Chaos Gardening Is Blowing Up on the Internet—This Is What It Means

Updated: Jun. 05, 2023

Wildflower lovers and beginner gardeners, this is for you!

Planning out the perfect garden can be a headache. From determining the exact needs of each plant to selecting complementary colors, the pursuit of perfection can overwhelm beginner gardeners. Of course, you want a gorgeous array of seasonal flowers, but isn’t gardening supposed to be fun?

To keep the joyful spirit of gardening alive, many TikTok plant fanatics are turning to chaos gardening—a silly, haphazard and stress-free approach to planting. The term seems to have originated from a TikToker named Sassy Mama (@sassy.mama92.2), whose video has garnered almost 3 million views. Check it out for yourself below, then learn everything you need to know to start your own chaos garden.

@sassy.mama92.2 #chaosgardening #flowers results to come!! Im so excited!! #goodvibesonly💚😶‍🌫️ #flowergarden #gardener #fyp ♬ Sugar, Sugar – The Archies

What Is Chaos Gardening?

Chaos gardening is basically the practice of creating your own flower seed mix and strewing it in your garden. In her video, Sugar Mama adds potting soil to a bucket, then pours in full seed packets of various flowers, including wildflower mixes, a pollinator-attracting mix, blue tansy, cosmos, zinnias and sunflowers. Many chaos gardeners also focus on the inclusion of native plants to support their local ecosystems.  From there, Sugar Mama simply mixes the seeds up to randomize the resulting flowers’ placement.

Notably, chaos gardening differs from guerilla gardening. While chaos gardening does share its use of random flower assortments with seed bombing, it is typically done on one’s own property, unlike guerilla gardening practices. Additionally, using native plants is not inherently built into the practice (though strongly encouraged!).

What Does a Chaos Garden Look Like?

Chaos gardening yields a fun, surprising and dynamic garden. Wildflower enthusiasts and fans of the English country garden may be particularly drawn to this method of gardening, as it mimics the natural appearance of wildflower or country garden patches.

Additionally, chaos gardening can produce hybrid flowers. This can make it an especially appealing planting tactic for intermediate gardeners, who want to experiment with creating their own flower mutations. Still, because of the method’s ease, you definitely don’t need to be a pro to enjoy chaos gardening.

How Can I Start Chaos Gardening?

A Black Rubber Hose With A Bright Yellow Nozzle Randomly Coiled Across Terracotta Outdoor Tiles And GrassKara Knight/Getty Images

At a minimum, all you need to start chaos gardening is some potting soil, a bucket and a variety of seeds. Follow Sassy Mama’s lead and toss the soil and seed mixture in handfuls around your yard, then pat down the soil mix and water it regularly. That’s it!

However, if you want the most successful chaos garden possible, I suggest seeking seed varieties with similar soil and sun needs. For example, use all full-sun flowers or all partial sun plants, depending on the garden’s available light. Choosing low-maintenance flowers never hurts, either.

Lastly, maintain an open mind. Chaos gardening is essentially experimental, so be prepared for your flowers to surprise you! After all, isn’t trial and error half the fun of gardening?