Purple coneflower

When do wildflowers bloom?

One of the best parts about growing wildflowers is getting to see them in full bloom – creating a positive, vibrant and pollinator-friendly feel for us all to enjoy! However, if you’re new to growing wildflowers, you may be slightly unsure when your wildflowers will bloom and how long their stunning flowers last. Take a look at this helpful blog and discover when, why and how your wildflowers will flower after sowing.

Growing annual, biennial and perennial wildflowers

The first thing we need to look at is what type of wildflower species you are going to plant or which you have already planted. There are three main types of wildflowers; annuals, biennials and perennials. This can seem a little confusing to some people at first but, in simple terms, annual wildflowers grow, bloom and die in one year, biennials complete this same cycle in two years and perennials last three years plus.

With this in mind, the wildflower species you sow will therefore make a difference to when the wildflowers will first flower and how often they’re expected to bloom again after this.

Annual wildflowers

Annuals are fairly straightforward wildflowers which are easy to grow as long as they have a good amount of sunlight and water. As the life cycle of an annual is completed in a 12-month period, they tend to flower pretty quickly after sowing – anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks if the growing conditions are right. This makes annual wildflowers perfect for making a nearly instant impact to your outdoor space.

Example of native annual wildflowers:

  • Cornflower
  • Poppy
  • Corncockle
  • Corn Chamomile

Biennial wildflowers

Biennial wildflowers, in comparison, take a lot longer to flower and are unlikely to flower in their first growing year. However, in the second year, biennials will produce stunning blooms for you to enjoy! Once the plant has flowered and self-seeded, it will die and new plants are likely to grow the following year.

Example of native biennial wildflowers:

  • Foxglove
  • Garlic Mustard
  • Vipers Bugloss

Perennial wildflowers

Perennial wildflowers behave differently to both annuals and biennials, as they will bloom for a number of years before dying. Most perennials won’t produce a flower in their first growing year, as this time is usually used to establish a good root system, so that the plant remains healthy for seasons to come. However, if you sow perennials towards the end of the sowing period (Aug-Oct) and establish well before the winter, you may find they flower in their first summer.

Example of native perennial wildflowers:

  • Red Campion
  • Oxeye Daisy
  • Betony
  • Yarrow
  • Selfheal

Wildflower sowing date & seasons

Sowing date is a really important factor to consider when working out when your wildflowers will bloom. If you sow your wildflowers towards the end of the sowing window, late August to October for example, then it is highly likely you will not get a flower that year. However, these wildflowers will be most likely to flower earlier the following year, as they will have already established a root system and some early growth.

For wildflowers grown in spring, it’s best to pay attention to the weather and the season you are experiencing. If it’s a colder spring, it’s likely your wildflowers will flower later as sunlight and soil temperature are a really important part of the process. However, a wet and mild spring can create the ideal conditions for an earlier bloom! Unfortunately, the weather is something we can’t control but it definitely helps to go along with seasons and what they naturally bring with them.

Wildflower calendar

Making your wildflowers bloom earlier

If you’re anything like me, patience isn’t your strong suit! However, when it comes to gardening and growing wildflowers in particular, seeing seeds develop at every growth stage form gemination to flowering is a really rewarding and exciting process.

Although there are some methods which can be used to speed up the flowering process, such as growing your plants from seed in a greenhouse, I prefer to grow my wildflowers the natural way. This means that I go with the seasons and the variations in the seasons each year. By doing this, wildflowers will bloom when they are naturally provided with the right conditions, mainly warmth, sunlight and moisture.

By leaving it up to nature, I also feel like I’m much more in keeping with the natural world around me, making sure that my own little eco-system is aligned, so that my wildflower area is a pollen source, food source and habitat when the insects, birds and small mammals are ready for them!

How long you can expect your wildflower bloom to last?

Depending on how mild and wet the season is, some wildflowers, such as Red Campion, can flower as early as April and last into November. However, most wildflowers, whether annual, biennial or perennial will start to bloom in May or June and last 3-4 months.

Extending your wildflowers’ bloom

The best way to keep your wildflower blooming for longer is to keep them well watered during the summer months, especially if there are long drought periods or particularly hot spells. Dry weather is particularly detrimental and if you’re wildflowers don’t get enough moisture, it’s likely they

You could also look at cutting your annual wildflowers before they turn into seed pods before flowering ends. By cutting the flowers at this stage, you’re convincing the plant to bud out, produce another flower and finally self-seed.

Cutting wildflowers for arrangements

When your wildflowers bloom, many of them will be perfect for cutting to use in your own arrangements! Wildflowers, in particular, can look fantastic in vases, ornaments and decorations with lots of textures, sizes and colours to choose from. This makes any wildflower arrangement look totally unique and creates a ‘never been seen before’ moment for your interior décor.

If you’re looking to cut your wildflowers when they are in bloom, I would recommend keeping an eye out for seed mixtures which include species such as Larkspur, Baby’s Breath, Wild Carrot, Cornflower, Zinnia and Cosmos. Alternatively, I would also absolutely recommend choosing a wildflower seed mixture which has specifically been curated for cutting and floristry.

Not only will your wildflower arrangement blooms look fantastic but you’re also supporting sustainable living by growing your own flowers! A total win-win!

Wildflower display in home

Getting the right advice

If you’ve read this blog and you’re still unsure why your wildflowers either haven’t bloomed or when you can expect them to bloom, please do get in contact and we will help in any way we can!