Each and every spring folks tend to panic. Our office is flooded with frantic phone calls and emails. “Am I too late? ” they ask. “Will I be wasting my time and money starting wildflowers now?” Our answer??? “It’s SOW not too late to sow wildflowers!
All the North American wildflowers we offer are perennials. Some require cold moist stratification or winter sowing in order to wake up and begin to grow. Cold moist stratification or winter sowing is nature’s way of breaking down the hard seed coating found on some wildflowers. Other wildflowers need no pre-treatment what so ever so you can start growing them immediately in a sunny window or under grow lights.
We make it simple to figure out which wildflower needs what. On the Wildflower Farm website (www.wildflowerfarm.com) every species page says whether it needs winter sowing or requires no pre-treatment and gives the step by step instructions to grow them. We also print these instructions on the back of every seed pack!
Here’s an example of germination instructions for Gallardia or Blanket Flower.
No pre-treatment required.
And here’s an example of Common Milkweed or Asclepias syriaca that requires winter sowing.
Super Simple Winter Sowing Techniques
Hum along as you learn winter sowing basics in this video….
Or check out How to Winter Sow Milkweed and Other Wildflowers…
If you live somewhere that is still below freezing at night but warms up during the day time you still have time to plant your seeds in pots and put them outside! That’s because it’s not the freezing temperatures of winter but rather the freeze/thaw action of early spring that breaks down the seed shells and serves as a catalyst for germination to occur.
Or….Winter Sow in the Fridge
If you live in a warm climate where freezing temperatures don’t occur at all or winter conditions are finished you – or you just prefer to winter sow inside rather than outside just place your wildflower seeds in pots with moistened soil in the refrigerator for a day or two, then to the freezer for a day or two. Go back and forth between fridge and freezer for a week or so and you will have duplicated the freeze-thaw cycle that breaks down seed shells outside. Then, start growing your wildflowers in a sunny window or under grow lights..
Growing On Your Wildflower Plants:
Be sure to give your wildflower plants ample time (at least 8 weeks) to form a big healthy root ball. Don’t be impatient! Very young plants do not do well when planted outside in stressful, hot summer conditions. Once you do transplant them into your garden, make sure to water them in well and keep them watered for the first growing season. By the fall you’ll never need to water them again!
And remember! You still have LOTS of time to make wildflower babies!!!
Not sure what to grow? You’re sure to succeed with our handy Seed Selector Tool. Just plug in your soil type, sunlight and moisture conditions, the color, height and bloom time – even your state or province and you’ll find a complete list of wildflowers perfect for this Spring’s seeding project.