10 Amazing Uses and Benefits of Wildflowers

Wildflowers are an iconic part of America’s natural beauty. These adaptable flowers are equally at home in gardens as they are on prairies and grasslands. They also offer several benefits to our lives and the environment. In this article, we’ll examine ten amazing uses and benefits of wildflowers.

10 Amazing Uses and Benefits of Wildflowers

10 Amazing Uses and Benefits of Wildflowers:


1) Wildflowers Are Easy to Grow

A collection of colorful wildflowers growing in a garden.

Wildflowers are adaptable plants that are easy to grow. These colorful plants thrive in barren, nutrient-poor soils. They also spring up spring quickly after wildfires to colonize new areas.

The best time to sow wildflowers is in the spring. Prepare the soil first by weeding thoroughly and raking until the soil is loose and level. Then, thinly sow your seeds and gently tread them into the soil.

Most wildflowers need full sun and loose, well-draining soils. Many species are drought-tolerant and won’t need watering once established. You can also grow wildflowers in containers if you’re short on space.

2) Wildflowers Are Great for Wildlife

Wildflowers provide several significant benefits for wildlife. These flowers are vital sources of nectar and pollen for pollinators such as bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and hummingbirds. This also provides food for animals that prey on insects.

These flowers produce lots of seeds at the end of the flowering season. Birds feed on these seeds to see them through the winter. Many insects hibernate in hollow stems.

Although you can cut back wildflowers after flowering, leaving the stems and seed heads over winter really helps wildlife. Then, cut back in early spring.

3) They Come in Different Varieties

A cluster of wildflowers growing in an open meadow on a sunny day with deep blue sky.

Wildflowers come in many different colors, flower shapes, and sizes. They are generally divided into annuals, perennials, and biennials. Grow a mix to to get the most variety.

Annuals only live for one year but grow faster and flower for longer than perennials. Biennials and perennial wildflowers won’t flower in their first year while they develop strong roots. Biennials live for two years, while perennials live for at least three years.

Annuals require very little maintenance other than deadheading. Perennials need a bit more care and should be cut back once a year.

4) They Are Low-Maintenance

Not only are wildflowers easy to grow, but they also require very little maintenance. Annual wildflowers need virtually no maintenance, especially if you let them self-seed. Perennials need a bit more maintenance but are still easy to care for.

Although many varieties are drought-tolerant, it’s best to water them once a week in periods of excessive drought. Deadhead wildflowers throughout the flowering season to encourage a second round of blooms.

Cut them back once a year. You can either do this in the fall after flowering or wait until early spring.

5) They Can Help Reduce Stress and Increase Productivity

Purple wildflowers growing in a field.

Wildflowers may benefit our mental health as well. Several studies have explored the effects of plants like wildflowers on our stress and productivity levels.

One study examined the effects of looking at flowers after viewing a negative image. The results show that looking at flowers produced the largest drop in cortisol – a common stress hormone. Looking at flowers also lowered blood pressure.

Another study found that indoor plants may increase productivity levels by up to 20%. The same effect could be produced by a display of cut or dried flowers.

6) Some Wildflowers Produce Wonderful Scents

Although wildflowers produce fragrances to lure in pollinators, we can certainly enjoy them as well. Some produce sweet floral scents, while others may produce spicy or fruity aromas.

Cut or dried flowers may preserve some of their scent, which you can then bring into your home. Some of the most fragrant wildflowers include bee balm, common yarrow, evening primrose, phlox, and sweet alyssum.

7) Some Varieties Are Edible

A cup of tea on a wooden table infused with yellow wildflowers.

Wildflowers aren’t just for show. Some species are edible and have been cultivated by different cultures throughout history. Both Aztec and Native American societies grew wildflowers as crops.

Some varieties, like borage, coneflowers, fireweed, marigolds, and zinnias have edible flowers or leaves. Pick leaves while they’re young because older leaves can taste bitter. Some wildflowers, such as coneflowers, can also be used to make tea.

However, always check whether a particular type is edible first. Some wildflower species can be toxic to humans as well as dogs, cats, and other animals.

8) Some Have Medicinal Properties

Some wildflowers can also have medicinal properties. Native American societies used them extensively to treat ailments such as headaches, fevers, and colds.

Even in modern times, we still rely on these flowers for medicine. Over 10% of our basic or essential drugs are derived from plants like wildflowers. Different parts of certain plants, including flowers, leaves, roots, and stems, can be used as medicine.

The most famous example is the purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). Native Americans used coneflowers to treat burns, insect bites, toothaches, and colds.

9) Many Make Excellent Cut or Dried Flowers

A person hold aloft a bouquet of wildflowers.

Many wildflowers are used as cut or dried flowers. A vase arrangement makes a beautiful decoration for any home. Harvesting as cut or dried flowers can encourage the plant to produce more blooms.

I like to harvest wildflowers using a cut-and-come-again approach. Always cut above a node to help the plant regrow. They can be dried by hanging them in a cool, dry place. Black-eyed Susan, coneflowers, cosmos, and zinnias make excellent cut flowers.

10) Wildflowers Can Make Us Happier

Seeing wildflowers in our gardens or out on a hike can also make us happier. Numerous studies have shown that looking at flowers stimulates our brains to produce positive hormones and chemicals. These include dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin.

They also bring us closer to nature. Numerous studies have shown that being in nature makes us happier, less stressed, and more creative. Hiking through wildflower meadows or growing wildflowers in our gardens also provides healthy physical activity.


Wrapping Up

Wildflowers are highly beneficial to pollinators and other wildlife. However, many varieties provide benefits to humans as well. They may help reduce stress and increase happiness. Plus, they are also easy to grow. Remember that it’s illegal to pick native flowers unless you’re on private land and have the landowner’s permission.

Contributing Editor | edd@petalrepublic.com | Full Bio

Edd is a budding content writer and gardener living in the United Kingdom. He has a bachelor's degree in Creative and Professional Writing and has written for several gardening publications online. He is passionate about nature and sustainability with a focus on gardening and wildlife.

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