How to Plant, Grow and Care Poppies

Love vibrant colors in your garden? You should add poppies then if you love bright colors. Here’s the step-by-step guide on how to grow poppies in your garden. Keep reading!

grow poppies

Poppy flowers are of fascinating garden plants which can grow at different levels. The wildflowers are super vibrant, and hardy and attract the pollinators like butterflies.

To top of this, poppies are self-seed plants, which can naturally grow anywhere in the garden areas annually.

Watching the poppies plants budding and crinkling boom is a wonder on its own. Their vibrant-colored petals are amazing to gaze at.

If you are thinking of growing poppies in the garden, here is the complete guide on how to grow poppies flower, their blooming time, the ideal season to grow, and how to care for the poppies plant.

In the end, we also provide useful tips for harvesting poppies seeds and plants. So, let’s read the complete guide on how to grow poppy flowers and have a vibrant and colorful garden. 

Also Read: How to Grow Black Dahlias

Types of Poppies

There is a wide variety of poppies, which you can enjoy planting into the garden areas to decorate with an array of flowers.

Here are some of the popular varieties of poppies flower, which are as follows: 

1. California Poppies (Eschscholzia Californica)

types of poppies

California poppies are the native species of the west coast wildflower. This is a perennial poppies plant and grows ideally in warm climates.

But the annual poppies also grow well in the cold region. For optimum growth, it requires enormous water and bright sunlight. 

The flower has a golden cup and blue feathery leaves. It is a self-sowing flower grown in the garden as it has ornamental value.

It can tolerate heat easily and prefers to grow in a healing environment. At the same time, it can tolerate winter conditions. 

2. Oriental Poppies (Papaver Orientale)

Oriental poppies, as the name indicates, are a perennial species of poppies. It can grow annually but is less sensitive than other forms of the poppies plant.

The poppy has oriental value and is a fantastic choice because of its spring color. The poppies is found in the vibrant orange-red. 

Some of the best oriental poppies that bloom in the garden are salmon, plum, and white. In addition, there are some black splotches in the inner petals. 

3. Somniferum Poppies (Papaver Somniferum)

This is also an annual blooming plant that produces culinary seeds. Somniferous poppies are also famous for Breadseed poppies and opium poppies.

The dramatic lofty Breadseed poppies are one of the easiest poppies that can grow in any region.

Unlike Iceland, oriental, and Shirley poppies, Breadseed stems are slightly sturdy and have a hair texture. In addition, it has bright colors, which is why it is popular among florists.

4. Corn Poppies (Papaver Rhoeas)

This is one of the most common species of the poppies, which you can grow into the garden. The seeds are hard and planted annually.

The popular varieties include Shirley cultivars and Flanders. It grows perfectly into the open field and has a red velvety texture. The field of the poppy is worth exploring and includes lavender and merlot. 

5. Iceland Poppies (Papaver Nudicaule)

Iceland poppies is a hardy perennial that grows ideally in colder weather. This is a northern species that can flourish during the early spring seasons.

The flowers will blossom atoms in a curved fashion and have fuzzy stems. Iceland poppies stem has a vibrant look and is widely popular amongst florists.

Moreover, it comes with various color options such as yellow, orange, peach, and others. The poppies can grow ideally indoors.

However, to grow the plant in the summer season, you can pre-chill the seed to replicate the period of dormancy.

These are the types of poppies that you can grow in your home garden. However, make sure you choose the variety according to your location and season for the best results.  

Also Read: How to Grow Sweet Peas Flowers

When to Plant Poppies

Poppies are extremely hard and able to tolerate frost conditions. However, poppies plant can grow well in the spring and autumn season.

Ideally, the time between March and May is the right time. However, you have to wait until summer for a good amount of flowers. 

Try to sow seeds from the end of August and October for great flowering. For a better idea, you can consider the seeding package on which it is mentioned when to grow plants. 

How to Grow Poppies

Follow this guide on how to grow poppies flower from planting seeds to growth stages.

plant poppies

How to Plant Poppies

The best method to grow poppies is direct seeding before the spring season.

However, to have ideal seeding and proper growth, follow the below guide that will help you to plant poppies seeds.

1. Find the Ideal Location

The poppies plant grows well in the cold season, but it can handle the partial sunny condition.

So, before seeding, do a test and choose the ideal location where the sunlight hits the plant for a minimum of six hours per day. 

2. Make the Soil Bed Ready

The poppies plant can grow well in soil rich in humus and organic matter. So, before you start seeding, prepare the soil bed and test the soil to adjust the pH.

This will help to maintain the soil texture. However, poppies can also grow excellently in infertile soil. You can add minimum nutrients as required. 

Have a look at our guide on how to prepare the soil for planting in pots.

3. Plant Poppies Flower Seeds

Poppies plants require sunlight to germinate properly. So, when seeding into the soil, do not bury them completely into soil.

Instead, always sow the seeds by sprinkling them over the soil bed. Cover a thin layer of soil on the top of the seeds and press them gently. 

4. Water Them

Once you are finished with the seeding process, moisten the soil so that the seed can germinate properly and grow to the fullest. 

5. Thin Out Seedlings

When your seedlings have grown two inches tall, thin out the seedlings using shears. Thin them up to 12 inches apart, this will help avoid competition.

How to Care for Poppies

As we discussed, poppies flowers are hardy but they still need proper care and attention for maximum flowering.

Here are some of the basic steps you need to follow to grow and care for poppies plants.

grow care poppies

These poppies caring tips will ensure that you will achieve great results.

1. Fertilize Poppy Plants

Generally, poppies do not demand much fertilizer. But if the soil doesn’t have sufficient minerals and is depleted, you can add compost and manure.

The microbial activity in the soil is helpful to release nutrients into the soil, which further help plants. Nutrient application is also helpful in building a strong root system. 

It would be excellent to supply nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium as they can benefit the optimum growth of poppy plants.

Additionally, maintain the soil’s pH level and test the soil timely to maintain the nutrient level. 

Also Read: How to Care for Orchids

2. Water Adequately

Poppies plants can grow in water scarcity conditions. But it would be great to water once a week to encourage the blossoms and help the flowers grow ideally in all conditions. 

3. Remove Weeds Periodically

Weeds can consume the nutrients of the poppies plants. It can be dangerous for the plants as it may damage them completely.

Hence, remove all the weeds growing nearby the plants before it damages the poppies plant beds.

You can pull the weeds manually and use the weedicides to get rid of the weeds. However, if the poppies are grown, their low foliage is also beneficial to suppress unwanted weeds. 

4. Keep the Moisture Level Consistent

Although the poppies plants can tolerate cold, do not forget to cover them with a row cover during extreme chilling winters.

You can also use a caterpillar tunnel to protect plants from extreme winter damage. The cover is also helpful to maintain the ideal temperature and keep the moisture level intact when the weather is fluctuating. 

California poppies, Breadseed, and Shirley poppies are also prone to cold damage. So, do not forget to cover the plant when there is an extreme winter storm. 

5. Control Pest and Diseases

When you grow poppies, you need to be attentive towards fungus and bacterial diseases. The southern blight is the common infectious disease of the plant that may spoil it.

The infected poppy plant shows stunted growth and crown rot. Before it affects the entire plant, remove this rotten part. Try to drain the soil properly to get rid of the fungus issues.

Create proper spacing between the plants as it helps to maintain the airflow and keep the fungal growth away. If necessary, then you can apply pesticides to control diseases. 

6. Remove Dead Blooms

The poppies plants grow to the fullest; you need to encourage the flower’s growth by removing deadheads and spent blooms.

The cut flowers are also helpful to encourage the process of regeneration. Do ensure to cut the deadheads abundantly and let the poppies bloom.

Do follow these poppies caring tips for maximum flowering.

How to Harvest Poppies

white poppies

Poppies enhance not only the beauty of gardens but also flower buckets.

When the flowers are mature, you need to be thoughtful to handle the post-harvesting safely to enhance the poppy flower life. Ensure to cut the poppies flower when they are at the cracked budding stage.

The reason is at this stage, the budding poppies flower is just fragmented open, revealing silver color through the green sepals, which help them to grow later. Cut the flower stem with the help of the cutter only.

After harvesting flowers, sear the cut ends with flame and scald them by plunging them into the hot/boiling water. The process will help to improve vitality. Later, store in a cool place.

How to Harvest Poppies Seeds

During the last phase of the life cycle, poppies plants pods turn brown from green. This is the right time to harvest the poppy seed that can be used as decorative pods and culinary seeds.

If you want to harvest the seeds, then choose the open-pollinated flowers to ensure that you get optimum quality seeds. 

Now, cut the poppies stem, which has grown to the fullest, and turn it into brown. The tiny opening after maturation of the seed is the sign that the plant is ready to harvest.

Keep the cut pods into the basket and let them sun dry for several days unless seeds drop. Additionally, you can shake the poppies pods to release the seeds. Once you collect seeds, keep them in a dry container in the refrigerator.

Do you love hibiscus? Want to grow? Check our guide on how to grow and care for hibiscus.

And, You can choose any option from different varieties of hibiscus.

Grow Poppies Plants at your Home Garden

Growing poppies alongside spring blossoms like larkspur and snapdragon gives a fascinating look to your garden place.

You can arrange poppy stems at different heights in your garden areas to add more fun elements with a minimal floral design.

As for now, you’ve got the complete guide on how to grow poppies flower in your spaces and how to take care of them.

So let’s follow the guide, grow the poppies, decorate your garden and harvest the seeds in the end. But do not forget to take care of the poppies as these flowers are a little delicate and require a lot of care.

Would you grow poppies flowers in your home garden following this guide? Do let us know in the comments section below.

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