Native species gardens are healthy habitats. Within their native range, all plants adapt to resist damage from climate, insects, and disease.
By helping native wildflowers gain a foothold, you can reduce the threat of invasive exotic weeds – such as purple loosestrife – from taking over the ecological niches of native plants. And the pleasure we receive from the beauty of the flowers is just tremendous.
Find out how to start your own easy-care wildflower garden.
- You can find out what plants are native to your land easily: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (formerly the National Wildlife Research Center) offers a searchable native plant database, as well a searchable state-by-state resource guide.
- Avoid digging up plants in the wild. They may be endangered species!
- Investigate sources of native plants and seeds. Most seed companies sell regional wildflower seed mixes.
Seven Guidelines for Planting
1. Choose appropriate seeds for appropriate sites. For example, shade-loving plants should be planted in the shade.
2. Plant seeds in the spring or fall.
3. Turn the soil before planting.
4. Once you have prepared the soil, wait a few weeks before sowing the seeds, and pull out the young, new weeds before you do!
5. Broadcast seeds (throw them evenly over the ground). Some suggest combining the seeds half and half with sand before broadcasting to make the spreading of seeds more uniform. Broadcast by hand, or buy a broadcast seeder container from a store such as Vermont Wildflower Farm.
6. Push the seeds down firmly with your shoes.
7. Make sure the soil is kept damp enough for the seeds to germinate.