How to Turn Part of a Yard Into a Wild Flower Garden

Overview

No matter where you live, growing wildflowers that are native to your region is easy to do and will provide you with an array of colorful blooms every year. Wildflowers require very little, if any, additional water above what Mother Nature provides to them, and most are totally independent of human help. They do just fine without fertilizers for the most part, so all you have to do is scatter some seeds and sit back and enjoy the natural environment they will create, often attracting native birds, butterflies and beneficial insects.

Step 1

Purchase seeds of wildflowers that grow naturally in your part of the country because they will perform better than wildflowers that come from somewhere else.

Step 2

Choose an area of your yard where wildflowers will do well. If you have a dry, rocky area where you can't seem to grow anything else, that's a good place to begin. Wildflowers normally prefer full sun and poor soil; so keep these factors in mind when you assess the conditions in your yard.

Step 3

Remove all weeds and any other unwanted plants from the area where you plan to plant your wildflowers. Use a hoe, rake, weed-puller tool or other tool that serves the purpose of removing unwanted plants.

Step 4

Plant your seeds in the fall to take advantage of winter rains. Some wildflower seeds need a period of winter cold in order to germinate, as they get in their natural settings.

Step 5

Follow the instructions on your seed packets for depth of planting and other considerations relating to specific wildflowers. You can simply broadcast many wildflower seeds in the area where you want them to grow because that's how the plants reproduce in nature. But others might need you to start their seeds in pots full of potting soil in order to get a good start in life. Water the area thoroughly and keep the soil moist if winter rains are not adequate.

Step 6

Watch for signs of germination in the early spring. Keep an eye out for weeds, but be sure to accurately identify which plants are weeds and which are your wildflowers. If too many plants come up in the same area, you should thin them out--consider potting them and giving them to friends and family as "green gifts." You'll be helping the environment by increasing their numbers.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not remove any plants from the wild--not only can you disturb the native population, doing so might also be against the law.

Things You'll Need

  • Wildflower seeds or starter plants
  • Ordinary garden soil
  • Full sun
  • Nursery pots with drainage holes (optional)
  • Potting soil (optional)
  • Hoe
  • Rake
  • Weed-puller tool

References

  • Easy Wildflowers
  • California Gardens: List of California natives
  • Seed Source: Seeds for the Southwest

Who Can Help

  • Larner Seeds: Seeds for California
  • Prairie Moon: Seeds for prairie, meadow, savanna and woodlands
  • Easy Wildflowers: Seeds for the Midwest and East
Keywords: wild flowers, wildflower gardening, native plants

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hiā€˜iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Barbara wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides.com and eHow.com. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.