of your crops.
Creating a wildflower field is very easy. You only need to get a mix of wildflower seeds. After that, you can plant them in your lawn. They don’t need much watering or fertilizing. Therefore, you don’t need to spend too much time in taking care of them.
In addition, most wildflowers are annual plants. They will die when the weather is colder. But, before they withered, the flowers will go to seeds. Those seeds will likely drop to the ground. And in the spring, the seeds will germinate on their own without you need to plant them. As a result, you don’t need to repeat the whole process of how to plant wildflowers.
3. When and Where to Plant Wildflowers
Wildflowers may be easy to grow. However, before you start the steps of how to plant wildflowers, you need to know when and where to plant them.
The Best Time to Plant Wildflowers
The best time to plant wildflower seeds is in the spring. It is essential to make sure that the soil in your garden is warm enough, above 13o C. Moreover, the soil must be able to be prepared. If you sow the seeds properly, you will see the sprouts in 1 to 3 weeks.
Planting wildflowers at the right time is important. It is because the annual ones take 6 to 12 weeks to bloom. If you are late in planting the seeds, you will have higher risk of not seeing the flowers blooming. But, if you are too early in sowing the seeds, the germination of the seeds will not be successful.
Where to Plant Wildflowers
This type of flowering plants usually need direct full sun to thrive. Therefore, you must plant them in sunny spots. Moreover, you need to make sure that the wildflowers will get at least 6 hours of sun per day.
There are choices of areas in which you can plant wildflowers. One of them is your lawn. Planting them in the lawn is perfect for you who don’t need a playground. It is also perfect for you who don’t want to mow your lawn over and over again.
Moreover, you can also plant them on a border of your property, along the driveways, and a sloping area. Growing these flowers in sloping areas will minimize the risk of erosion. Whichever the area you choose, you can plant them in either a large or small area.
Wildflowers are tolerant to various soil conditions. However, you need to make sure that the soil in which you plant them has good drainage. Moreover, they must not be planted in hard soil. If you have this kind of soil, you need to till it first.
In addition, wildflowers are not greedy plants. Therefore, they can grow in an area which is low in nutrients. However, for better result, you had better enrich the soil with certain fertilizer before you plant the wildflower seeds.
4. Popular Wildflowers
There are thousands of wildflower species that can be planted. However, not all of them are suitable for your hardiness zones. In consequence, you need to choose the right seeds before you perform the process of how to plant wildflowers. These are some of the popular wildflowers that you can grow.
Daisy is one of the popular wildflowers that you can plant. One of the daisy varieties that you can grow is shasta daisy. It has simple but beautiful flowers. They have white petals with yellow center. These flowers usually bloom in the summer. This daisy variety is a perennial plant. Therefore, you will be able to see it bloom each summer.
If you want to have a beautiful wildflower meadow, you must have some forget me not plants on it. This particular flowering plant has delicate blue flowers with yellow center that bloom in the spring.
Just watching them sway in the wind will make you feel more relaxed. This plant is tolerant to partial shade. Moreover, they grow well in a humid environment and moist soil.
One of the aster varieties that can make your wildflower field looks beautiful is fall aster. This flowering plant has beautiful purple flowers. They usually bloom in the fall. Therefore, your meadow will still look amazing even after the summer blooms have finished their blooming.
The best place to plant this flowering plant is in partially shaded areas. Moreover, you need to make sure that the soil is loamy, well-drained, and stay moist. Fall aster flowers will attract pollinators. Therefore, this plant is a great companion plant for your other plants.
This flowering plant looks attractive with its white flowers. Moreover, the bell-shaped flowers look a bit unusual. These flowers usually bloom in early spring. Mostly, this particular plant is planted from bulbs. You can plant it in the spring or in the fall. It is important to remember that the bulb of snowdrop is poisonous.
This particular flower is one of the beautiful wildflowers that you must have in your garden. They have two different types of flowers in one plant, i.e. the male flowers and female flowers. These goblet-shaped flowers have yellow petals. But, in different regions, you may find native primrose with pink petals or white petals.
Primrose will bloom between March and May. This perennial plant is pretty hardy and tolerant to drought. Moreover, it is adapted to various soil conditions. You can plant them in moist or dry and rich or poor soil. But, it must be well-drained. In addition, they need full sun.
If you need bold colored flowers in your wildflower meadow, you must grow blanket flowers. This particular plant has two-toned petals in several choices. One of them is yellow and dark orange. But, you can also get one in yellow and red or pink.
The shape of this flower is almost similar to the sunflower. However, the size of the blanket flowers is smaller than the sunflower size. In addition, it requires full sun to thrive. Moreover, the soil must be well-drained and loose.
5. Tips on Growing Wildflowers
If you want to be more successful in growing wildflowers, you can follow these tips. Following these tips will also help you perform the steps of how to plant wildflowers easier.
Choose Natives of Your Regions
When you shop for wildflower seeds, you will likely find wildflower seed mixes. Each of the packets is usually labeled as native to certain region. In consequence, you need to choose one that is native to your regions. Choosing it will allow you to have better chance of success in planting the seeds.
It is because your area meets the required growing condition for the wildflowers. Moreover, it also helps you to minimize your time and energy in caring for them. One of the reasons is that your native wildflower will grow effortlessly without you do many things in taking care of them.
If you are planning to have a wildflower meadow, you must make sure that you plant the flower seeds in the right density. If they are too dense, they may not have enough nutrients from the soil. But, if the plants are not dense enough, your meadow will be a bit uninteresting.
To plant the wildflowers in the right density, you need to read the package of the wildflower seed packet. From this package, you will know how much coverage offered by the seeds in the packet. Moreover, you need to consider spreading the seeds using a spreader.
Wildflowers usually are easy to plant and tolerant to various conditions. But, it is important for you to clean the planting site from rocks, weeds, and dirt. Therefore, the roots of those flowering plants will be more established.
Beware of Poisonous Wildflowers
Certain wildflowers are poisonous. In consequence, you need to avoid them, especially if you have small kids. To avoid it, you must browse more info about the wildflowers that you are going to plant. In addition, you must make sure that the wildflowers you plant are not the invasive varieties.
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How to Plant Wildflowers
Growing wildflowers is easy if you know the steps of how to plant wildflowers. Before the planting begin, you need to choose to plant perennial wildflowers or annual wildflowers. If you choose perennial seed mixes, you will be able to see the blooms next year. But, if you choose annual seed mixes, you will see the blooms in as early as 6 weeks.
Once you get the seeds, you can follow these steps of how to plant wildflowers.
1. Preparing The Planting Spot
Preparing the planting spot for wildflowers is almost similar when you are preparing the lawn for planting grass. You need to lose the top inch soil using a rake or a shovel. Wildflowers may be tolerant to poor soil. But, if you think that your soil is too poor, you can add nitrogen-low fertilizer before planting the seeds.
2. Planting The Seeds
Once you have the soil ready, you need to follow these steps.
- Mix 1 part of wildflower seeds with 5 parts of sand.
- Spread the seeds evenly. In smaller planting spot, you can spread them by hands. But, if you are going to plant them in a large area, you can spread them by a spreader.
- Walk over the mix of sand and seeds in order to press the wildflower seeds to the soil. In a large area, you can use a seed roller.
3. Caring for Wildflowers
To ensure that the seeds germinate successfully, you need to keep the soil moist. In consequence, you need to water the soil regularly. But, you must not let it soaking wet.
After the seedlings are about 4 or 6 inches tall, you don’t need to water the soil. The rain will give them sufficient amount of water. But, you need to water it once in a week if there is no rain.
You don’t need to fertilize the soil at this stage. But, you need to pay attention on weeds. It is essential to remove weeds from the planting site. If they are not removed, they will disturb the growth of the wildflowers.
If you plant annual wildflowers, it is important to know that they will die in winter or after they develop seeds. In this case, let them die naturally. Once they are withered, you can pull them off the soil.
Don’t forget to shake the plants when pulling them off. Therefore, the seeds will drop to the soil. If you do it, you don’t need to sow the seeds again next spring.
Growing wildflowers is a great way to make your garden looks more attractive. They may don’t have the beauty of hybrid flowering plants. But, a mix of various wildflowers will add more color to your garden.
And most importantly, they will attract pollinators which may be beneficial for your other plants.
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