Wildflowers are more than just pretty or the perfect backdrop for your Instagram photo. They're actually integral to the planet's ecosystem — the life cycle for many wildlife species depends on them, and their deep roots improve soil health and water quality.
And sadly, since 2009, the United States has lost over 33 million acres of grassland and wildflower habitats in the US Great Plains (for reference, that equates to half the size of Colorado). Because of plowing for expanding row-crop agriculture, we lose more and more acreage of grasslands and native wildflowers every year.
But the situation isn't hopeless! In a major step forward, Air Wick® has teamed up with World Wildlife Fund to help reseed one billion (!) square feet of native wildflower and grassland habitats in the Northern Great Plains — the largest natural ecosystem in the US — over three years. Plus, they're working to create a digital collective Super Bloom to reseed wildflowers in that region.
What is a Super Bloom, you ask? It's a rare botanical phenomenon in which an unusually high portion of wildflowers whose seeds have laid dormant in soil germinate and blossom at roughly the same time. Basically, a whole bunch of flowers bloom all at once — it's both absolutely gorgeous and a pick-me-up for the natural world.
Air Wick® and WWF are aiming to replicate this phenomenon digitally, and it wouldn't be possible without the community — meaning YOU. All it takes is planting wildflowers in your community, or even just sharing an image on social media using the hashtag #SquareFootSuperBloom.
How to Get Involved
By planting wildflowers that are native to your region, you can help restore one of the critical components that nature needs to survive. Thankfully, wildflowers are one of the easiest plants to keep alive — you can plant them directly into the soil in your backyard or in pots on your patio or balcony. Even a small amount of wildflowers can provide food for bumblebees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
First things first: find out about the wildflowers that are native to your region (here's a handy map). Then, you can either purchase seeds from your local hardware or plant store, or request free seeds from Air Wick®. Now it's time to get planting!
When you find a spot with the right amount of sun, go ahead and remove any debris, prep the soil, and scatter your seeds. Compress your seeds by walking over the wildflower area or patting them down in your pot or planter (note: don't cover the seeds with soil).
All that's left to do is water and watch as your wildflowers come to life. Water until the soil is moist, up until the seedlings have sprouted to over 4". Continue to water periodically, and let nature take over.
Once you've got your one square foot planted, share pictures of your gardens (don't worry, you don't have to wait for the flowers to grow). You could also skip the planting all together and post a picture of a patch of wildflowers on your morning stroll, or even a drawing or painting you love. Make sure to use the hashtag #SquareFootSuperBloom to add to the digital Super Bloom. For each post shared before June 1, 2022, Air Wick® will plant its own square foot in the Northern Great Plains to reseed more wildflowers than ever before.
Helping an important ecosystem has never been easier or more beautiful.