If you have recently sown wildflowers, we bet you can’t wait to see them burst into bloom and bring some vibrant colour to your garden! But how long does it take wildflowers to grow, and just when will you see that flourish of flowers finally appear?
We put together this blog to answer a common question we have been hearing: "how long does it take wildflowers to grow?". The answer to this question can depend on when you plant them, what wildflower seed mix you choose, and the weather conditions when you sow. However, generally, annuals bloom around 60-80 days after they are sown, and perennials take up to one year to establish.
Annuals vs perennials
Wildflower seed mixes are often made up of both annual and perennial wildflowers. An annual wildflower typically only has one showing, whilst a perennial wildflower will return year after year.
Of course, the success of your wildflower patch or meadow depends on the place you have picked to sow them, if you have picked the right mix for that area, and if you have sown them correctly. If you have done all these things right, scroll to see when you should expect your wildflowers to come to life!
What actually happens?
If you think when you sow a wildflower mix that you will be left with a bare patch for a long time until the flowers bloom, then you are wrong! Once you sow your wildflowers, within weeks, you should start to see green shoots appear – it’s important during this time that you make sure to keep the area moist by watering it when there is no rain.
If the soil is dry, your wildflowers may struggle to grow. Well-watered, your wildflowers will continue to grow to provide lots of greenery until it's time for them to bloom. When will they bloom – find out below!
Annuals wildflowers only mix
If you have sown an annuals only mix, you can expect to see blooms within 60-80 days, depending on when you have sown your mix. If you have sown your wildflowers in autumn, the earliest you may see some species bloom is June.
Cornfield annuals, for example, bloom from June – August. If you are sowing the same mix in spring, you may find that the cornfield annuals in your mix begin to bloom later in summer. As said, annuals typically only have one showing, but you can get them to return if you follow a careful process.
When your annuals go to seedhead (the petals become dry and crisp), you’ll notice they are full of lots of tiny seeds. You can collect these by hand by simply tipping the contents of the flower into some envelopes and labelling, so you know what you will be sowing in future. These seeds can then be sown again if stored in a cool, dry location out of direct sunlight!
Alternatively, you can mow, strim or trim the area down and firm the seedheads back into the soil by foot. This process isn’t perfect, so we recommend saving your seeds for the best results.
Absolutely Annuals wildflower mix contains cornfield
annuals alongside plenty of other showstopper blooms such as Calendula Art
Shades, Californian Poppy and more.
Annual & perennial wildflower mix
If you have an annual and perennial wildflower mix, some of the same rules apply. Your annuals will pop up first within 60-80 days of sowing them, and if you want them to return, you’ll need to try out some seed saving.
The perennials in the mix will take up to one year to establish but will remain as green foliage throughout the growing season. As is the same with any annual species, perennial wildflowers will bloom at different times, so you can expect to see these pop up at various stages throughout summer.
When your annuals finish after the first year, mow, strim or trim the area down to around 5-7cm and remove most of the clippings but firm any seedheads into the soil. This will keep them coming back year after year!
Annual, perennial and meadow grass mix
If you sow a wildflower mix with meadow grass the growth process is slightly different. The meadow grasses will grow first, which will help create a nursery for the wildflowers that follow to help keep the area weed-free and a habitat for wildlife.
Within 60-80 days, your annuals will begin to bloom, and within a year your perennials will appear. We have a range of wildflower mixes that contain annuals, perennials and meadow grass so you get the best of both worlds while keeping a weed-free meadow.
Our Shade Showcase is excellent for brightening up the darker parts of your garden, whilst our Clay Display will thrive in your clay soils where nothing else seems to grow! Our Bees Please and Hi Butterfly mixes contain special species that will bring more bees and butterflies to your garden. And our Bloomin' Marvellous Meadow contains a lavish mix of 100% annual and perennial wildflowers that provides a sensational colour-popping display for many seasons.
Read our guide to find out how to manage your wildflowers year after year.