'Don't wait until next year!' The best time to plant wildflower seeds might surprise you – hint: it's soon

Professional gardeners say the perfect time to sow a wonderfully wild wildflower garden is on the horizon

(Image credit: Getty Images)

With spring far behind us and summer nearing its end, you might have thought you had missed the boat for planting seeds this year. This is made all the more painful by all the beautiful inspiration floating around. Wildflowers are having a moment in landscaping, and they have certainly captured our attention.

Yes you might have missed the boat on filling your yard with wildflowers for this year, but there is still time to plant your seeds to ensure they are in full bloom next spring. This low-maintenance garden idea really packs a punch for such a simple flower garden, but wildflowers can be a bit unknown, despite their abundance in nature.

Discover how easy they are to plant and care for directly from the experts, who know what they are talking about. Don't miss out on planting these wonderful flowers. Soon enough you shall be frolicking through your own wildflower garden like something out of the sound of music. 

What are wildflowers?

As the name suggests, these are flowers that typically grow in the wild, they are not intentionally planted or genetically modified. They have become increasingly popular in backyards due to their diverse color palettes, varied textures and laissez-faire aesthetic. 

There are a vast array of options to choose from when planting wildflowers, they can be selected based on visual preferences but should also consider their native environment. 

As well as being a beautiful addition to your landscaping, wildflowers are also amazing pollinators that support entire ecosystems, a form of wildlife gardening that makes them a great eco-conscious choice.

When should I plant wildflowers?

Wildflowers are very unfussy flowers, which makes them a great choice even for those who don't consider themselves as having a green thumb.  'In most climates, the best times to plant wildflower seeds are during the spring or fall,' says expert gardener and co-founder of GreenPal, Gene Caballero. Meaning now is the perfect time to be thinking about planting your seeds to embrace this flowerbed trend next year. 

'Spring planting can start as soon as the threat of frost is over, while fall planting can be done after the first hard frost,' he explains.

Although both times will result in a colorful spring, there are advantages to doing it during the fall. 'I have found that planting late in fall means that early in the spring my front yard is bursting with wildflowers,' says Dan Bailey, long-term gardening enthusiast and president of WikiLawn, 'I often have the first flowers of the season within my neighborhood!'

A colder environment can lead to a more successful germination process, thus more flowers. 'Many wildflower species require cold stratification to germinate,' says the founder of the Kentucky Native Plants Project, Zac Gnadinger. 'By planting the seeds in the fall, you help create the requirements for the seeds to sprout successfully in the spring.'

Perhaps missing the spring planting has a silver lining after all.

How to care for wildflowers

To achieve a thriving flower garden it is not only the time of planting you will need to consider.  'Ensure you get a wildflower seed mix suited for your region or climate,' says Gene, 'as some mixes are designed for specific purposes, such as attracting pollinators.' There are many types of seed options out there, check their ideal growing environment is compatible with your backyard before liberally throwing them into your flowerbeds

The beauty of wildflowers is there adapted to be pretty hardy. They can thrive in less-than-ideal soil conditions and are drought-tolerant once established. 'Initially, after sowing, keep the soil consistently moist until seeds germinate,' advises Gene. 'Once established, only water during prolonged dry spells.' Over-fertilizing can lead to excessive foliage and fewer flowers, so put down the chemicals and leave the seeds to work their magic.'

At the end of the season mow over the wildflowers - it might seem a shame, but this will ensure the seeds spread and you can enjoy them for another year.

Amy McArdle
News writer

Amy recently completed an MA in Magazine Journalism at City, University of London, with experience writing for Women’s lifestyle publications across arts, culture, and beauty. She has a particular love for the minimalist aesthetic mixed with mid-century furniture, especially combining unique vintage finds with more modern pieces. Her previous work in luxury jewellery has given her a keen eye for beautiful things and clever design, that plays into her love of interiors. As a result, Amy will often be heard justifying homeware purchases as 'an investment', wise words to live by.