Tips For Successful Wildflower Seed Germination

Whether you’re sowing wildflower seeds in a meadow, garden borders, or patio pots, it’s vital to ensure that you facilitate optimum environmental conditions for germination. The biggest challenge to the establishment of all wildflower seeds is dominant grass species. Because of this, it’s important to prepare the soil and remove any traces of vegetation before sowing your wildflower seeds. Do not cultivate the ground too heavily as this can uncover dormant grass and weed seeds which will then germinate with your wildflowers and provide unwanted competition.

Wildflowers thrive in poorer soil conditions so do not add fertiliser or compost to the area prior to sowing. If possible, rake over the area and leave it for a few weeks to see if any dormant seeds germinate. Remove any growth and then sow your wildflower seeds.

Factors which affect successful wildflower seed germination

If the following conditions are met, most wildflower seeds can be sown from April to September.

Competition: ensure the ground is free from docks, thistles, nettles, and dormant grass seeds.
Temperature: the ground temperature should be above 12 degrees.
Moisture: dampen the soil before sowing and maintain soil moisture until the plants have established.
Soil contact: rake over the area prior to planting and cover the seeds with a sprinkling of fine soil after sowing.
Sowing depth: ensure the seeds are sitting just below the surface of the soil.

Some wildflowers are more dominant than others and some are more sensitive to factors such as soil fertility and competition.

The level of shade, sunshine, annual rainfall and interference from insects and animals can also affect germination. For this reason, the composition of our own mixtures will vary year on year.

Three simple steps to sowing 100% native wildflower mixtures

Sowing wildflower seeds in a meadow

To enhance or rewild an area of meadow with native wildflowers, start by mowing the ground and raking out any existing thatch (dead grass and mosses). Consider planting yellow rattle, nature’s ‘meadow-maker’, and letting it establish prior to sowing wildflower seeds as it’s known to weaken grass species allowing wildflower species space to thrive.

To help the yellow rattle seeds embed within the already established meadow, scarify the area to expose some soil and scatter a mixture of yellow rattle seeds and sand at a ratio of 1:4 to encourage even distribution.

If you are sowing a new wildflower meadow and can easily strip the ground of all vegetation you may not need to use yellow rattle. Our wildflower seed mixtures contain arable grasses which, when sown alongside wildflower seeds, stop weeds and dominant grasses from taking over by creating a nursery environment where wildflowers can thrive.

Wildflower Meadow Mixtures

Growing wildflowers in your garden

Planting wildflowers at home is a simple way to encourage bees and butterflies into your garden and create a riot of colour that changes throughout the summer season. There are a number of ways to grow wildflowers in your garden including sowing 100% wildflower seed mixtures in your borders and pots.

Wildflower seeds germinate when the weather is warm and wet, and the ground temperature is above 12 degrees centigrade. To sow wildflower seeds in your garden borders or patio pots start by preparing the ground. Ensure it is free of weeds but avoid turning over the soil too heavily as this can unearth dormant grass and weed seeds that will act as competition for your wildflowers and potentially inhibit their growth. Scatter the 100% wildflower seed mixture thinly over bare patches of damp soil and cover in a thin layer of soil to ensure good soil contact.

If planting in patio pots or containers use seed compost but do not add feed or fertiliser.

Best wildflower mixtures for instant colour

For quick results sow an annual wildflower seed mixture such as our Cornfield Colours mix in your borders (in addition to anything else you had planned) before the end of May as these will germinate quickly and provide instant colour in the first year of establishment.

100% Wildflower Seed Mixtures

Wildflower seed FAQs

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