Wildflower gardens are wildly popular. They are beautiful and take less maintenance than specialty gardens. Some gardeners will reject the idea of planting wildflowers, considering them as little more than weeds. It is important to note, that in reality, every flower is a wildflower.
A wildflower is simply a flower that grows naturally in a particular place. Every state, region, and the country has a variety of lovely wildflowers that specifically grow in that area.
What do you want from your garden?
Of course, your answer will be bright and beautiful flowers. In order to get a bright and beautiful wildflower garden, you need to attract pollinators. Before you plant, determine which flowers attract the pollinators you desire.
- Hummingbirds seek red flowers.
- Bees are attracted to yellow and blue flowers
- Butterflies are drawn to bright groups of flowers and tubular blooms
This is important to know in order to have the garden you can enjoy. If you have a bee allergy, you probably do not want a garden full of Sunflowers.
When you are ready to buy wildflower seeds, it is best to order them from a quality company. You can buy traditional seed packets, and know you are getting quality seeds that will grow. You also have an opportunity to speak to experts that will help you decide what to plant. Many seed mixtures are available which allow you to plant a variety of flowers at one time.
Three flowers every gardener will love.
- Ox-Eye Daisy
- These beautiful white flowers with the yellow center are easy to grow. They are strong and will grow almost anywhere. You will often see them growing along the sides of the road. They are the popular flower you see people plucking to do the “she loves me, she loves me not” game. They are hearty, tough, and beautiful.
- Purple Coneflower
- These flowers come in several varieties and they are often seen in wildflower gardens. They are drought resistant, so they grow well even in dry climates. They have a large center cone of yellow/gold and the petals are a light purple with a pink hue. They attract butterflies and bees and they are deer friendly. If you plant the Purple Coneflower in February, you can expect a mid-summer bloom.
- Blue Cornflower
- For a beautiful and bright blue bloom that is often seen in paintings, plant the Blue Cornflower. These stunning flowers are easy to grow. They attract all kinds of birds (including and especially the American Goldfinch) giving you a picture-perfect garden. They are a bold flower that grows to about 28” to 36” tall.
While you may plant these flowers as primary plants, you can also add wildflower mixes to grow around them. Speak to your seed vendor about which flowers will compliment these best and consider the area in which you live.
When you plant your wildflower garden, the seeds are spread on top of the soil. If you have a large area, a seed spreader is a good option. You can lightly compress the seeds into the soil so they will grow evenly, but be sure you do not bury them.
- Know when your first frost date is expected. It can make a difference in the plants you choose.
- Survey your area and select a spot that gets at least 6-hours of direct sunlight.
- Until your seedlings are about 4-inches tall, you will need to lightly water them. Do not overwater them or saturate the soil. After they reach 4-inches tall, they will survive on natural rain.
Growing a wildflower garden is an easy way to add beauty to any landscape, with little effort. But now is the time to do your fall planting, so get started soon.
Contributed by Claire Adams