Frequently Asked Questions: All About Wildflower Seed
What is a wildflower meadow?
Meadows were grasslands which were mown for hay (and then removed) and thereafter - generally - grazed. They were "unimproved" - that's to say, they weren't treated with chemicals. This meant they had a range of mostly perennial wildflowers growing in them along with meadow grasses. Today, people also sow "pictorial meadows", which are comprised of a mix of native and non-native flowers.
Can you put wildflower seeds on a lawn?
Of course you can. They just won't produce wildflowers - it's a waste of your time and money. Well OK - occasionally it might work to a degree, but it's a 1 in a 100 shot and you have to be clever, with conditions that suit. Maybe plug plants might work better. Maybe, but maybe not. Please call us and we can talk you through it.
Is it difficult to make and manage a wildflower meadow?
There's a myth about this. The short answer is no, absolutely not - if you follow guidance. The one major caveat to this is if you have fertile soil, in which case all bets are off.
How long does it take for wildflowers to grow from seed?
Annual wildflowers like poppies and cornflowers will flower around 60 days after seeding in spring. I know - great. Perennials are very different, though. A few will flower in their first year but some won't even germinate until year two. Be patient.
When should I sow a wildflower meadow?
Sow when the soil is warm and moist. Historically, this can typically be March/April/May and in the autumn. We happily sow on lighter soils in September right through to the end of October (sometimes even longer), but on heavy wet clay don't sow after September. Autumn sowing is optimal - it's what nature does, after all. There as some species which need to get cold before they germinate.
Do wildflowers come back every year?
Yes and no. Wildflower seed mixes often contain annuals and perennials. Perennials will flower again and again, year after year. Simples. These are the plants of meadows. Annuals like poppies only flower once then conk out. If you then agitate the soil their seed will germinate and they'll flower the following year.
Will wildflowers grow in shade?
Yes, but not meadow species, which need full sun. You need more woodland edge plants.
How do you make a wildflower meadow?
Gosh - we've got loads of information on this one, including the pros and cons of wildflower turf.