Planting & Info Guides | Wildflowers

The Optimum Wildflower Area Balances Beauty with Durability and Diversity!

Zone Map

Seed Rate Guide oz/1000 sq. ft.

SeedingRatesAvg / DenseCoverage

Shipping Schedule

TypeShipping Begins
Wildflower SeedYear Round
Shipping TimeWithin 24-48 hours
Custom Seed MixesApprox. 1-2 weeks

We do ship to Alaska & Hawaii by USPS 2nd Day only for bulbs/bareroots. Seed products ship as normal. Before checking out, please e-mail us for a shipping quote if your order contains bulb/plant products.

Bulb & Plant Products Cannot be Shipped to Canada or Any Foreign Country!

Detailed Instructions

In planning a wildflower meadow or garden, first you need to choose your site and estimate the square footage of the area. To find the square footage of any square or rectangular area, simply multiply the length in feet times the width in feet. For example, a border 50 feet long and 10 feet wide is 500 sq. ft. in area (50 X 10 = 500). For a circle, the area is equal to “pi” r squared, or pi (3.1) times the radius of your circle, squared. If your circle is 20 feet across, its radius is half of that or 10 ft. So to get the square footage of the circle: 3.1 X 10 X 10 = 310 sq. ft. The amount of seed you should plant depends on the flower display you want. Most usually want dense or maximum bloom. All mixtures are pure wildflower seed, no fillers or grasses. The denser you sow your wildflower area with seed, the more you will hold out the weeds and grasses. Just be sure not to over seed, so your wildflowers do not compete with themselves for space!

Our suggestion for coverage is as follows:
1 oz. up 100 sq ft
1/4 lb covers 250 - 500 sq ft
1/2 lb covers 500 - 1,000 sq ft
1 lb covers 1,000 - 2,000 sq ft
5 lbs covers 5,000 - 10,000 sq ft
10 lbs covers 10,000 - 20,000 sq ft
50 lbs covers 1+ Acres

Note: If you have a large site, from ½ acre to several acres, your planting rate may be affected by land conditions. If you have heavy weeds on the site now, some erosion, generally poor soil, or other land problems, additional seed is usually the most economical solution. If your site does have these types of problems and you want to build in some assurance of full coverage, use a per pound coverage rate of 1000 sq ft. We usually suggest 50 lbs. per acre.

Where to Plant: Unless you are planting our Partial Shade Mix or Woodland Species, choose a spot with as much sun as possible. We consider full sun at least 6 hours daily. For wildflowers, full sun is best. Most all soils are acceptable -- if any plant has grown in the spot, it should support wildflowers, which are tough and will adapt to the soil you provide for them.

When to Plant: The optimum time to plant wildflower seed in your area depends on your climate and rainfall patterns, as well as the species you are planting. In cooler climates; plant annuals, perennials or mixtures of annuals and perennials in spring, early summer or late fall. In milder or warm climates; plant wildflower seed during the cooler months of the year, fall through spring. Perennials can be sown spring, summer and fall. If planting perennials late summer be sure to allow 10 weeks growing time before plants go dormant for the winter months. Spring planting: when there is no further chance of a killing frost, meaning that your night time temperatures are maintaining 45 degrees and above. Summer plantings: annuals or mixes containing annuals can be planted through mid-summer. Depending on your climate you want to insure that you have enough time to enjoy all the annuals in your growing season. Perennials can be planted through the summer up until 10 weeks before your cold weather sets in. Fall plantings: in areas with freezing weather, a fall planting must be after a killing frost when your daytime temperatures are maintaining 45 degrees and below but before the ground freezes. In other words, when you are sure cold weather has set in. Killing frosts usually happen at 28 degrees Fahrenheit. Fall plantings in cooler climates are dormant plantings and should be late enough so that the ground temperature is low but the ground is not yet frozen. Seeds must remain dormant – the seeds will germinate in spring. In areas of no frost, plant as your rainy season begins. It is never too late to plant – just ask us for details on how and what to plant!

Soil Preparation: This is the most important step in obtaining success of your wildflower planting, whether it is a small garden or a large meadow. Remove all existing growth, either by hand, rototilling, rough or power raking. Till only deep enough to remove all old roots. Deep tilling may bring up dormant weed seeds lying beneath which will compete with your flowers. If you want to be sure your soil is “weed seed free”, you’ll have to till, wait for the crop of new weeds to grow, usually one to three weeks and then do one of two things; kill them down with one of the safe, non-residual method of using white vinegar; or to till again as in step one. If you use the vinegar method, then once the weeds are dead, lightly rake them out and seed your wildflowers without rototilling or disturbing the soil again. If using the roto-till method, you can seed after the second or third tilling. For those of you that wish to use an herbicide, please read the label for any detrimental effects it may cause. If you choose to use this, use the same steps as if using the vinegar.

About Fertilizer: When you choose to plant wildflowers there is usually minimal weeding done…and fertilizer will encourage the weeds and grasses. Fertilizer is not necessary for a great wildflower garden or meadow. (No one fertilizes in the wild or along roadsides), but if you want this extra boost for your flowers, fertilize only where you are willing to weed.

Sowing: Once your soil is prepared and free of previous growth, it’s important to sow immediately. (If you let time go by between preparation and spreading your seed, you’re giving possible weeds an advantage over your wildflower seed). You can use a hand crank seed spread, but most simply scatter the seed by hand. If you want to be sure to get good, even coverage, divide your seed into two roughly equal parts, in two buckets or cans. Then add clean sandbox sand to both halves, roughly 4-5 parts of sand to 1 part of seed. The sand does two things: It “dilutes” the seed, making it easier to sow evenly, and since it’s light-colored, it shows you “where you’ve been” on the dark soil as you go. Next, sow one bucket’s mix over your whole area. Then go back in the opposite direction and do the same with the second bucket. This way, you should have even spreading and no bare spots. Once seed is sown, do not rake or cover it in any way. If you can, use a lawn roller or lay down a large board and walk on it to compress (squash down) the seed into the bare soil. Remember, some of the seed you’re sowing is tiny; even the lightest covering of soil can stop it from germinating. Keep your new seedbed moist until seedlings are about 6-8” tall. After that, they should be self- sufficient; however, watering during droughts will keep your flowers blooming.

Know your Annuals, Perennials, Biennials: The annuals are quick-growing, quick-blooming and will bloom for months, and then die with a killing frost. Most do reseed, but the seed must fall on bare ground to re-grow the next spring. Perennials are the flowers that “come back every year” from the same roots, forming expanding clumps in your meadow over the years. Perennials may grow and leaf or lie dormant the first year to begin blooming the second and successive years. Biennials bloom the second year and are killed by that year’s frost. However, they are heavy re-seeders, and usually reappear in the meadow. If you are purchasing a mix or annuals and perennials, the annuals will be the ones that give you a first-year color while your perennials establish.

Woodland and Rare Wildflowers - Many seeds of woodland and rare wildflowers have built-in dormancy mechanisms which protect them from germinating before killing frosts or in times of drought. In the wild, seeds will lie dormant until they acclimate to their new environment or until the proper conditions for growth occur. To be successful with these types of species and growing them from seed you must realize that each species has a different method of naturally breaking dormancy. Woodland and Rare wildflowers are not instant garden flowers, and many take a great amount of patience before they germinate and bloom. Once they do, they are well worth the wait.

Maintenance: The amount of work you want to put into your meadow area is up to you. The only requirement is a once-a-year mowing in the fall after killing frosts—to disperse seed and to keep down brushy growth. Another good practice is to identify areas that have become weak or weed-filled, and to reseed those spots, the same way you repair bare spots in a lawn. Once you are able to identify weeds, hand pulling is a viable method of control for the small to medium garden. Any weed that you can pull will constitute to the success of your garden for years. One weed can disperse thousands of seeds, so get ‘em out of there if you can. If you have a large planting and you notice an area of weeds, then the above method of re-tilling and re-seeding that area is your way to obtain maximum success.

Be Patient and Enjoy! Be patient while your garden or meadow establishes but once it has you’ll notice small wildlife, many birds, butterflies and other insects that are attracted to your wild garden; observing these visitors is one of the greatest pleasures of growing wildflowers. Mow paths through your meadow, put in benches and birdfeeders, and enjoy it all for years to come.

Common Questions

Seeding rate varies according to species and mixes. Average seeding rate is 1 lb. covers 1,000 to 2,000 sq. ft.

You can plant Spring, Summer or Fall. In order to take advantage of the entire growing season, most gardeners do a double seeding (half in fall and half in spring). On average, fall planted seeds germinate a few weeks sooner than spring planted seeds.

Most spring seed annuals and fall seed perennials but you can do both at either time.

Once danger of frost is gone and nighttime temperatures are above 45 degrees.

Usually, 12 weeks prior to first frost

Usually, 8 weeks prior to killing frost.

Northern states: after a couple killing frost (28 degrees or below) – usually between November and January.
Southern states: Once your rainy season begins.

Contact Us for Suggestions!

All wildflowers are beneficial, but we recommend our Deluxe Pollinator Mix, Native Perennial Pollinator Mix, Native Perennial Pollinator & Grass Mix, Hummingbird Butterfly Mix, Honeybee Mix, or Honeybee Feed & Forage Mix. These mixes have everything for everybody!

The technical answer is no, all wildflowers need some sort of light. There is one wildflower that will do well in complete shade, Forget-me-not and you can also use our Woodland or Hand Gathered and Rare species. Call or e-mail us for advice.

Annuals produce a flower the first growing season, are usually bright and colorful, and die off at the end of the season but most reseed themselves.Perennials don’t produce a flower until the second or third growing season but keep coming back year after year from the same plant and also reseed themselves.

We usually recommend a once year cutting or mowing at the end of growing season (once the bloom ends). Most do a light overseeding with half or a quarter of the amount initially seeded in order to bring back the annuals and boost up the perennials or simply to customize the wildflower garden with their favorite species or mixes. Others, prefer to do a one-time dense seeding so they don’t have to do anything at all but sit back, relax, and enjoy nature at its best!

You can store your seeds in a cool/dry/dark place such as basement, garage, or pantry.

Technically, no - but some may need to add lime, fertilizer, gypsum or other additives. (Contact us for details)

Once germination happens, keep moist until seedlings are 6-8” tall - you may need to water every other day unless Mother Nature is providing the rain.

Most wildflowers do not like transplanting - so plant your seeds where you want to see them grow!

Use our Plant, Weed and Bloom identification page under Resources.

We do! You can find a guide to Early, Mid and Later Season bloom and seeding rates on our Resources page.

We do! To see what your neighbors are doing, go to Resouces to find the customer gallery.

NO, absolutely not. We do not sell invasive species. The Queen Anne’s Lace we sell is the annual, (Ammi majus) and not the invasive, Daucus Caroata.

Yes, mix and match away! You can also mix mixes together or add additional species - the creativity is endless!

Store seeds in a cool and dry place. If stored properly seeds are viable for years!

Some only believe in a Spring seeding while others only believe in a Fall Seeding. We seed Spring, Summer and Fall in order to take advantage of the entire growing season!

Yes, we ship when you want to - just let us know when - we’re at your service!

Most orders ship within 2 business days. Exceptions may apply such as during the spring/fall planting rush or pending laboratory germination testing results. Of course, advance sale items ship according to the information listed on the product page such as flower bulbs and bareroot plants.

We usually ship via US Mail and yes, we do ship to a PO Box as it’s secure and dry.
For UPS shipments: please email support@vermontwildflowerfarm for shipping charges and delivery date.

Feel free to use the ‘Comments Field’ at checkout.
Here are some examples:
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