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How to Select the Right Wildflowers For You
Wildflowers can add pops of color and support pollinators and wildlife. The key to growing beautiful wildflowers is selecting the right wildflowers for your area. Here are some factors before buying wildflower seeds for sale.
- Grow zone and region: Most wildflower seed mix packets list the hardiness zone the flowers will grow. Make sure to select a mix that's compatible with your zone. Some wildflower mixes are also suited for certain regions of the United States, such as the Southeast or Southwest.
- Sunlight: Determine how much direct sunlight your planting area receives each day. Full sun is considered 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight while shaded areas receive less than 2 hours of direct sunlight. Select a mix that will grow in your light conditions.
- Rainfall and soil conditions: While some wildflowers thrive in average to dry conditions, others prefer damp or wet conditions.
- Wildlife benefits: Many gardeners plant wildflowers to attract and support pollinators and bees. Others want to attract hummingbirds or provide food for birds and other wildlife.
- Size and color: Some wildflowers grow 3 ft. tall or taller, while others are shorter. Wildflowers are also available in a range of colors.
- Other factors: Many gardeners enjoy cutting flowers for indoor displays, and grow wildflowers that are also long-lasting cut flowers. If deer are a challenge in your area, you might want to consider deer-resistant wildflower mixes.
How to Plant Wildflower Seeds
Before planting wildflower seeds, read the planting directions on the seed packet and gather your garden supplies. A broadcast seed spreader is helpful. The first step when planting wildflower seeds is to eliminate weeds in the planting area. Broadcast the wildflower seeds evenly over the area and gently rake them into the soil. Gently pack the soil so that the seeds have good contact with the soil. Cover with a light layer of straw and water well.
When to Plant Wildflower Seeds
In most areas of the country, wildflower seeds are planted in the spring or fall. Wildflower seed that is planted in the fall tends to bloom earlier in the growing season than spring-planted seeds. When planting wildflower seeds, check your seed packet for specific instructions.
Perennial vs. Annual Wildflower Mix
Wildflowers may be perennial (blooming year after year) or annual (completing their bloom cycle in one year). Perennial wildflowers often take more time to become established. If establishing a meadow planting, then perennial wildflowers are preferred. Annual wildflowers are great for a pop of color. Sometimes gardeners plant annual wildflowers in a section of their vegetable garden. Wildflower seed mixes often contain both annual and perennial wildflowers.