General gardening topics

How to create a wildflower meadow

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 is quickly becoming a wonderful alternative to border 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 poor soil because the local grasses compete 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 perennial 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. Annual meadows also make for a wonderful choice if you have an existing border garden that you are trying to convert, one with decently rich soil 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 situation you have. Wherever possible, get seeds that are of British origin so that you can bring back the things which would 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 as this can be destructive on 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 a lighter soil, you will be able to plant the seeds in September and they should germinate and establish themselves quickly, producing blooms the following spring. If you have heavy soil, you 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 which can lead to water-logging and damage 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 large 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 that is ready, dig the soil and loosen it, then rake it in preparation for the seeds. You don’t want to add manure or fertilizer at this stage because it can encourage the grasses to grow too much at the expense of the wildflowers.

When you are ready to sow your seeds, you can cover even a large area by hand quite easily. Pure wildflower seeds should be grown at 1 gram per square meter, Wildflower and grass mixes should be grown at 5 grams per square meter. 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 need only protect your seeds with netting during the beginning stages of growth 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 could be 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
Plantworks Ltd MMRG01 Empathy Mini Meadow Easy Sow Wild Flower Seed 3m², Multi
  • Mini Meadow packaging is currently changing, you may receive the green or white packaging
  • Easy sow format includes vermiculite
  • All native UK species of flowers
  • All the flowers in mini Medow conform to the RHS guidelines 'RHS perfect for pollinators'
  • The root grow mycorrhiza fungi in mini meadow helps in the establishment of plants and nutrient Supply to enhance flowering
Bestseller No. 2
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
Bestseller No. 3
1Kg Pure Wild Flower Meadow Certified Seeds Over 20 Species of Flower Amazing Value Bulk WholesaleMix 777
  • Genuine Certified Seeds
  • Mix 777
  • Mix of Annuals & Perennials
  • Sowing Rate of 1g to 2g per square metre.
Bestseller No. 4
Woodland Garden Wildflower Seeds for Bees and Butterflies | Wild Flower Seed Mix Grow Your Own Foxgloves, Borage and Forget Me Nots - Suitable for Shady Areas 1 x 15g Mixed Pack by Thompson & Morgan
  • VIBRANT BLOOMS; Mixed selection of wild flowers and meadow flower seeds for sensational colours
  • BEST OF BOTH; Multi coloured mix of annuals and perennial plants / wildflowers
  • FANTASTIC BUTTERFLY AND BEE SEEDS; Bee friendly plants to help restore beautiful British wildlife.
  • EASY TO GROW FLOWER SEEDS; Simply scatter your wildflower seeds, cover and wait for amazing results! Scatter packs make excellent gifts for a gardener! Supplied with T&M's very own cultural instructions on how to care for your seeds.
  • SUPPLIED: 1x Box with net weight 200g, including 15g seeds plus vermiculite to help flowers thrive
Bestseller No. 5
Buy 1 get 1 Free Packet UK Wild Flower Seed Mix Annual & Perennial Meadow Plants 10-20 sqare metres Attracts Bees & Butterfly Wildflower Seeds
  • GENUINE UK SEEDS Each pack covers 10-20 square metres(10g)
  • Professional DEFRA licensed Quality Seed Supplier
  • Very colourful display, SOW AT 1/2-1g Sq METRE Sow April- June
  • Buy 1 Get 1 Free
  • Pretty Wild Seeds - UK00003149725

Image credits – Shutterstock.com

Last update on 2021-12-03 / 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