Categories: Guides & hacksHosting

How to Make DIY Seed Bombs to Grow Wildflowers

Making DIY wildflower seed bombs is a fun and simple way to add some color to a garden, no matter the size.

Whether you’ve got an empty pot, a bare spot of lonely soil in a flowerbed, or an open field, planting flowers is a fantastic way to spread some cheer and support native pollinators like monarch butterflies. Sure, you can buy some seeds and plant them as usual, but making your own seed bombs to dig into soil or give away as homemade gifts makes for a fun afternoon for adults and kids alike. No need to wait for Earth Day—if you’re interested in giving it a try, look no further than this easy DIY seed bomb tutorial. Get geared up to grow with the step-by-step seed bomb instructions below.

What is a seed bomb?

Seed bombs are simple clusters of flower seeds and soil mashed with paper or clay. They’re used to densely scatter seeds to sow wildflowers into open fields or areas with limited access to traditional growing methods. Seed bombing is the long-held practice of environmental advocates, beekeepers, and guerilla gardeners, but you don’t need a green thumb to get in on it—this quick nature craft can serve as a simple science lesson easy enough for preschoolers, a DIY gift idea for friends or teachers, or an easy family tradition to celebrate Mother Nature.

What kind of flower seeds should you use for seed bombs?

Wildflower seeds native to your area are best, but sunflowers, poppies, cosmos, borage, wildflower blends, and even herb seeds can be used to support local birds and bees. Just be sure to use seeds that are non-invasive to your local ecosystem! Not all seeds may sprout, but having a diverse mix of flowers helps ensure an abundance of blooms from your bombs.

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Andrea Di Nino at Ellison Ranch, MT, US

Homemade wildflower seed bomb recipe

  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Time required: Under an hour

Materials required

  • 3-4 packages of native wildflower seeds
  • Construction paper
  • Garden soil
  • Air-dry clay (powder clay also works)
  • Water
  • Mixing bowl (or old plastic container)
  • Cardboard box or baking tray
  • Parchment paper

1. Prep your recycled paper to get started.

Start by ripping your construction paper into one-inch pieces. If you have little ones, this is a great step for them to take on while you explain the process. Have an abundance of old papers? Upcycling old mail or homework is a great way to reuse and repurpose.

2. Mix paper scraps, clay, soil, and water.

Once your paper scraps are prepared, grab your mixing bowl. Add four parts clay and one part soil, as well as the scraps, to your container. Then, add just enough water to mix the contents into a mash with a mud-like consistency.

Don’t want to play mud kitchen with your prized cookware? Repurpose a plastic food container or milk jug for an environmentally savvy stand-in.

Photo by Jonathan Kemper

3. Knead wildflower seeds into the mixture and roll into golf ball-sized seed balls.

Squeeze any excess water out of the paper-and-mud mixture. Next, knead three to five flower seeds into the mash by hand, forming small, golf ball-sized seed balls. This ratio of seeds to mixture is ideal for germination—make as many as you wish!

Photo by Jonathan Kemper

4. Place seed bombs on a tray to dry overnight.

Now place your homemade seed bombs into a parchment paper-lined cardboard box or onto a parchment paper-lined baking tray. You can press additional small seeds into the surface of each ball for extra visual appeal. Then, let your seed bombs air-dry naturally overnight. If you live in an area with high humidity, you may need a longer drying time!

5. Sow your DIY wildflower seed bombs to get growing!

The next day, gently lift the dried seed bombs from the parchment paper and put to immediate use (you can plant seed bombs by digging small holes as you would any other seed), store in a mason jar for later, or wrap them up to give away as gifts. Once they’re planted, get ready to watch them grow into colorful blooms. 🌼

Hip tip: DIY wildflower seed bombs make great gifts and party favors, for everything from Mother’s Day to wedding favors! Each batch can be customized to match a color theme with coordinating construction paper colors.

Photo by Hipcamp Host William Dickerson at Paint Rock Farm Glamping, NC, US

Extra tips for DIY wildflower seed bombs

  • Seed bombing is an affordable, fun, and eco-friendly way to help support local pollinators and enrich your community. While the original practice of seed bombing stems from the guerilla gardening movement to spread flowers in bare areas, remember to be a good neighbor and only use seeds bombs on property where you have permission to do so. Leave it better!
  • Spring and fall are the best times of year to plant seed bombs, when they’ll get enough rain to help them grow.
  • Don’t have access to open fields? Seed bombs can also be thrown into existing flower beds or planted into potting soil and grown in pots on the patio.
  • Seed bombs attract pollinators like native butterflies and bees, while also serving as supplemental nutrition for squirrels and other small woodland creatures. If you spy a critter making off with your bomb, have no fear—that’s just one more way Mother Nature works to spread a diversity of flora.

Looking for more ways to help monarch butterflies and other pollinators?

In partnership with the Xerces Society, we’re working directly with our Hipcamp Hosts to protect monarch butterflies on their land. These creatures are in need, and together, we can help!

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Quinton Marchand at Cherry Hill Campground, NY, US

Vanessa Bailey is an environmental educator, permaculture designer, edible garden coach, beekeeper, and vegetable enthusiast. She runs Farmgirl Gardens & Market in Texas, assisting schools and individuals in creating edible garden spaces to help people and plants grow.

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