Where To Plant Wildflowers
Native plants are used in many applications for many different reasons. Their ability to adapt and survive harsh, extreme conditions makes them a popular choice for consumers. Most plant species offered by Stock Seed Farms prefer full sun to partial shade in well drained soils with pH levels between 5.5 and 8. Levels outside the pH range will require soil amendments. We must also advise that native plants perform best in full sunlight (6 – 8 hours a day). As sunlight decreases, so does the performance of the plants.
In general, prairie plants are adapted to full sun and most soil types. Each will perform differently in different soils or climates (see individual product for more information). They usually require six to eight hours of direct sunlight during their growth period. In any case, seedbeds free of weeds and old grass will produce the best stands. We have had very little success planting into old grass stands, even if the grass is dead. Using a no-till drill to open a furrow and place the seed in direct contact with the soil at the correct depth (1/4 – 1/2 inches) will achieve the most successful stands.
Weeds are the greatest cause of poor wildflower plantings. They challenge the small seedlings in two ways. First, they take away necessary water and nutrients. Second, they shade and smother the small plants. Mowing or shredding often is very important the first year to keep the weeds from choking or smothering seedlings.
The mower blade should be kept high to let the desired plants continue uninterrupted growth and also keep weeds from going to seed.
The majority of wildflowers bloom best in full sun to partial shade. Woodland type plants can flourish in shaded areas, but most need a certain amount of sunlight to flower. Wildflowers that are described to tolerate partial shade will do so, but it must be understood that plant height and bloom frequency will decrease with less sunlight. We recommend our Shadow Wildflower Mixture for shaded areas.