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Wild flower compost

Suttons seeds sell wild flower seeds for, as they say, pots and window boxes; but will they grow successfully in enriched compost...I always thought they preferred poorer soils to thrive. 


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,440
    They grow, but often far more lush and get much bigger. Ox eye daisies in my soil get so big they fall over. I hoped for the same effect as the motorway embankments round here, that get covered in them.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,980
    edited July 2020
    Depends what type of wild flowers they are ... grassland types need poor soil but cornfield types thrive on land which had been fertilised for growing crops. 

    That’s why packs of generalised  ‘wildflower mix’ are usually so disappointing. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Butterfly66Butterfly66 Posts: 933
    It’s an urban myth. The reason why it’s often recommended to have poor soil for wildflower meadows is not because they prefer it but because grass prefers richer soil so will be less competitive in poor soil. Wildflowers are easily dominated by grass, if creating a meadow in richer or normal soil use as high a percentage mix of wildflowers as you can.

    We have lots of wildflowers growing in our borders and they all do very well and we regularly compost and feed once a year with chicken pellets
     If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”—Marcus Tullius Cicero
    East facing, top of a hill clay-loam, cultivated for centuries (7 years by me). Birmingham
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,980
    edited July 2020
    Yes grass will dominate meadow flowers in fertilised grassland ... but this simply shows that grass benefits from higher nitrogen levels and the flowers don’t. If the flowers also benefitted from richer soils they would increase at the same rate as the grass keeping the proportion the same ... but this does not happen as can be seen when ‘unimproved grassland’ previously full of wildflowers is fed with nitrogen. The grass responds to the nitrogen and flourishes,  the flowers don’t and they disappear. ☹️ 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • sarinkasarinka Posts: 270
    edited July 2020
    As pp have said, it depends on the given plant.

    My handsome cosmos plants, despite being like lush minitrees, have yet to produce buds as the soil they are in is too rich. Boo. Next year I will grow them in rubbish soil in pots! But my cornflowers are doing splendidly and clearly don't object to a bit of pampering.:)
  • edev08edev08 Posts: 56
    I really recommend this:

    Germination rates are really good for me.
    Grow wildflowers in your garden
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,564

    Sutton's say: "This exclusive new mix has been specially developed for window boxes and smaller containers, with shorter species which don't grow too big so it's perfect for smaller containers. Contains 20 species including forget-me-not, wild strawberries and wild pansy".

    So the species have been specifically tailored to growing in MPC in containers, and will be fine. Stuff that's taller, requires more sun, or is adapted to poor dry soils would struggle.

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