How To… Grow Wildflowers

How To... Grow Wildflowers

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There’s something special about seeing wildflowers growing in the countryside on verges and in fields, but in many parts of the country they’re few and far between because of modern farming methods.

Perennial wildflowers, such as ox-eye daisy, primroses, campions, knapweed, cowslip and field scabious to name but a few, will come back year after year.

Annuals such as field poppy and cornflower die at the end of the season, but if grown in bare ground and allowed to seed, new seedling plants will soon grow.

Some wildflowers need specific growing conditions, so it’s always worth doing a little research to see what naturally grows in the area where you live.

In a garden situation you can easily create a wildflower border by planting a selection of annuals and perennials, and with just a little care and attention they should thrive.

Although they can be grown from seed, it’s worth looking out for plug plants in garden centres now. They’ll soon establish and grow together to produce a natural, colourful border.

Not only will they look good, but native wildflowers will also attract pollinating insects into your garden.

Four wildflowers to try

1) Ox-eye daisy – A perennial wildflower that will grow in most soils and is happy in both grassland or bare ground. It quickly establishes and self-seeds.

2) Campion – Often seen growing on verges this biennial or short-lived perennial looks great as part of a wildflower mix. Allow it to seed to produce new plants.

3) Knapweed – Easily recognisable by it’s pink/purple thistle-like flowers, it naturally grows in grassland. It’s a clump forming perennial that also self-seed.

4) Poppy – Once a familiar site in corn fields, the annual poppy needs to be grown in bare ground and allowed to drop its seed for the following year.

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