Plant Wildflowers for a Low-Maintenance Landscape

by Suzanne DeJohn

Slowly but surely, attitudes about lawns are changing and homeowners are considering alternatives to expansive lawns. Let's face it, lawns are a hassle to maintain, especially if you aspire to a picture-perfect green carpet. There's the weekly mowing, seasonal fertilizing and repeated weeding, not to mention the frequent watering, all of which require time — and money.

Imagine looking out your window, and instead of a swath of green grass (or brown grass if you forgot to water it, or watering restrictions were in effect) you can enjoy flowers in a rainbow of colors. Then imagine heading out to cut some of those blooms for bouquets — you can't do that with lawn grass! That's why across the country wildflower meadows are sprouting where lawns once ruled.

Wildflowers Save Time and Money
Let's say it takes you an hour a week to mow and trim your lawn. Over the course of the summer (May through September) you'll spend 20 hours mowing. That's 20 hours you could have spent in the hammock, fishing, riding your bike or whatever it is that's your favorite pastime. It's like getting an extra half-week of vacation time!

wildflower meadow with peonieswildflower meadow with peonies
Wildflowers are not only beautiful, they save time and money, too.

Now add in the cost of fertilizer and weed controls, plus gasoline, oil and power equipment maintenance, not to mention the initial costs of the equipment. If you're on a municipal water supply, a hefty portion of your summer water bill may go to watering your lawn, too. (In arid regions, up to 50% of a household's water usage goes to landscape irrigation.) A wildflower planting, on the other hand, needs no fertilizing, little or no supplemental water and just a once-a-year mowing.

Climate Considerations
You'll often see the same lawn grass mixes sold in big box stores across the country, even though climates vary widely. One of the nice things about wildflowers is that you can choose species that are adapted to your growing conditions. Flowers that thrive in the cool, moist Pacific Northwest may wither in the hot, dry Southwest. To make selecting plants easier, American Meadows has created Regional Mixes with flowers that will thrive in each region. Many parts of the country experience prolonged periods of dry weather in summer, and most lawn grasses won't survive weeks without water. Look at the native wildflowers in those regions and you'll find plants adapted to those conditions. The same holds true for fertilizer. Lawns are "heavy feeders" and in regions with poor soils they require regular applications of fertilizers. Many wildflower species, on the other hand, are used to poor soils — in fact, if you fertilize your meadow with lawn fertilizer you're likely to end up with lots of leaves and few flowers.

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California poppies are adapted to withstand hot, dry conditions.

Let the Buyer Beware
One word of caution: If you've ever been tempted to buy a "meadow in a can" be sure to read the fine print. Most wildflower seed mixes contain only a small percentage of actual seed; with 90% or more made up of fillers. Our mixes are 100% flower seed, with no fillers or grasses.

You'll likely be seeing wildflower plantings popping up in yards in your neighborhood. Consider replacing a small section of your lawn and discover the benefits for yourself.

  1. All Annual Big Color Wildflower Seed Mix - Simplicity

    Our All Annual Bold Color Wildflower Seed Mix features a bold, bright color palette for gardens and meadows. This mix features 10 annual wildflower varieties that will bloom just wee...

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    All Annual Bold Color Wildflower Seed Mix All Annual Bold Color Wildflower Seed Mix
    As low as $11.95 Sale $11.35
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Our All Annual Bold Color Wildflower Seed Mix features a bold, bright color palette for gardens and meadows. This mix features 10 annual wildflower varieties that will bloom just weeks after germination, with blooms that continue all summer until frost. Cut your own beautiful bouquets with warm, harmonious colors. Watch as pollinators like bees and butterflies visit the blooms. All of our seed is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free, 100% pure, and guaranteed to grow.
  2. All Annual Wildflower Seed Mix - Variety

    Our All Annual Vivid Variety Wildflower Seed Mix will create a rainbow of color in your garden or meadow. This mix features 23 annual wildflower varieties that will bloom just weeks ...

    Learn More
    All Annual Vivid Variety Wildflower Seed Mix All Annual Vivid Variety Wildflower Seed Mix
    As low as $11.95 Sale $11.35
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Our All Annual Vivid Variety Wildflower Seed Mix will create a rainbow of color in your garden or meadow. This mix features 23 annual wildflower varieties that will bloom just weeks after germination, with blooms that continue all summer until frost. If you're looking for quick-blooming wildflowers to attract a parade of pollinators and provide armfuls of cut-flower bouquets, this mix is for you! All of our seed is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free, 100% pure, and guaranteed to grow.
  3. Wildflower Lawn Seed Mix - Simplicity

    Our Wildflower Yard Annual Bold Color Seed Mix will fill your yard with bright blooms all summer long. This low-growing mix features 9 annual wildflower varieties that grow no higher...

    Learn More
    Wildflower Yard Annual Bold Color Seed Mix Wildflower Yard Annual Bold Color Seed Mix
    As low as $14.95 Sale $14.20
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Our Wildflower Yard Annual Bold Color Seed Mix will fill your yard with bright blooms all summer long. This low-growing mix features 9 annual wildflower varieties that grow no higher than 20 inches tall, so it’s perfect for borders, lawn replacement, and curb appeal. Easy-to-grow wildflowers bloom from spring all the way through frost, perfect for cut flowers and attracting pollinators. All of our seed is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free, 100% pure, and guaranteed to grow.
  4. Wildflower Lawn Seed Mix - Variety

    Our Wildflower Yard Annual Vivid Variety Seed Mix will fill your yard with vibrant colors all summer long. This mix features 20 annual wildflower varieties that grow no higher than 2...

    Learn More
    Wildflower Yard Annual Vivid Variety Seed Mix Wildflower Yard Annual Vivid Variety
    As low as $14.95 Sale $14.20
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Our Wildflower Yard Annual Vivid Variety Seed Mix will fill your yard with vibrant colors all summer long. This mix features 20 annual wildflower varieties that grow no higher than 2 feet tall, so it’s perfect for borders, lawn replacement, and curb appeal. Easy-to-grow wildflowers bloom from spring all the way through frost, perfect for plenty of cut flowers and attracting pollinators. All of our seed is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free, 100% pure, and guaranteed to grow
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