What Are The Best Hot Weather Wildflower Plants?
Wildflowers are one of the most beautiful things you can see during the summer season. They are very popular among gardeners because they provide a variety of colors and textures that you cannot get from other kinds of plants. There are many varieties available, but some common ones include: daisies, dahlias, chrysanthemums, peonies, primroses, roses and violets.
You may have seen wildflowers growing in your neighborhood or even at home. You might have noticed that these flowers are not always blooming right away. For instance, it takes several days before the first bloom appears. If you do not want to wait until then, you can plant them now so that they will be ready when the weather gets cooler later this year.
If you live in a warmer climate, such as Florida, you probably already have some wildflowers growing in your yard. However, if you live somewhere colder like northern Michigan or southern Wisconsin, there is no guarantee that any of these flowers will grow here.
So what are the best wildflower plants to plant in zones 10 through 12?
Here are our recommendations:
Daisy (Dendroderus spp. hybrids)
These flowers are closely related to the sunflower, but they have several petals, rather than just one. There are hundreds of varieties available, including the popular Shasta daisy. These flowers grow best in full sun and require well-drained soil.
Glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa spp.)
This flower is native to the U.K., where it grows in woodland areas. It has five petals that create a white, cone-like flower. It is an ideal plant for rock gardens and other shady areas.
It prefers cool soils and cannot tolerate hot weather, however it only grows about 6 inches high, so it will not block your sunlight.
Daisies (Leucanthemum x superbum)
Another popular daisy is Leucanthemum x superbum, better known as Shasta daisy. This flower has been grown in gardens since the Victorian era and has become a symbol of innocence. It grows up to 10 inches in height and has white petals with yellow edges.
Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila spp.)
With over 200 varieties, baby’s breath is one of the most popular flowers used in weddings and other special occasions. The common variety, Gypsophila paniculata, grows up to 12 inches in height. The flowers have a bunch of white, delicate petals that create a dandelion-like ball. All varieties prefer full sun and fertile, well-drained soil.
Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)
This is a biennial species that grows best in rich, moist soil. Its height can reach up to 6 feet, so it is important to place it in an area where it will not obstruct other plants. It has large clusters of purple or pink flowers and it is a favorite among many gardeners.
What Other Wildflower Varieties Should You Avoid?
When planting wildflowers, you will have to determine whether they are annuals, biennials or perennials. This will help you know when to plant them so that they will be ready to bloom when the weather gets cooler.
If you live in an area where the winters get very cold, it is best to avoid perennial wildflower varieties. These plants need at least three years to bloom, so they will not survive the cold winter months. If you want to see these flowers bloom every year, then you will need to take them inside and replant a new batch each spring.
Another disadvantage of many wildflower species is that they only grow to a specific height and cannot be trimmed. This makes it difficult to grow them in a small area, because they will quickly overtake other more delicate flowers.
So before you go out and plant wildflowers, make sure that your climate can support them and that you have enough space for them to grow.
What Should You Do Now?
Now that you have a better understanding of wildflowers, you should have a better idea of what type of flowers you’d like to grow in your garden. Wildflower gardening is a fun hobby and there is no one “right” way to do it. As long as you put time and love into your garden, then it will turn out great!
If you still need help deciding what wildflower types you want in your garden, take a look at the photos of different flowers throughout this article. If you see a type of flower that you like, then it may be worth researching to see if it will grow well in your specific climate and conditions.
Have you ever grown wildflowers before? Do you have a favorite type of flower to grow in your garden?
Let us know about it in the comment section below. We always love hearing from you!
Up Next: How To Plant a Container Garden (Video)
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2015 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
Sources & references used in this article:
Effects of climate change on phenology, frost damage, and floral abundance of montane wildflowers by DW Inouye – Ecology, 2008 – Wiley Online Library
The New England Wild Flower Society guide to growing and propagating wildflowers of the United States and Canada by W Cullina – 2000 – books.google.com
Phenological mismatch with trees reduces wildflower carbon budgets by JM Heberling, C McDonough MacKenzie… – Ecology …, 2019 – Wiley Online Library
Larger patches of diverse floral resources increase insect pollinator density, diversity, and their pollination of native wildflowers by BR Blaauw, R Isaacs – Basic and Applied Ecology, 2014 – Elsevier
Water deficit stress responses of three native Australian ornamental herbaceous wildflower species for water-wise landscapes by R Kjelgren, L Wang, D Joyce – HortScience, 2009 – journals.ashs.org
Wildflower green roofs for urban landscaping, ecological sustainability and biodiversity by S Benvenuti – Landscape and Urban Planning, 2014 – Elsevier
Establishment of native wildflower plantings by seed by JG Norcini, JH Aldrich – 2004 – researchgate.net
Evaluating the effectiveness of wildflower seed mixes for boosting floral diversity and bumblebee and hoverfly abundance in urban areas by LM Blackmore, D Goulson – Insect Conservation and Diversity, 2014 – Wiley Online Library