Oriental Poppies

mysticfoxtrot(North CA)February 28, 2011

I live in USDA Zone 14 (Sacramento). Why is it that I don't see Oriental poppies in people's gardens (or in the stores?) I see Iceland and California but not Oriental? I've seen them in other places and they were magnificient. I was going to guess it is too hot here, but was hoping for someone who wasn't guessing :)

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Propaganda Garden Design

Insufficient winter chilling. I believe it is possible to grow them in some areas but they are not reliable and short lived. (actually in a lot of cases I found them to be unreliable when I lived back east as well though in that case it was usually that they just didn't come out of summer dormancy).

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 2:23AM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Actually, sunset zone 14 has sufficient winter chill for Oriental Poppies, or at least some of them. I've seen them do well enough in some gardens here in Berkeley, ss 17. Probably they aren't as popular at nurseries because they don't look particularly good as a one gallon container plant, being more difficult to have as blooming, retail quality plants. These days, so few people are knowledgeable enough to look for things that may not be in full bloom, so the nurseries can't sell them, therefore they don't carry them. Try mail order nurseries if you want some.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 6:43PM
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I grew them in Watsonville sunset 17, they bloomed alright but just were not impressive enough to compete with many other flowering plants. Al

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 7:21PM
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mysticfoxtrot(North CA)

Thanks - those answers all make sense. Kind of boarderline for chill and hard for nurseries to sell. That part is a bummer all the way around. It seems like more and more all the nurseries have the same plants.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2011 at 10:35PM
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mysticfoxtrot, the lack of variety in plants offered for sale is true. However the area is able to grow more variety than probably any other place in the country. Few retail nurseries are willing to gamble their money on the public acceptance of unfamiliar plants. Many of us in response, grow our own plants, many of which are offered for sale by club plant sales. Plus botanical gardens often have plant sales of plants difficult for home growers to start. Watch for these opportunities if you don't want to start your own. Some nurseries, like Annies Annuals, are a bonanza of unusual plants available in four inch pots. Al

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 8:58AM
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Propaganda Garden Design

Yeah and Annie has offered Oriental poppies before. Not sure if she still does.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 2:22PM
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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

I grew one once. It bloomed at ground level for two years running. It was pretty if you got down on your hands and knees.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 8:17PM
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mysticfoxtrot(North CA)

hosenemesis - that is too funny. :)

    Bookmark   March 1, 2011 at 10:51PM
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