How to water your wildflowers

We all need water to survive and wildflowers are no exception.

If you’re sowing wildflower seeds, you’ll need to make sure that you have access to water to be able to give them the best chance of thriving.

When to water, and how much?

Watering plants in a community garden

The critical time to water wildflowers in the ground is after sowing and while the seedlings are establishing themselves in the first six weeks. You should aim to water your freshly sown wildflower space twice a week and more frequently in hot weather.

Gentle watering with a rose on a watering can, or gentle spray attachment to a hose, is important to avoid washing seeds away.

Wildflowers grown in containers need regular watering throughout their lives. In Summer this can mean a good soak every day, even if it has been raining.

Plants need the most water in hot, dry and windy weather, which is usually when water companies might be least able to meet demand, and you don’t want to lose your wildflowers to a hose pipe ban! 

Rainwater for watering plants

Even if there isn’t a ban, what if you don’t have an outside tap? Or your wildflower patch is nowhere near your kitchen sink? You could consider harvesting rainwater.

Using rainwater will mean you have water for your wildflowers during a drought. And you’ll also be doing your bit for the environment by cutting your water consumption. Water butts are easily installed to a down pipe from any roof and, provided the gutters are kept clear, you can quickly fill up a water butt in a downpour.

Many local councils offer water butts for free or at reduced prices, recognising the importance of collecting rainwater. With more people paving front gardens, and fewer places for water to escape, capturing rainwater can even reduce the risk of local flooding.

You should always make sure that your water butt has a lid to prevent debris collecting in the water and to keep any children safe when they’re enjoying your wildflower patch.

And if you’ve missed sowing your seeds in Spring well then you might be in luck! Seeds sown in Autumn rarely need watering and are well established by the time Spring or Summer droughts hit – one of the many reasons Autumn sowing can be ideal for wildflowers!