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How to Grow Poppy Flower Plants

california poppy flower seeds, poppies

Annuals and Perennial

The "World's Popular Encyclopedia" referred to Poppies as "common cornfield weed". The year was 1937. Today, we think of Poppies as a popular and attractive flower, that is common in home gardens as well as open fields.

Popular is an understatement, as Poppies come in many, many varieties, and are native to many parts of the world, including Central and Southern Europe, China, India, and other parts of Asia. It's popularity also stems from the diversity of it's use. In the garden, Poppies are an attractive, easy to grow flower in both annual and perennial varieties. As an added bonus, the home gardener can choose from almost any color in the rainbow , including black. It's flowers are long lasting.

Poppy seeds and oil are popular for baking and cooking. If you have excess seed, you can put them in your backyard bird feeder.

In the world of medicine, and drugs, some Poppies are a narcotic. It is used to make Codeine, Morphine, and Opium.

Did you Know? After WWII, Poppies became the symbol of both tragedy and renewal of life. They gained this recognition, as there were many poppies in the battlefields of France. Each year on Memorial Day, Veterans sell poppies as a memorial for those who have given their lives for their country. The proceeds benefit veterans groups.

Plant Height: from just 12 inches, up to 3 feet, depending upon variety

Plant Blooms: Spring - Summer

Popular Varieties: California Mission Bells, California Orange, Oriental Red, Iceland Mix, Shirley Double 

Plant Propagation:

Poppy is grown from seed. Sow seeds directly in the garden.

You can also start seeds indoors. Start Poppy seeds indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost in your area. We recommend planting them in separate pots, allowing ample room for root growth. This will make transplanting easier. For best results, transplant while still small.

Note: We recommend a heated germination mat, to increase  the speed of germination, and for a higher germination rate.

Days to Germination: 10 - 16

How to Grow Poppy Plants:

Poppy plants are very easy to grow. They prefer full sun to partial shade. They will grow well in many types of soils and tolerate dry spells well.

Final spacing of plants should be 8" - 18", depending upon variety. The plants will grow 2- 2/12 feet tall.

Poppies look superb planted together in big beds. Poppy will grow quickly and will bloom in early to mid summer. Fertilize them once a month to promote steady growth. Mulching around the plants will help to keep weeds down and make the bed more attractive.

Flower Growing Tip: To prolong blooming, grow smaller groups succession.

Deadhead flowers to prolong blooming.

Flowers bloom: Some in Spring, most in Summer.

Insect and Disease:

Poppy are fairly resistant to insects and disease. If insect or disease problems occur, treat early with organic or chemical insect repellents and fungicide.

Garden Resources:

How to Grow Poppy Plants

California Poppy Day


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