General gardening topics

How to create a wildflower meadow

Last updated on April 3rd, 2022

Our site is reader supported, this means we may earn a small commission from Amazon and other affiliates when you buy through links on our site.

Wildflower meadows are quickly becoming a wonderful alternative to a border in gardens or lawns because they offer of stunning display for months on end and are very easy to maintain. There are many options for the flowers you can cultivate and the best part is that wildflower meadows tend to naturally fill an existing space and offer food and shelter for wildlife including bees, butterflies and other flying insects that so desperately need extra sources of food.

Types of wildflowers

Choosing Perennials or Annuals

You can select annual flowers that give you a one-time show every year or perennial flowers that come back year after year.

Perennial meadows

Perennial meadows tend to do best in poorer soils because the grass competes less with the wildflowers you plant. So, if you want a perennial meadow and you already have the right soil, you are in luck. If, however, you want a wildflower meadow but you have very rich soil, you can rectify this by removing the top layer and adding some subsoil directly into the mix.

Annual meadows

Annual meadows need very rich soil so, if you have rich soil it might be easier to simply grow an annual meadow and resow your wildflower seeds once a year. Annual meadows also make a wonderful choice if you have an existing border garden that you are trying to convert, one with decently rich soil from the result of previously grown flowers.


Choosing Wildflowers

You can typically get packets of wildflower seeds that offer a mixture of grasses and wildflowers for the exact type of soil and location you have. Wherever possible, get seeds that are of British origin so that you can bring back the flowers that naturally grow in your area. Also, make sure that the seed packets you choose work with your local conditions. You don’t want to take plants that come from the countryside if you don’t live in the countryside and force them to grow in your area because this can be destructive to the native species in your area.


When to sow a wildflower meadow

The best time to sow your seeds in March/April, or in September, contingent upon the conditions of your soil. If you have lighter soil, you will be able to plant the seeds in September and they should germinate and establish themselves quite quickly, producing flowers the following spring.

If you have heavier soil, you will want to wait until March or April to plant your seeds because heavy soil won’t allow the plants to establish themselves before the cold winter months, and this can lead to water-logging and damaging the roots before they’ve had a chance to get going. Ideally, it’s just easier to sow the seeds in spring.


Where to sow seeds

These wildflower seed mixes should be planted in a larger area of your garden if possible, where they will be allowed to thrive without fighting for nutrients.

Growing wild flowers

Preparing the area for sowing seed

Once you have the area in question ready, and the seed packet or box, you should prepare the ground where you plan to grow your wildflowers by removing any weeds by hand and adding a weed-suppressing layer to the ground, such as a sheet of black plastic. This should be done three months prior to sowing the seeds so that you can ensure all of the weeds are done away with.

If you are planting on a large area that suffers from perennial weeds, you might want to use chemical control methods in addition to non-chemical methods.

See our recommended weedkillers in this review

Once the area is ready, dig the soil and loosen it, then rake it in preparation for the seeds. You don’t want to add manure or fertiliser at this stage because it can encourage the grass to grow too much, at the expense of the wildflowers.

When you are ready to sow your seeds, you can cover a large area by hand quite easily. Pure wildflower seeds should be grown at 1 gram per square metre, and wildflower and grass mixes should be grown at 5 grams per square metre. Pay attention to the individual mix you have and the instructions that are provided. Do your best to evenly scatter the seeds, rake them in lightly, and water them thoroughly. Once this is done you only need to protect your seeds with netting whilst they are germinating if you have a problem with birds. Other than that, you needn’t do anything but allow the flowers and grasses to grow naturally.

Learn more about preparing the ground for wildflowers in this article.


Potential Problems

If you have a mixture of grasses and wildflowers, one potential problem you might experience is that the grass is growing too strongly and stealing all the nutrients from the flowers. If this is a problem for you, you can reduce the vigour of your grasses by introducing some semi-parasitic plants like lousewort, rattle, or eye brights. These will help to cut down the grasses and allow the wildflowers access to nutrients.

Popular wildflower seeds to buy

Bestseller No. 1
100 g UK Wild Flower Seed Plants Attracts Bees & Butterfly No Grass Pure Wildflower Seeds Genuine UK Seed Mix Annual Meadow This Meadow Flower Mixture Includes annuals and perennials
  • Guizotia abyssinica Salvia hispanica , Meconopsis , Linum usitatissimum , Linaceae ,Red, White & Blue Poppies Blanket flower,Cosmos Mixed Zinnia, yellow tansy Rosa Canina , Circaea , Aquilegia Dwarf Morning Glory, Evening Primrose,Myosotis, California Poppy, Baby's Breath, Love-in-a-Mist, Blue Lupin,Borage,Purple Tansy, Common Flax Phacelia Yellow Mustard / White Mustard Sainfoin Brown Mustard Late Cover Rescue Mixture Egyptian Clover Claymore Fado, and many more
  • 4 to 8 weeks you will start to see the fruits of your labour
  • A simply brilliant mixed selection of wildflower seeds that can be scattered in your garden and produce some truly wonderful visuals. Extremely easy to grow mixes of annual and perennial in glorious colour and variety to enhance your garden with a meadow-esque look and attract bees and insects.
  • Organic British seeds
  • Contains many annual and perennial varieties So flowers this year and every year after
Bestseller No. 2
Wildflower Seed Shaker Twin Pack Butterfly and Bee Attracting Naturalising Wild Flower Easy to Grow Giant Seed Shakers Twin Pack. Ideal to Help Save Our Pollinators
  • 2 x 50m2 shaker boxes each contain 15g of seeds per box and sowing medium for a perfect spread of your seeds
  • Each pack contains a wild flower seed mix and sowing medium to help butterfly and bees in your garden
  • Sow mid-March to June or September to November. Flowers in summer from a spring sowing, or the following spring from an autumn sowing
  • Save the our bees and butterflies by sowing these seed shakers anywhere in your garden
  • These packs have a compostable wood shaving filler that prevents the seed from clumping together and gives a nice even spread
Bestseller No. 3
Wildflower Seeds Shake and Rake Grow Your Own Themed Annual Wildflowers from Seed Covers 25 Square Meters Save The Bees (Cottage Garden)
  • Choose from 5 fantastic varieties of colour coordinated mixed seeds that are specifically chosen to add vitality and wonderful visuals to your garden.
  • Easy to sow in any area of your garden you choose. Simply shake, rake and wait for the amazing burst of colour!
  • Sow from March to June to produce summer flowers or September November ready for the following spring.
  • Contains 10,000 mixed flower seeds including a filler to prevent clumping of the seeds to ensure they are sown evenly when shaking.
  • Eco friendly each of our wildflower seed shaker boxes are 100% biodegradable packaging and contain no plastics.
Bestseller No. 4
Bee Friendly Wildflower Seeds Mix: Bee Happy 10g Colourful Bee Meadow Plant Seeds for 10sqm – Bee Flower Garden Seeds, Flowers for Garden – Seeds for Gardening Flowers – Wild Flower Seeds by OwnGrown
  • 🌼 A BEAUTIFUL HABITAT FOR BEES, bumble bees, butterflies and their friends. Preserve the native biodiversity with our bee meadow flower seeds for a lovely insect-friendly cottage garden or bee garden!
  • 🌼 COLORFUL AND HUMMING BEE PASTURE: A specially composed bee friendly wildflower mix seed packet for a splendid, insect friendly bee pasture - in the garden, open field, meadow or in a balcony pot!
  • 🌼 SAVE THE BEES: Support our native busy insects with nectar, pollen and shelter through the selected mixture of wildflower seeds for bees and butterflies. It's also a great supplement to a bee hotel!
  • 🌼 Adorable WILD FLOWER SEED MIX for 10 sqm with bee flowers. Sow the garden flowers from April. Bloom in summer, June to Oct. Height ca. 60cm. Don't cut the wild flowers for the benefit of the bees
  • 🌼 INCLUDES 26 VARIETIES: Cornflower seeds, california poppy seeds, half-height sunflower seeds, marigold seeds, sage seeds, red poppy seeds and more! The appearance changes depending on the season
Bestseller No. 5
Wildflowers Shake And Rake Grow Your Own Colour Themed Annual Flowers from Seed (Wild Flowers)
  • A lovely colour coordinated mixed seeds selection that can be shaked and raked into your garden and produce some beautiful visuals. Easy to grow mixes of glorious colour and variety to enhance your garden and attract butterflies and bees
  • Simply shake and rake your seeds into an area of your choice where you would like them to grow, and wait for your amazing burst of wild flowers and colours
  • Sow March to June for flowers in summer or September to November to flower in the following spring they will flower in their first year and then self-seed every year.
  • Contains mixed wild flower Seeds with a net weight 200g, including 15g seeds plus a filler to make sure the seed is distributed evenly and dont clump together when shaking.
  • Each colour coordinated wildflower shaker box is 100% biodegradable and contains no plastics

Image credits – Shutterstock.com

Last update on 2022-03-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at john@pyracantha.co.uk

Write A Comment