The Q&A Archives: Maintaining Wildflowers

Question: I Planted wildflowers in my backyard a few months ago(December) Last month they stated sprouting and a couple weeks later the area was bursting with stems and leaves, no buds and only 1-2 flowers. Then they all started sagging over and looking withered and flat. I removed weeds and as much grass as possible. I also cut back the larger top heavy spots, they look awful. What should I do?

Answer: Wildflowers, especially packaged mixes of wildflowers, are typically happy in dry, sunny areas. If the plants are wilting, they aren't getting enough sunshine, or they're getting too much water or too little water. It's important to water seedlings so they get enough moisture, but over-watering, or planting on a site with poor drainage, will cause the stems to collapse. Try watering early in the morning so the leaves and stems can dry early in the day, and try to provide enough water that it wets the top inch of soil. As the seedlings grow, they can go a few days between waterings. When they reach that point, apply enough water at one time to wet the top two inches of soil. As the summer progresses, you'll want to encourage the roots to penetrate deeply and you'll need to water more deeply, but less often. Wildflowers will bloom most heavily in the late spring and summer, so don't give up on your plants just yet!

Best wishes with your wildflowers!

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