How to Care for Naturalized Plants


Naturalized gardens give the illusion of gardens that spring from nature as plants are allowed to spread freely to new areas of the garden without interference by human hands. Typically grown on slopes or in areas of the landscape where soil is difficult to manage and sown with a variety of wildflowers, naturalized gardens create waves of color throughout the season. When provided with adequate water and care to keep large weeds from infiltrating the bed, nearly any flower can be used.

Step 1

Choose plants that meet the lighting and soil conditions of the area. Keep in mind that although water can be added to dry areas for moisture-loving plants, areas that remain wet require plants that thrive in wet soil.

Step 2

Select plants with varying bloom times to create a succession of color. Many wildflowers bloom for a short period ranging from a week or two. Keep your garden alive with color by choosing individual plants that bloom at different times from spring until fall.

Step 3

Choose plants in color, shape and size that complement each other. Tiny plants may be may be obscured from view or choked out by larger aggressive plants or delicate colors may be overpowered by large brilliant blooms.

Step 4

Allow plants to spread freely. Many plants self-seed and spring up in new areas, while others send out underground roots that emerge several feet away. Divide only when plants vigor is inhibited and blooms decrease.

Step 5

Remove any aggressive weeds (like thistle or burdock) to prevent them from taking over your naturalized garden. Cut or dig the roots, and discard the plant away from the garden.

Step 6

Water as needed. Wildflowers rarely require watering, but lilies or spring bulbs benefit from weekly watering to saturate the soil. Check the growing needs of your particular plants and water accordingly.

Step 7

Maintain the border of your garden by bordering with stones, providing a fence or adding border plants. Mow or transplant plants that creep outside the border of the garden.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden clippers
  • Garden spade
  • Mower/trimmer


  • University of Illinois Extension: Designing Flower Beds
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Common Questions About Wild Flowers and Native Plants

Who Can Help

  • Texas AgriLife Extension Service: Wildflowers in Bloom
Keywords: naturalized gardens, naturalized garden care, naturalize flowers

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.