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How to Grow Clarkia/ Satin Flowers in Your Garden

For a wonderful addition to your wildflower garden, plant some Western North American Clarkia flowers. This annual flower is simple to grow and will brighten up your landscape.

Sonali Behera
Clarkia/ Satin Flowers in Your Garden
Clarkia/ Satin Flowers in Your Garden

William Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition gave the wildflower genus Clarkia (Clarkia spp.) its original name. On the Pacific Coast of North America, Clark stumbled upon the plant and returned with specimens. They didn't truly take off until 1823, when William Davis, another explorer, rediscovered them and shared the seeds. Clarkia has been a mainstay of cottage and cutting gardens ever since.

A clarkia plant can reach a height of 1 to 3 feet (0.5-1 m) with a spread of 8 to 12 inches (20-30 cm.). In warm regions, clarkia flowers can occasionally bloom in winter. The majority of flowers feature lacy, crepe-like petals and are double or semi-double blooms. They are available in a variety of colours.

Once they are planted in the garden, there is not much maintenance required for clarkia flowers other than to enjoy them. These lovely wildflowers look well in a variety of garden settings. Think about including clarkia in mass plantings, cottage or cutting gardens, wildflower meadows, borders, pots, or forest margins.

Botanical Name: Clarkia amoena
Family: Onagraceae

Guidelines to Grow Clarkia Wildflowers

A few simple guidelines can ensure successful plantings whether you're creating a new wildflower garden or want to add a new flower species to an existing area. Even though most states are accepting Clarkia wildflower plants, it is always advisable to check with your state agricultural department before planting any non-native species.

How and When to Plant Seeds

After the final spring frost is when Clarkia wildflower seeds should be sown. Companies that sell seeds advise planting in the late fall. Fall can be the best time to plant if your region has moderate winters. Listed below are some brief facts about cultivating this vibrant wildflower:

  • Direct seeding is preferable to indoor cultivation and transplanting (more loss with transplants).

  • You should plant in a sunny, well-drained place.

  • For optimal results, direct-sow Clarkia seeds using the surface broadcast method (spread over ground and uncovered).

  • For germination, 7–10 days are needed.

  • Up until the first seed leaves appear, the soil must be maintained wet.

  • Once the second set of flower leaves appears, thin plants to 9 to 12 inches apart.

  • Once the second set of flower leaves appears, thin plants to 9 to 12 inches apart.

  • Keep weeds out of the garden to promote flower development.

  • Plant Clarkia seeds in a three-to-six-foot broad area to draw pollinators.

Planting Clarkia Seeds

In your new or current wildflower bed, you should choose a place that is bright and open. Open fields and meadows, the edge of woodlands, and garden margins are a few desirable settings. Clarkia wildflowers are a great choice for cutting flowers and give a cottage garden more depth. In container gardens that require a taller flower type, Clarkia can also be used.

Sunlight Requirement

Although certain Clarkia wildflowers will grow in regions with relatively little shade, open, sunny settings will yield the finest results. These plants enjoy more than six hours of direct sunshine, but they do need it.

Required Soil Type

Since this flower doesn't have moist feet, you want soil that drains properly. In sandy soils, Clarkia thrives and can survive in salty coastal areas. Additionally, it does well on clay soils with good drainage and any other dry soil that doesn't hold on to too much water.


You must give the plants enough water until they are well-established and begin to blossom. Normally, this takes 90 days. Since this wildflower is drought tolerant and does well with little to no water, you can stop watering it after the first blooms appear.


When the first blossoms appear, you can apply a mild fertilizer. However, since these wildflowers are accustomed to thriving in both an arid region and by the sea, you should avoid overfertilizing. Plants that get excessive fertilization will become leggy, leafy, and produce few to no flowers.

How to Harvest Seeds from Clarkia Wildflowers

At the conclusion of the growing season, you can gather Clarkia seeds. Leave the seed pods on the plant to dry out. To stop seeds from unintentionally contaminating other parts of your garden, create a protected space. To gather the seeds, crack open the pods. Keep the seeds in a cool, dry place until the following spring.

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