Wild flower fertilizer

Asked January 28, 2018, 12:11 PM EST

Last summer I planted approximately 1500 sq ft of Eden Brothers wild flower mix on our property. The seeds germinated and provided a terrific display of variety and color. Following their advice I cut the growth back in late December. In an effort to have a good bloom this coming spring and summer when, how often and what mixture of fertilizer should I apply? I live in Benton County and the plot is irrigated.

Benton County Oregon

3 Responses

Wildflowers generally do not need fertilizer. They would not get added nutrients beyond those naturally found in the soil, in the wild. We use no fertilizer on any of our wild, or native, plants and they flourish. Here is a statement from Eden Brothers catalog, reference using fertilizer: “pampering your site with fertilizer or rich compost is not usually necessary. In fact, doing so can sometimes achieve the opposite result by inviting unwanted weeds and grasses. Only in the poorest of conditions, where the soil is literally sterile, is using an accelerant advisable.”

The other thought I had as I read your note was, I hope that you don’t bag the clippings when you “cut the growth back” on your wildflowers or rake up the cuttings. For Annuals, if you allow them to go to seed and the seeds are allowed to drop to the ground you may have more flowers in following years. Your wildflower perennials will take a couple of years to really establish. Each year they will get more and more beautiful.

Thank you for submitting this question to “Ask an Expert”. In the winter it is always fun to look ahead to the beauty of Spring and Summer gardening.

Don. Thanks for the feedback. Btw I left all the clippings in place.

Great!! You didn't ask, but be careful to not water wildflowers too much. If we have normal rain during the summer you may not need to water at all. If we have an exceptionally dry summer, like two years ago, you may need to water every other day.