Take Advantage Of Rainy Season And Plant Wildflowers

Tips from an expert.

With the rainy season currently underway, now is the time get started on a wildflower garden. It’s a simple three-step process: buy seeds, prepare the soil, and then wait for the right time to plant. Max Kanter of Saturate Landscaping suggests keeping your eye on the forecast.

“The ideal time is totally dependent on the winter rains. Some years the rains come heavy in November and December. Other years the rains come in January and February. Technically one can sow the seeds anytime heavy rains are on the way.”

Although Max adds that one should usually sow before March, giving wildflowers time to soak up the rain and establish their root systems for their warm-weather debuts.



The Sun Valley-based nonprofit sells seeds at the store and online.


Shop at the store (three LA locations) or order online.


Great option if you are interested in large quantities.


  • Sow the seeds before the first big winter season rain (storms that will generate at least 1 inch of rain). 
  • Make sure to use a little top layer of mulch to nurse and protect the seedlings and to lock in moisture. When it comes to mulch, walk-on bark is fine, but avoid shredded cedar.
  • Don’t let the seeds dry out. Soak with water every other day for the first three weeks or so.
  • Get the right flowers for your sunlight conditions. Some varieties, including California poppy, perennial flax, arroyo lupine, tidy tips and phacelia, like full sun. Others, like California yarrow, clarkia mix and Chinese houses, can tolerate partial shade. 
  • Time your blossoms by season. Spring flowers will have bloomed by June or so. Summer flowers will just be getting going in June and July. They can be planted in the same bed. Summer flowers include native sunflower (Helianthus annuus) and evening primrose (Oenothera elata).
  • Don’t forget to collect seeds in the late spring for next year. Get brown paper lunch bags and deadhead the seed pods into the bag. Then shake the bag and seeds will fall out of the pods. Store in a cool, dark, dry place.