When To Plant Wildflowers

The optimum rainfall period, severity of the winter and dormancy of the seed will determine the most favorable time to plant wildflowers in your area.

Annual wildflowers must be planted in the spring; or in a late fall dormant seeding. These plants need to reseed themselves to ensure flowers the following year. Planting them too late in spring or summer may not allow the plants to mature and produce viable seeds.

Biennials can be planted in spring, late summer or late fall. Again, late fall dormant seedings will work, but early spring weed competition can cause problems. A late spring planting with preceding weed control will give better results and less long term management. These plants must have growth then experience a dormant period in order to bloom the following season.

Perennials can be planted in the spring or as a late fall dormant seeding. Dormant seeding offers natural stratification of seeds into the soil profile over winter months for better germination in the spring, but early spring weeds may develop before germination. A late spring planting with pre-seeding weed control will give better results and less long-term management.

STOCK SEED FARMS recommends that wildflowers be planted at the same time as the prairie grasses. Inter-seeding into established prairie grass can give inconsistent results. However, with the right equipment and timing; it can be accomplished. Here are some guidelines to follow:

1. Established stands need to be thin enough to allow for new growth.

2. Plantings should be made early in spring, before grasses break dormancy and after old growth has been removed by burning, shredding or raking.

3. Use a drill, preferably no-till, to inter-seed. This will best place the seeds in direct contact with the soil.