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Maintenance & Care of Wildflowers

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WildflowersCaring For Wildflowers

MAINTAINING A WILDFLOWER STAND

Field of Southern Perennial Black Eyed SusanMaintenance is an essential ingredient in the creation of a successful wildflower stand. The key to an effective, long-term wildflower maintenance program is evaluation and timely follow-up. The site should be evaluated periodically during the growing season to determine if expectations are being met.

Reseeding: Perennial plantings should be reseeded if there are bare spots in the area. It is best to reseed annuals every year if the long lasting color from annuals is desired. In the fall remove dead seed stalks and excessive plant material by mowing or cutting to a height of four to six inches. This will also allow the reseeding of any viable seeds.

Fall reseeding should be late enough so that annual seeds do not germinate until spring. If reseeding perennials be sure to allow 10-12 weeks of growing time to allow the plants to go dormant for the winter or wait until soil temperatures drop so germination does not occur. In the north the soil temperatures need to be low enough that the wildflower seeds will remain dormant until spring, then when the grounds warm up the seeds will germinate. Spring reseeding should be completed as soon as the ground is workable and after the last killing frost.

In areas with moderate winters, Wildflowers can be seeded in late Fall, resulting in an early spring blooming period and to take advantage of spring rainfall. An adjacent planting can be made that same spring to extend flowering blooms into Summer and Fall of the year.

Weed Control: A monthly program of weed control is essential to ensure a satisfactory display of wildflowers year after year. Weeds should be eliminated as soon as they can be recognized, either by pulling, spot-spraying with a general herbicide, or selective cutting with a string trimmer.

Supplemental Watering: Water is a critical factor in wildflower maintenance. In moist climates, regular rainfall may make supplemental watering unnecessary. In arid climates or during drought conditions, up to 1/2 inch of supplemental water per week may be required to maintain an optimal display.

Fertilization: Fertilizers are usually not necessary for wildflower plantings. However, if soil fertility is very low, a low nitrogen fertilizer can be used, or add organic matter such as compost. If you suspect a problem with soil fertility, we recommend a soil test and/or plant tissue analysis.

Fall Mowing and Cleanup: If a neat appearance is desired after the wildflowers have gone to seed, mow them to a height of four to six inches.


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HOW OFTEN TO RESEED WILDFLOWERS

Many people prefer the vibrant, long lasting colors that are provided by annuals. In most parts of North America, there is just one way to create annual wildflower color year after year...

By reseeding each year!

Exceptions to reseeding annually are the Pacific Coast and the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico, where annuals readily reseed on their own. Annuals can be reseeded in the spring or fall. Spring reseeding should be completed as soon as the ground is workable to take advantage of spring moisture. Remember that the planted area must be kept consistently moist for four to six weeks to ensure good germination. In cold climates, fall seeding should be quite late so germination does not occur until the following spring. In mild climates, planting annuals in the fall will ensure an early display in the spring. Important: follow our recommendations for appropriate planting rates because reseeding too heavily may cause crowding and poor growth.

If emphasizing perennials is your goal, inspect the planted area and roughly note the number and kinds of perennials growing there. Bare areas, if any, can be overseeded with the original planting mix or with a custom mix. Establishing a solid cover of perennials is one of the best ways to control weeds. When reseeding, some scarification of the soil surface may be necessary to ensure good seed-soil contact. A mixture of spring, summer, and fall-blooming perennial wildflowers will produce a changing display of color throughout the growing sea­son.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM PLANTING WILDFLOWERS

Wildflowers can provide an excellent, low cost alternative in large-scale, high main­tenance situations, as well as a satisfying change from traditional urban landscaping. However, during their initial establishment period, wildflowers require as much maintenance as traditional plantings. A smooth, weed and vegetation-free planting bed is important for good seed-soil contact and prompt germination. Avoid seeding more than the recommended rate since overseeding can result in crowded conditions the first year and poor establishment of perennials. Cover seeds lightly to protect them from drying out during germination, and to prevent them from being eaten by birds. Consistent moisture is important for 4 - 6 weeks after planting. A wildflower planting requires the same weed control measures as traditional land­scaping.

Effective measures include site preparation prior to planting and a post- germination maintenance program. Most of our wildflower mixes contain annual, biennial and perennial species. The annuals, which may not be native to your area, are included to assure maximum color during the first season and to act as a nurse crop for the slower-growing perennials. Annuals germinate quickly when conditions are favorable, providing a quick ground cover and competition against weeds. Annuals may come back to a limited degree the second year but generally will not be as dense as first year plantings. Natural reseeding of annuals ranges from significant to minimal, depending on the species, cli­mate, soil texture and other factors.

Most perennial and biennial species begin to bloom the second season, but not as profusely as annuals. Therefore, wildflower plantings will look noticeably different after the first year. Perennials do not normally bloom the first year. Sometimes it is desirable or even necessary to sow seed in second and subsequent years. Reseeding may be necessary if establishment of wildflowers is spotty or poor. It is possible to reseed bare areas with the original mixture. Loosen soil of bare areas and provide adequate weed control and supplemental irrigation as needed. Where natural reseeding of annuals is minimal, sowing annuals each spring can produce a magnificent annual and perennial display throughout the growing season. If desired, wildflowers may be mowed in the fall following seed set. Mow to a height of 4-6 inches, and leave the residue on the ground because it is a reservoir of viable seeds.

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PHOTOGRAPHS / NOTE: The color of wildflowers viewed in digital pictures on this site will vary depending on the monitor used and display settings.  The actual grow-out color of any wildflower species will depend on many unknown variables including site fertility, weather, time of year, lighting effects for the time of day, etc. Colors of any one wildflower usually will vary in shade from pictures available on this site or from the same or similar wildflowers grown at different locations. While we make every effort to try and present the most likely true color of wildflowers on this site, pictures shown are not guaranteed to be true to color.
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Garden Flowers

List of Wildflowers Individual Species
180+ Different Wildflower Varieties

 
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180+ Varieties
of Wildflowers
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Alyssum, Carpet-Snow
Alyssum, Dwarf Sw Pink
Alyssum, Dwarf Sw.Pur.
Alyssum, Sweet
Aster, Bigelow's
Aster, China
Aster, Golden
Aster, New England
Aster, Prairie
Aster, Sky Blue
Aster, Smooth
Aster, White Upland
Baby Blue-Eyes
Baby's Breath, Annual
Baby's Breath, PER.
Balsamroot, Arrowleaf
Basket of Gold
Beardtongue, Nar. Lf
Beeplant, Rocky Mtn.
Bellflower, Tussock
Bergamot
Bird's Eyes
Bishop's Flower
Black-Eyed Susan
Black-Eyed Susan Sw.
Black-Eyed Susan vine
Blazing Star
Blazing Star, Rough
Blood Flower
Bluebell, California
Bluebonnet, Texas
Boneset
Bundleflower, Illinois
Calendula
Candytuft, Annual
Candytuft, Perennial
Catchfly
Catchfly, Nodding
Chamomile, Roman
Chicory
Chinese Forget-me-not
Chinese Houses
Clarkia
Clarkia, Deerhorn
Clover, Crimson
Clover, Prairie Purple
Clover, Prairie White
Clover, Round Bush
Columbine, Blue
Columbine, Dwarf
Columbine, Eastern
Columbine, Mix Colors
Compass Plant
Coneflower, Clasping
Coneflower, Cutleaf
Coneflower, Dwarf Red
Coneflower, Grey-Head
Coneflower, MexicanHat
Coneflower, Narrow-lf
Coneflower, Pale Purple
Coneflower, Prairie
Coneflower, Purple
Coneflower, Yellow
Coreopsis, Dwarf Lance
Coreopsis, Dwarf Plains
Coreopsis, Red Plains
Coreopsis, Lance-leaf
Coreopsis, Plains
Cornflower - Polka Dot
Cornflower, Blue
Cornflower, Dwarf Blue
Cosmos
Cosmos, Dwarf
Cosmos, Sulphur
Cup Plant
Daisy, African
Daisy, Creeping
Daisy, Dwarf Shasta
Daisy, Engleman
Daisy, English
Daisy, Fleabane
Daisy, Garland
Daisy, Gloriosa
Daisy, Ox-Eye
Daisy, Painted
Daisy, Shasta
Daisy, Sleepy
Daisy, Yellow
Dame's Rocket
Edelweiss
Five-Spot
Flax, Blue
Flax, Lewis
Flax, Scarlet
Forget-Me-Not
Four-O'clock
Foxglove

Gaillardia, Annual
Gaillardia, Per. Dwarf
Gaillardia, Perennial
Gaillardia, Yellow
Gaura
Gayfeather
Gayfeather, Thickspike
Gilia
Gilia, Globe
Gilia, Scarlet
Globemallow, Goose Lf
Globemallow, Scarlet
Godetia, Dwarf
Godetia, Lilac
Goldeneye, Showy
Goldenrod, Rigid
Golden Alexander
Goldfields
Greenthread
Hyssop, Lavender
Indian Paintbrush
Iris, Wild Blue
Ironweed, Prairie
Johnny Jump-Up
Larkspur, Rocket
Larkspur, Western
Leadplant
Lupine, Arroyo
Lupine, Mountain
Lupine, Per. Purple
Lupine, Russell
Lupine, Yellow
Mallow, Tree
Maltese Cross
Marigold, Desert
Marigold, French
Milkweed, Butterfly
Milkweed, Showy
Milkweed, Swamp
Mint, Lemon
Monkeyflower
Nodding Pink Onion
Partridge Pea
Penstemon, Palmer
Penstemon, Rocky Mtn.
Penstemon, Shelf-Leaf
Penstemon, Smooth
Petunia, Wild
Phlox, Ann. Mix Colors
Phlox, Mountain
Phlox, Red Annual
Pinks, Cottage
Pinks, Fringed
Pinks Maiden
Pinks, Sweet William
Poppy, Calif. Orange
Poppy, Corn
Poppy, Dwarf California
Poppy, Iceland
Poppy, Oriental
Poppy, Red Corn
Poppy, Calif.Mix Colors
Primrose, Com. Evening
Primrose, Dwarf Evening
Primrose, Pale Evening
Primrose, Showy Even.
Primrose, Tall Evening
Rattlesnake Master
Rockcress, Purple
Rockcress, White
Sage, Blue
Sage, Pitcher
Sage, Scarlet
Sagewort, Prairie
Snapdragon, Spurred
Sneezeweed, Autumn
Snow -in-summer
Soapwort
Spiderwort, Ohio
Spiderwort, Prairie
Stock, Virginia
Sunflower
Sunflower, Maximilian
Sunflower, Ox-Eye
Sweet Blk-Eyed Susan
Sweet Pea, Perennial
Thyme, Creeping
Tickseed, Leavenworth

Tidy-Tips
Trefoil, Bird's Foot
Verbena, Moss
Vervain, Blue
Vervain, Hoary
Wallflower, English
Wallflower, Siberian
Yarrow, Gold
Yarrow, Red
Yarrow, Western
Yarrow, White
Zinnia, Classic
Zinnia, Creeping
Zinnia, Pumila Mix

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