Are there native wildflower seed packages that can be sprinkled to plant that are helpful for pollinators?


I’d like to grow more wildflowers that are helpful for pollinators and/or native to Maine and are just nice to have.  I was wondering if there are general mixed seed packages that can be bought to just sprinkle around for the above purposes.  Any thoughts, tips, suggestions?


Rebecca Long, Sustainable Agriculture and Horticulture Professional

That sounds like a great project! There are definitely seed mixes available, the key to their success is proper site prep. Eliminating competitive weeds will be essential before you plant, this can be a fairly involved process. This publication from UNH outlines several methods to prep the area, depending on what conditions you are starting with. When selecting a site, make sure it is safe from pesticide application or drift as you don’t want to inadvertently expose the pollinators you attract to pesticides. Take note of the conditions including the amount of sun it receives and how wet the soil is. These features will be important when choosing appropriate native species.

When selecting a seed mix, choose a reputable seller, ideally as close as possible to your growing region to ensure they provide regionally appropriate species. Be cautious of any seller that sells one generic mix for all site conditions or for the entire United States. The Wild Seed Project is a good source for info on Maine native plants. The ideal mix will include multiple species that bloom in spring, summer and early fall to ensure a constant supply of food for pollinators.

The UNH publication above also outlines how to plant seed mixes. For smaller areas, another option is to start individual varieties of plants as seeds in pots and transplant them after a year or two when they are larger. When creating a meadow some maintenance will be necessary, including mowing annual weeds in the first year, before the species you planted emerge. Happy planting!