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Starting from Seed

Throughout Florida, summer and fall are good times for wildflower viewing along roadsides. Native wildflowers are nectar and pollen sources for many types of insects, and the plants are teeming with these pollinators. Our pollinators need native wildflowers – and we need our native pollinators!

Only a small fraction of land in the United States has been undisturbed by human activity. That’s why providing habitat — food, shelter, and nesting areas for wildlife — in our urban landscapes is essential. Adding wildflowers and other native plants to our patios, gardens, and yards is a way to help support a diversity of beneficial insects and other small wildlife.

Depending on your region, wildflowers can be planted in Florida from mid-September through January for best germination. Having a variety of plants, with flowers of different colors, shapes, and sizes and different bloom times during the seasons is important to pollinators.

Tips for Planting

For the best germination, plant your wildflower seeds in time for your Florida region.

Choose a sunny area in your garden with well-drained soil and no weeds. One way to sow seeds evenly is to mix the seeds with moist sand or soil in a bucket. Then, mix in the seeds thoroughly.

Starting at one end of your bed, spread the half-sand mixture over the surface to the other end. Repeat the process starting at the other end of the bed. Then cover lightly with soil, no more than ¼ inch, and pat down firmly.

Keep the site moist, not wet, if rainfall isn’t sufficient. Check the soil for moisture before watering. If planting an area with very thin turf grass you can spread the seeds over the area and then rake lightly to bring seeds in contact with the soil.

Planting seeds in Florida regions

North Florida – September to October

Central Florida – October through December

South Florida – November through January

It’s important to remember not to fertilize! Native wildflowers are adapted to grow in Florida’s soil and climate. Adding fertilizer usually speeds weed growth rather than promoting wildflower growth.

When your wildflowers germinate, water only if plants are wilting. The best way to manage weeds in small wildflower areas is to pull the weeds by hand. This can be time-consuming but lets you remove only the weeds and avoid chemicals, which are harmful to valuable pollinators.

Your beautiful Florida native wildflowers will bloom mid-summer through fall. Enjoy the flowers and watch for pollinators!

For more information on establishing wildflowers and minimizing weeds, you can visit Florida Wildflower Cooperative:

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Gardening for Life in Florida