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How to plant your wildflowers.
By Stephanie Rinaldi
Cultivating Your Wildflower Dreams
Imagine: A soft, layered landscape. Rolling meadows glowing in sunlight and dotted with delicate, colorful blooms that sway in the wind. Pollinators of all varieties flit about, landing on leaves, dipping below petals, covering themselves in pollen or carting away nectar. A beekeeper’s dream and the joy of anyone with an eye for beauty or a mind toward the environment.
Imagine: Your yard, your garden border, your flowerbed or flowerpot. A place you claim for yourself and the pollinators. A place you plant up with delicate, colorful blooms of your own.
That’s our vision at NectarShare, and we know that’s true for many of you, as well. So, this blog is dedicated to you! We want to help you achieve that vision, whether on a large or small scale, with some tips on cultivating your wildflower dreams. Read on for three things we think will help.
- Timing and Placement
You can plant wildflowers in spring or autumn. Here in Central Virginia, we’re currently a few weeks ahead of schedule weather wise, so feel free to go out and get your seed going any time from now until the temperatures start climbing. Avoid planting your wildflowers in the dry heat of midsummer; the flowers need a decent amount of moisture to get established.
Give some thought to where you’re planting, as well. If you’re spreading the seed in a yard or field, try to get rid of as many weeds and grasses as possible. Select a nice sunny spot, either in the yard/field or for your planters. Remember those rolling meadows we imagined earlier; these flowers love that warm and nutritious sunlight.
If you’re planting in a yard or field, know that your wildflowers will grow more slowly than vegetation that is already established. If you’re planting in a planter or cleared garden bed, your wildflowers will still take a bit longer than you might think to fill out the space. Many wildflowers are perennials, which just need a bit more time than the annuals we’re sometimes used to. It’s ok to mix in some annuals with your wildflower seeds so you have something nice to look at while you wait.
- Plant Identification (there’s an app for that!)
As with anything we plant, weeds are likely to find their way in and among your wildflowers. As things grow and begin to bloom, be prepared to remove any non-beneficial or invasive weeds. Just be sure you don’t accidentally get rid of some of your flowers! Young plants may look different than mature ones, so it’s worth a second glance before ripping something out. If you’re not confident in plant identification, don’t worry, I’m not either. I use an app called PictureThis and it’s almost always correct. (They don’t sponsor us or anything, I just really love that app).
These are just some basic tips for getting started, and if you have any questions we are always around to help via email. If you haven’t already purchased wildflower seeds, NectarShare and PollenBox both come with them, along with some other cool stuff.
Thanks so much for supporting pollinators; we can’t wait to see your flowers in bloom!