Will Red Clover Reseed Itself? Here’s The Answer!


Red Clover

For some, red clover might be seen as an invasive weed overgrowing some of their favorite plants and lawn space, while others, particularly homesteaders, might grow this herbal supplement intentionally to take advantage of its medicinal, cover crop and nitrogen fixing properties. A question both of these parties might have then is whether red clover can reseed itself, so they know if they should be looking forward to future growth. 

Red clover will reseed itself. Red clover is considered a biennial or short-lived perennial that can be considered a perennial plant due to its ability to reseed itself under the proper circumstances. As a result, there can be a constantly thriving population of these plants despite their relatively short lifespan. 

This article will finally answer the question of whether red clover can reseed itself, what this process entails, and what can affect its success. By the end, you’ll know how much effort is required on your part to sustain these plants yearly if that’s your goal.

What Does It Mean if a Plant Can Reseed Itself?

Reseeding, also known as self-seeding or self-sowing, is an adaptation many plants have to help ensure their population can thrive regardless of their lifespan. If you’ve ever walked into a forest or any part of nature that has very little human impact, odds are the fields of wildflowers, and other plants are there because they have this ability.

Plants are able to reseed themselves by dropping their seeds towards the end of their season. The most successful seeds will fall relatively close to the host plant, where they can germinate. If sunlight, water, and soil conditions are optimal, this seed will grow into a new thriving plant.

Most annual, biennial, and perennial plants, including the red clover, are capable of doing this, allowing them to create charming bushes or fields of substantial size if left unchecked. This is one reason why many owners of reseeding plants need to be aware of this characteristic, so they know whether to expect future growth and how much management these plants will require.  

How to Help a Red Clover Reseed Itself

Reseeding is something your red clover plant will do naturally, but there are some factors that might affect how successful its seeds are at germinating and growing. 

The steps to help red clover reseed itself essentially revolve around ensuring the host plant survives, and the seeds are in optimal conditions for regrowth after the host’s season ends. 

As a flowering biennial/short-live perennial plant, red clover grows rapidly in the spring and subsides in the winter. With a short lifespan of two to three years, you’ll want to optimize on each end-of-season if you want to keep a blossoming field or patch of these plants. 

Helping the seeds survive really comes down to your winter months. For instance, if you live somewhere with exceptionally harsh winters with lots of snowfall and low temperatures, a red clover seed’s future doesn’t look too bright. In these cases, you’re better off planting seeds of the plant yourself than relying on its unreliable reseeding abilities. 

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However, if you live somewhere with moderate winters, you can ensure the seeds germinate and thrive by supplying them with all of the life-giving essentials (meaning sunshine and water) in appropriate quantities. 

Red clover also thrives in soil with a pH around 6.0 to 6.5, so you’ll want to make sure your soil matches these levels while also being fertile and free of dangerous pests. 

How to Manage Red Clover Reseeding

If you enjoy your meadow of red clovers, you’ll definitely want to help promote reseeding so you can have them around year after year. However, reseeding plants can easily start to grow beyond their bounds and invade other plants if left alone. So, if you want to enjoy your red clovers in moderation, you’ll need to learn how to manage their reseeding. 

The best way to do this is ultimately to prevent all of the red clovers from reseeding. When you notice their season is about to come to an end, you should prune or cut a portion of your red clovers to prevent those plants from reseeding. 

This will kill the plant, but considering their short lifespan and the likelihood of them being replaced given the right conditions, this is what needs to be done to keep their population in check. 

Another option is to create a fence or barrier for your red clovers to grow and reseed within. Doing this will help prevent the seeds from falling outside of the blocked-off area you’ve created and keep the population better contained. If any start to grow outside the fence, cut them, so they don’t reseed and continue the trend. 

What Are the Benefits of Allowing Red Clover to Reseed?

Many people perceive red clover as a weed, and so, they’ll try to prevent the flowering plant from reseeding because they see it as an invasion or a detriment to their lawn and garden. However, what some may not know is the series of benefits this plant can offer. 

Allowing red clover to reseed itself is a great way to have a visually charming field, patch, or garden that is relatively cost-free. It also has a series of medical benefits as an herbal supplement as well as cover crop nitrogen fixing qualities.

If you’d prefer a lawn that has more of a cottagecore or fairly garden aesthetic rather than the conventional green grass, you should consider allowing your red clover to reseed and turn your average yard into a blooming meadow.  

Because these plants are cheap to purchase and will reseed annually when properly cared for, it will cost you very little to have them in your garden (certainly cheaper than buying new flowers every season), and, as we discussed earlier, they can be easily maintained if you don’t want them reseeding everywhere. 

Another benefit of red clover is its medicinal properties. When used correctly, many have stated this plant can help with:

  • Menopausal symptoms and hot flashes
  • Mastalgia 
  • Nocturnal urinary frequency
  • Osteoporosis
  • skin irritation resulting from psoriasis, eczema, and other rashes

If you don’t trust yourself to harvest your own red clover to test their effectiveness with these issues, there are several supplemental pills and topical creams you can try first. 

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Final Thoughts

Not all plants are capable of reseeding themselves, but red clovers are one of them. In fact, these plants are so adept at it that they can grow over entire hillsides and plains if given the chance. So, if you’re looking to have a clover lawn that can sustain itself every year, red clovers are an optimal choice. Of course, if these aren’t your favorite plants, you can cut them before they have the chance to reseed to ensure they aren’t a constant presence in your yard. 

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Harold Thornbro

Author, Blogger, Podcaster, Public Speaker, Teacher, Homesteading and Permaculture Enthusiast. If You're Looking For Me, You'll Find Me In The Garden.

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