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Creating a wildflower garden

Please could anyone tell me how long the following wildflower seeds take to germinate, as I'm new to all this and haven't a clue how long they will take! Many thanks! Foxgloves Oxeye Daisies Cowslips Cow Parsley Field Scabious


  • Most seeds take from 1 week to 1 month average germination time given the right condotions (it should say on the packet). I have bought a wildflower collection this year and on the packet it says that sow March to May - then again Aug to Oct, I assume this is due to the fact that some of them need sowing later in the year. It also says sow directly onto the prepared ground where they are to flower but I am woried about them getting eaten by slugs and snails before they get to any reasonable size.  

  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892
    discodave wrote (see)

    ... I am woried about them getting eaten by slugs and snails before they get to any reasonable size.  

    That's a very sensible point.

    I prefer to sow into modules, so I that can see what's happening. It involves a little bit more work, planting out, but is a lot more reliable.

    Another issue (that I've experienced) is that many wild flowers, planted in grass, are considered delicacies by deer. If there are deer in your vicinity then you may need to try to combat that problem too.

  • Thanks Lyon, I was considering planting them into modules to plant out when they get slightly bigger. Thats just made up my mind.. We dont have any issue with deer. 

  • Many thanks to you both for your good advice. As this is a new venture

    for me I'm really excited about it (and probably a little too impatient!!) We

    don't have deer, but I'm hoping that the wildflower garden will be helpful to

    bees, butterflies etc. once it gets going! Unfortunately the firm I bought the

    seeds from sent them in plain packaging, so all the information I've been

    able to find has been on the internet so far. I have since found that cow parsley

    seeds take 8 to 10 weeks to germinate - so I have a long wait for those!!

    I have sown the five varieties I mentioned in my first post in seed trays, as I

    too was worried that something might eat them before they had chance to thrive!
  • Hi Wild about flowers....a little tip about the Cowslip seeds. They are part of the Primula family and need a period of coldness to break the seeds dormancy, therefore you should not be putting them anywhere that is heated. They are usually sown in the Autumn and left over Winter and should then germinate the following Spring. Not sure how cold your part of the world is at the moment but I would keep them cold for the next 4 weeks approx. I have left seeds out in the coldest of Winters and they have still germinated. Hope that helps.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,572

    Man of Kent's point may apply to cow parsley as well. A lot of that family need a chill.

  • Many thanks Man of Ken and Nutcutlet. I really appreciate your advice and

    am pleased to tell you that for the past two weeks I've had all my wildflower

    seeds outdoors. We've just had, rain, rain and more rain here on the coast

    in Dorset and I've been really worried my seeds would "drown". So I've been

    leaving them exposed for about half and hour in the rain, then putting the

    propogation lids on them so they don't get swamped. The only thing is, I

    wonder whether, if and when we do get a frost, the propogation lids may give

    them too much protection from the cold. What do you think? I have a feeling

    that one of my oxeye daisies is just beginning to sprout today and I'm so

    excited about that, as I really love these flowers - they're so pure and white and

    bee friendly!

    Good to hear from you - I'll keep you posted!
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,572

    I don't think the lids will stop them getting cold. I put the seeds that needed chilling inside the cold greenhouse this year for an experiment. They're all germinating now. I've always left them out before, with grit on the top to stop washouts. But I'm glad they're in this year, I've never known rain like it. 

  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,817

    Hmmm - thanks for that tip about cowslip seeds. I guess if I sow them now it may be OK if I leave them outside somewhere. Am I right

    Never grown wild flowers before. Also have harebells any hints?

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,572

    I don't think harebells need a chill. 

    If the cowslips don't germinate this spring they will next, just sow them. If you cover them with grit they won't get all that algae/liverwort (or whatever it is) growing on top if it takes a long time.

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