Planting Wildflowers on a Steep Bank or Slope

wildflower planting on a slope
Wildflowers are a great solution for sloped areas!

Plant Wildflowers on a Steep Bank or Slope - No Need to Mow!

Looking for an affordable, low-maintenance solution for your sloped backyard? Wildflowers are a great idea for steep or sloped areas of your landscape - especially if the slope makes mowing difficult or impossible! Every year, we get questions from all over the country on this subject. "Can we plant on a slope?" "Will our seed wash away?" "What can we do to prevent erosion?" Below, we'll show step-by-step tips for planting wildflowers on a slope. Plus, see two successful wildflower plantings on sloped lawns!

Why Wildflowers?

Annual Wildflowers are a great option for sloped garden beds or meadows because most annual varieties sprout quickly. This means their roots grow quickly, which makes them less susceptible to being washed away in a rainstorm. 

Perennial Wildflowers are a great option for sloped areas because they grow deep, resilient root systems and grow back year after year. Once they're established, they can help prevent erosion and provide years of low-maintenance flower blooms.

Plus, there's no need to regularly mow your steep, sloped area! You can mow once per year for maintenance, or you can skip mowing altogether to allow your meadow to take on a natural look.

All of our wildflower seed mixes include a combination of annuals for first season blooms, and perennials for blooms that start blooming in their second seasona and return each year. You can also choose to plant individual annual or individual perennial varieties of wildflowers.

 

Shop Regional Wildflower Seed Mixes

  1. Northeast Wildflower Seed Mix

    The Northeast Wildflower Seed Mix contains 27 different annual and perennial wildflowers that thrive when planted in the Northeast. Exceptionally easy to grow, this mix brings a dyna...

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    Northeast Wildflower Seed Mix Northeast Wildflower Seed Mix
    As low as $9.95
    Per 1/4 Pound
    The Northeast Wildflower Seed Mix contains 27 different annual and perennial wildflowers that thrive when planted in the Northeast. Exceptionally easy to grow, this mix brings a dynamic medley of blooms to the landscape throughout the entire summer season, with no gaps in color. Annual wildflowers like Calendula and Cornflower appear quickly in the first year, while perennial varieties like Wild Lupine and Echinacea provide many years of color starting in the second season. Designed for planting in: CT, ME, MA, RI, VT, NH, DE, PA, NY, NJ, MD, WV, QC and the Eastern Provinces, this mix contains only 100% Pure, non-GMO & neonicotinoid-free seeds.
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  2. Midwest Wildflower Seed Mix

    The Midwest Wildflower Seed Mix is comprised of 28 different wildflower species, all perfect for planting in the Heartland of the USA. Designed to provide nonstop season-long color, ...

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    Midwest Wildflower Seed Mix Midwest Wildflower Seed Mix
    As low as $9.95
    Per 1/4 Pound
    The Midwest Wildflower Seed Mix is comprised of 28 different wildflower species, all perfect for planting in the Heartland of the USA. Designed to provide nonstop season-long color, annuals like Plains Coreopsis and Sulphur Cosmos burst into bloom their very first summer, while perennial varieties like Purple Prairie Clover and Black Eyed Susan deliver color for many years, starting in their second season. Contains 100% Pure, non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free seeds best for planting in: IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, MI, MN, MO, NE, OH, WI and Ontario.
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  3. Southeast Wildflower Seed Mix

    Containing 26 different wildflowers that thrive when planted in the Southeastern US, the Southeast Wildflower Seed Mix brings steady color to the landscape throughout the summer seas...

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    Southeast Wildflower Seed Mix Southeast Wildflower Seed Mix
    As low as $9.95
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Containing 26 different wildflowers that thrive when planted in the Southeastern US, the Southeast Wildflower Seed Mix brings steady color to the landscape throughout the summer season. Blooming in the first year, annual wildflowers like Cosmos and Rose Mallow deliver quick, bold color while perennial varieties like Scarlet Sage and Shasta Daisy offer years of lasting blooms beginning in their second season. Features 100% Pure, non-GMO and neonicotinoid-free seeds for planting in: AL, AR, DC, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, East TX, and VA.
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  4. Southwest Wildflower Seed Mix - California Poppy & Lupine

    The Southwest Wildflower Mix is comprised of 26 different wildflowers that will thrive in the Southwest region of the country. Designed to create show-stopping color all season long,...

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    Southwest Wildflower Seed Mix Southwest Wildflower Seed Mix
    As low as $9.95
    Per 1/4 Pound
    The Southwest Wildflower Mix is comprised of 26 different wildflowers that will thrive in the Southwest region of the country. Designed to create show-stopping color all season long, this mix will burst into blooms the first year with annual wildflowers like African Daisy and California Poppy, and will provide color in years after with perennial varieties like Oxeye Daisy and Mexican Hat. For best results, plant in AZ, Southern CA, NM, Southern NV, OK and Western TX. All of the seed we offer at American Meadows is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free and guaranteed to grow.
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Planting Wildflowers in A Hilly Yard

Erin, one of our long-time employees, is always up for experimenting and planting new varieties on her property in Northern Vermont. This spring, the Seed Man prepped a 4,000 square ft. sloped area on her property to plant a variety of wildflowers, including our Northeast MixBlack Eyed Susans, ZinniasCosmos and more. The results were spectacular! This hard-to-reach sloped area is now bursting with wildflowers that require little water and maintenance.

This sloped area on Erin's property is visible from the road, so she wanted to plant something there that would create curb appeal but not require much maintenance. Erin chose our Northeast Wildflower Seed Mix.

Planting A Slope: Preparation

Mike used a tractor to dig up the existing grass, then rototilled the area to loosen the soil. Whenever you're planting wildflowers -- especially if it's in a hard-to-reach area like a slope -- soil preparation is key. Seeds requires good contact with the soil in order to germinate and the more prep you can do, the better.

digging up grass with tracker
rototilling a field

Planting A Slope: Seeding

After Mike prepped the soil, he spread the seed by hand and used a roller to compact the seed into the soil. This is a key step, especially for this sloped area. If you're planting a smaller area, you can simply walk on the seed after planting to compress it. This compression helps prevent seed from washing away in the rain, and good seed-to-soil contact also improves germination rate.

rolling the soil
rolling the soil

For in-depth instructions on preparing for, planting, and maintaining wildflower meadows, please view our planting guides!

Results In The First Year

As you can see by the photos below, the results were impressive throughout the season, starting at the end of July and lasting through September. Erin and her daughter Lily enjoyed the colorful blooms and had plenty to cut for bouquets.

wildflower field
wildflower meadow pink
wildflower meadow
wildflower meadow in bloom
girl in a wildflower meadow
wild sunflower meadow

Update - Two Years Later

Two years later, Erin's family has grown by one (a daughter, Abby), and the wildflower meadow on the slope is still as colorful as ever! Erin says they add a little more seed each year to fill in the bare spots but that the area is still extremely low maintenance. It blooms from May all the way into the fall and brings their family joy each season. Erin snapped these photos over the summer of 2017.

wildflower meadow
two girls in a wildflower meadow
girl in a wildflower meadow
wildflower meadow

Framing A Log Cabin With Wildflowers

flower meadow in bloom
Flowers in bloom for the 4th of July.

Our customer, Dot and Pete Ramsdell, live in a famously beautiful spot near Cavendish Village, Vermont. There they have a charming log home with rolling lawns and mountain scenery, but there was one problem. The house sits on a hill, and just in front, the ground slopes toward a large lawn at an angle of 45 degrees. The slope made the view from the house beautiful, but as with all steep slopes, it made mowing difficult. They wanted to plant flowers, but did not want to struggle with weeding and mowing around flower beds on the large, sloping space. They decided to try wildflowers!

"This time, I knew preparation was key. In late fall, we applied Roundup to the whole area with our ATV sprayer attachment. In the spring we again applied Roundup to kill any remaining grass and weeds. Because of erosion concerns we did not rototill. Instead we lightly scratched the surface with a york rake, leaving the old roots intact, but providing a seed bed for new seeds. We hand-sowed the Northeast Wildflower Seed Mix as per your directions, and Mother nature took over from there. We have been told by many that the results are spectacular."

Pete and Dot Ramsdell, Cavendish, VT

We couldn’t agree more!

wildflowers from driveway of house
Wildflowers greet visitors along the long drive.
wild sunflowers in front of home
Tall Sunflowers in fall.
wildflowers along driveway
Wildflowers greet visitors along the drive.
wildflowers from driveway of house
Year after year, their wildflower meadow continues to bloom!
wildflowers in front of home
The wildflower meadow is beautiful and low-maintenance.
wildflowers along driveway
Perennial Black-Eyed Susans In Bloom

Shop Our Most Popular Wildflower Varieties

  1. Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) and swallowtail butterfly

    Purple Coneflower, also called Echinacea, is famous across the country for its stunning purple flowers and golden center cones. A perennial butterfly and bee magnet, this native wild...

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    Purple Coneflower Seeds Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea
    As low as $19.95 Sale $18.96
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Purple Coneflower, also called Echinacea, is famous across the country for its stunning purple flowers and golden center cones. A perennial butterfly and bee magnet, this native wildflower is extremely easy to grow and looks equally at home in the garden, meadow, or vase. Leave your Purple Coneflower planting in place over the winter to attract goldfinches and other songbirds. 100% pure, non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free seeds are guaranteed to grow.
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  2. Yellow Black Eyed Susan Seeds, Rudbeckia hirta

    Versatile, drought-tolerant and easy-to-grow, Black Eyed Susan adds a cheerful splash of color to the summer landscape. A native plant that attracts a variety of pollinators, Black E...

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    Black Eyed Susan Seeds Black Eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta
    As low as $12.95 Sale $12.31
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Versatile, drought-tolerant and easy-to-grow, Black Eyed Susan adds a cheerful splash of color to the summer landscape. A native plant that attracts a variety of pollinators, Black Eyed Susan pairs beautifully with other prairie favorites like Purple Coneflower and Butterfly Weed. Its adapatable nature makes it a great choice for poor soils and tough conditions. All of the seed we carry at American Meadows is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free and guaranteed to grow. Biennial.
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  3. Red Poppy, Papaver rhoeas

    Red Poppy, also known as Flanders Poppy, is famed around the world for the carpet of red beauty it creates when in full bloom. A must-have for any wildflower meadow or garden, this e...

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    Red Poppy Seeds Red Poppy, Corn Poppy, Flanders Poppy, Shirley Poppy Papaver rhoeas
    As low as $16.95
    Per 1/4 Pound
    Red Poppy, also known as Flanders Poppy, is famed around the world for the carpet of red beauty it creates when in full bloom. A must-have for any wildflower meadow or garden, this easy-to-grow annual delights with bright blooms throughout the summer season. Deer resistant and attractive to pollinators, Red Poppies can be planted in any region of the US. We're proud to sell only 100% pure, non-GMO and neonicotinoid-free seeds. Guaranteed to grow.
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  4. Texas Bluebonnet, Lupine

    Limited Quantities Available!Texas Bluebonnet is a true-blue beauty and one of the worlds most well-known wildflowers. Famous for creating carpets of sweeping indigo color mid-season...

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    Texas Bluebonnet Seeds Texas Bluebonnet Lupinus texensis
    As low as $12.95 Sale $11.66
    Per 1 Ounce
    Limited Quantities Available!Texas Bluebonnet is a true-blue beauty and one of the worlds most well-known wildflowers. Famous for creating carpets of sweeping indigo color mid-season in meadows throughout the country, this variety prefers sandy, loamy and well-draining soils, as well as a minimum of six hours of sun per day. In warmer areas, Texas Bluebonnets act as perennials, coming back year after year, but in colder areas, they act as annuals. All of the seed we carry at American Meadows is non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free and guaranteed to grow. Annual.
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