Native plants and wildflowers that are easy to grow from seed
Our native plants and wildflowers are an important component of the New England Habitat. Native birds, mammals and insects seek out our native plant species for food, nest sites and shelter. By planting native plants and wildflowers in your home landscape you can help to encourage our native wildlife species as well. Many wildflowers are easy to grow from seed. Below is a list of plants that are often readily available as seeds from a variety of sources. If you find these plants in the wild we suggest that you only collect 10% of the wild seed to leave some to preserve the existing population.
- Bee-Balm (Monarda didyma) B,C
- Bishop’s Cap (Mitella diphylla) B
- Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckis fulgida, R. hirta, R. triloba) A
- Blanket Flower (Gaillardia aristata) B
- Blazing Star ( Liatris pycnostachya) A
- Blue False Indigo (Baptisia australis) B,E
- Blue Flag Iris (Iris versicolor) A
- Bluestar (Amsonia tabernaemontana)
- Bog Aster (Oclemena nemoralis) A
- Bowrnan’s Root (Gillenia trifoliata) A
- Bush Pea (Thermopsis caroliniana) B,E
- Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa) A,B
- Cardinal Flower ( Lobelia cardinalis) A
- Closed Gentian (Gentiana clausa) A
- Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) B,C
- Dotted Horsemint (Monarda punctata) B,C
- Dwarf Crested Iris (Iris cristata) A
- False Dragonhead (Physostegia virginiana) B
- Fire Pink (Silene virginica) A
- Foam Flower (Tiarella cordifolia) B
- Globeflower (Trollius laxus) A
- Goat’s Beard (Aruncus dioicus) B
- Golden Aster (Chrysopsis mariana) A
- Golden Groundsel (Packera aurea) B
- Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica) A
- Harebells (Campanula rotundifolia) B,D
- Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium van-bruntiae) B
- Long Fruited Windflower (Anemone cylindrica) B
- Monkey Flower (Mimulus ringens) B
- Narrow Leaf Gentian (G. linearis) A
- New England Aster (Symphytotrichum novae-angliae) A
- Oconee Bells (Shortia galacifolia) A,F
- Pasque Flower (Anemone patens) B
- Pink Beard Tongue (Penstemon smallii) B
- Pink Turtlehead (Chelone lyoni) B
- Prairie Coneflower (Ratibida colomnifera) B
- Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) B,C
- Scarlet Monkey Flower (Mimulus cardinalis) B
- Shooting Star (Dodecatheon meadia) A
- Showy Aster (Eurybia spectabilis) A
- Sundrops (Oenothera fruticosa) B,D
- Tall Windflower (Anemone virginiana)
- Thimbleweed (Anemone multifida) B
- Tickseed (Coreopsis auriculata) B
- Water Avens (Geum rivale) B
- White Turtlehead (Chelone glabra) B
- Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) B,C
- Wild Bleeding Heart (Dicentra eximia) A
- Wild Onion (Allium cernuum) A,B
- Yellow violet (Viola pubescens) A,F
Key to the codes above:
A. Moist Cold Treatment – Seed should be sown in the fall in a container or a prepared bed, then left outside for at least 3 months of cold to break seed dormancy.
B. Dry Cold Treatment – Seed can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator until you are ready to sow them in early spring. Seed can be started indoors to get a head start, or sown outside in late March or April.
C. Seed needs no special treatment, it will germinate upon sowing in a warm location.
D. Seed is very fine and needs no cover after sowing.
E. Soak seed for 24 hours before sowing.
F. Seed germination rate is best if seed is sown immediately upon ripening.
Media: Fine screened loam or humus for prepared beds outside. Commercial seed starter mix such as Jiffy Mix or Pro-Mix for seed sown in flats or pots. Fill the container with media and wet it thoroughly, allow excess water to drain out. Sprinkle seed over the surface of the media, then cover seed with fine screened sand and peat for acid loving plants or milled sphagnum for small seed. Place container in a warm, sunny location, or 6″ under a fluorescent light indoors and wait for germination to occur. Seed sown outside should be covered with sand, then lightly mulched to prevent wash-outs.