Does anyone have a recommendation for a place on the web that sells
wildflower seeds? I've been to a few places and there does seem to be
some variations. One site lists all their plants and percentages of each
in the seed mix and I kind of like that. I'm going to totally avoid
hummingbird mixes because although they look nice when they start to
bloom, by August they really peter out.
I'm looking to buy about 1 lb wildflower and 1 lb poppy and this year I
want to plant them in the fall instead of spring to see how that turns
out. I'm in zone 5 (Chicago) BTW and sometimes, like this year, the
spring was so cold that the seedlings didn't start until June when
planted at the beginning of May. I'm hoping a fall planting will cause
some of the hardier plants to start before the leaves start growing on
[Not a reply to your question, but prompted by it]
Someone in Britain, about 30 years ago, bought (or acquired) a
selection of wildflower seeds, and a peashooter. On his daily train
journey to work he would shoot seeds out the window onto the otherwise
sterile trackside embankments and cuttings. The idea spread, and
considerably brightened the commuters' environment.
Also, I'm pleased to note that with budget cutbacks on
government/municipal services budgets, some roadside verges are not
being vigorously shorn as they used to be, and the wildflowers do not
appear to be a traffic hazard as previously alleged.
John W Hall < email@example.com>
Cochrane, Alberta, Canada.
I bought wildflower mix from AmericanMeadows several years ago. Followed
their directions, the seeds are still coming up each year, flowering from
May thru September (various varieties). We picked them up from their shop,
while on vacation, found the staff helpful and knowledgable.
Lots of links if you want to take a Google trip, but my favorite site is:
(which may have been the one you mentioned).
They've got a fabulous collection of all sorts of native plants for many parts
of North America.....and they supply (in their catalogs and at their website)
clear pix of seedlings, which is incredibly useful when you're planting a mix.
I've never ordered from them online, but have acquired excellent seed from the
company and use their catalog for good reference.
nNJ usa z7a
I live in Zone 5 as well ( in Canada) and I'm not sure about the fall
seeding. Your winters are pretty cold and the seeds may die. I suggest that
you seed around the middle of May. Around here we plant on May 20th which is
a long weekend for us.As to the purchase, sorry, can't help in that regard.
"Mark Anderson" < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
I sow seeds or at least spread them out in the garden when that type of plant is
naturally spreading its own seed. In other words, for Texas bluebonnets, I
spread the seeds in late spring, then again when the fall rains start for
insurance. A pound of poppy seed? That would probably populate an acre,
Here's what you do. If these are native wildflowers in your region, plant some
in the fall, and some in the spring as the rains start in. Keep a record of
what started first and go from there.
I always spread seeds of the wildflowers when they naturally spread on their
own...and, as I said, I do another sowing in late fall when the rains start. I
live in south central Texas.
Find out exactly what type of poppies and other plants you want to grow and do
some research on www.google.com for the particulars of cultivation from seed.
Should one also broadcast some dirt over the seeds to insure that
one of our bad winters won't damage the seeds? We live in Denver
and need to really fill in a 5' x 12' open area and don't want gaps.
If you think about how nature does it, nobody comes around the planet burrying
the seed. The seed lay on top of the soil and get depressed into the soil by
water from rains. What you can do is scratch the soil up a bit and give he
seeds some "tooth" to sit in. Many of the wildflower seeds require light to
You do know that poppies are cool season plants which will near disappear when
the heat of summer arrives, don't you? That patch will be mighty bare by
I took a different approach to wildflower gardening this year, by buying
individual packs of garden wildflowers that I knew, or suspected, would do
well here in the inland Northwest, and were capable of long blooming
seasons. I had some winners and losers.
In late March or early April, I sowed shirley poppies, opium poppies,
california poppies, linaria, baby blue eyes, foam flower, red and blue flax
larkspur and bachelor buttons, dame's rocket, sweet alyssum, godetia,
chinese forget-me-nots, and russell hybrid lupines. In late April or early
May I sowed cosmos, four o-clocks, and lavatera, black-eyed susans, annual
phlox, scarlet runner beans, and morning glories.
First to bloom were the alyssum and linaria. (By early May). By late May,
linaria and california poppies were starting to bloom, and shortly after,
red flax. The baby blue eyes and foam flowers started to flower the first
week of June. The foam flowers were disappointing, short bloom season and
not showy. The baby blue eyes were pretty but also a short-season bloomer.
All this while, the poppy plants were growing and growing, but not blooming
Finally, about mid-June they started to burst open, and by the end of the
month completely dominated the wildflower bed. A few straggly larkspur began
to bloom in early July (not a great success) and the bachelor buttons and
godetia by mid-july. The chinese forget-me-nots began to bloom around the
same time. Self-sown feverfew began to bloom in late July, around the time
the poppies were giving out. The annual phlox bloomed starting in mid-july
also. The black-eyed susan began to bloom in early august, and the cosmos
shortly afterward - the lavatera about the same time. Still blooming in
mid-september are a few straggling poppy blossoms (most plants were pulled
in early august), cosmos, black-eyed susan, a bird-planted sunflower,
bachelor buttons, a few straggly godetias, some feverfew, scarlet runner
beans on a tripod, four-o-clocks (not too many - also not a great success) a
few straggly california poppies,chinese forge-me-nots and the lavateras. I
will be very curious to see which of these wildflowers will return next
year. I plan to pull most of the plants in the next few weeks, and get busy
weeding all the grass, dandelions, etc, out of the bed.
The advantage this year of planting by individual seed packets was having
some degree of control of the heights of plants, (it was a parking strip),
so that the taller plants were in the middle and the shorter ones on the
sidewalk and street sides of the bed. Next year of course, it will all be
mixed up, so I imagine some of the shorter plants will get shaded out before
they can bloom, if they reseed at all. I'm going to try to be pretty
ruthless next year in using the cultivating claw to thin the wildflower
seedlings, but I know I usually let too many survive.
In terms of gardening impact, the high-season of Shirley poppy bloom
was the most dramatic, followed by the current time with the cosmos,
lavatera and black-eyed susans. But the poppy plants turn skanky pretty
quickly as their bloom time ends, and that means a full day in the heart of
summer heat yanking up plants and stuffing them in a garbage can or bag. If
your garden area is near the woods or other unkempt area, you could leave
them, but not in a garden which is trying to look halfway civilized....lol
I followed a similar approach and it worked pretty good for the most
part. It was a bit slow starting up -- I did plant more late season
bloomers -- but its looking great now. I'll have to pay more
attention to early bloomers. Allysums are nice, but they're a bit
small to carry the show.
In addition to individual seed packs, I did get a couple of packs of
wildflower seed mixes. That worked to randomize my collection a bit,
but I was unfamiliar with a few things that came up.
I'm going to try to collect some of the seeds for next year, and I'm
hoping for some self-seeding.
Like I said, nobody comes around planting wildflower seeds. The most
successful, healthy stands of wild flowers or prairie plants are those which
come up under the conditions they are planted. Too much fussing around is the
downfall and low germination problems people come across.
I have a full blown prairie garden. Each year the populations of wild flower
plants more than double and triple their presence. The ones which don't like it
under the mesquite do not come back. No manner of preparation is required if
you plant seeds proper for your particular region or corridor within a few
regions your yard may sit on. Our yard, actually all of Austin up and down the
Interstate 35 corridor is indeed at the union of 4 particular regions in Texas.
Texas has 10 regions.
Look I can go on and on about rangeland ecology, but go ahead and prepare and
fuss around. I'm saying I don't do that fussing and I simply broadcast seeds of
plants I wanted to germinate when I saw them in the wild coming to seed
maturity. I was successful and the garden is almost self-sufficient. I still
have to weed, tidy things up and other tasks, but after four years in this
garden it has taken on a life of its own.
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