As we just completed the 2022 Great Georgia Pollinator Census, pollinators are on my mind. I love having plants in my yard that are pollinator friendly. Wildflowers are a great way to provide habitat for essential insects and also add a pop of annual color to your landscape. A fun way to plant the wildflowers are seed bombs or beebombs. Seed bombs are a great fun gift for friends and family, especially since holidays are coming up. You can use them for party favors, birthday presents or just a friendly gift. This is also a fun activity to do with children and instill the importance of pollinators.
Choosing Wildflower Seeds
You want to first make sure you get seeds that are native to Georgia and from a reputable company. This list of Recommended Native Plant Nurseries from the State Botanical Garden of Georgia is a great place to start. When choosing wildflowers to grow, consider their natural growing environments. If you are makin seed bombs for gifts, you might want to use seeds from flowers that are annuals and “generalists” that grow well in a variety of habitats. Be careful not to purchase seeds that are non-native to Georgia. Look for seed mixes that are best grown in the Southeast. For more information about the native wildflowers of Georgia, check out Native Plants for Georgia Part III: Wildflowers.
Steps for Making The Seed Bombs
- Native Wildflower Seed Mix
- 6 pages Colored Construction Paper (different colors)
- Recycled paper will work a well (newspapers, paper bags etc.)
- Food Processor
- Cute Gift Tags and Twine
- After gathering wildflower information and purchasing your seed mix, begin by ripping the construction paper into 1 inch pieces. Keep the colors separate. This is a fun step for children!
- Soak the pieces in water for about 20 mins.
- Add the shredded paper and water to a food processor. You may have to add more water to allow the processor to blend the paper into a pulp. If there isn’t enough water, the paper will make a clump and not blend well.
- Remove the pulp from the processor and put into a large mixing bowl. Add the seed mixture to the pulp and mix with your hands.
- Once the seeds are incorporated, you can roll the mixture into a ball and squeeze excess water. You can also add the mixture to silicone forms like hearts and flower shapes.
- Allow them to dry for 24 hours. Add the included gift tag and you now have cute gifts or great ways to plant wildflowers in your garden.
Planting Your Seed Bomb
Before you plant the seed bomb, pick a spot that is sunny but not too hot with nutrient rich soil. This area will be a wildflower meadow in no time. Be sure to prepare the soil area to provide the best chance for the seeds to sprout by removing competition (weeds). There is a chance that the seeds will sprout without being beneath the soil, but it is best to actually plant the seed bombs within the top layer of the soil. You can plant them in the Fall here in the Southeast or wait until early spring when the threat of frost has passed. Keep the area you planted moist with a gentle mist throughout the germination period. If there is consistent rain, then there is no need to water.
You should see sprout in 7-15 days but flowering takes more time. Some flowers will bloom the first year, others require two years for blooms to develop.
For more information or if you have more questions, be sure to call your local extension office.