The Curse of the Plume Poppy

Limur(Downeast ME(Z5))March 12, 2005

About 3 years ago my husband (the landscaper no less) planted a plume poppy in our garden after seeing them in many of his customer's gardens. He does not do the weeding or maintaining of these gardens...just some design, construction and he was horrified to see that that one plume poppy became about 30 by the end of the season. We are STILL fighting that thing, which is a shame because it is a beautiful plant but frighteningly invasive!

Any thoughts on organic ways to exterminate it once and for all?


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veilchen(5b southern Maine)

I haven't grown it but have seen its tendencies in other people's gardens. Those things get huge!

I don't remember, are they annuals or perennials? If it spreads by self-seeding, try covering the area with cardboard/mulch on top to stop them sprouting. You can also do the same if it's a perennial sending new shoots up--smother them for a season and they should be toast.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 8:30AM
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Lovely foliage - tough plant. Last post was right - make sure you don't let them seed - then you have babies along with the ever growing mother plant. I think unfortunately the solution is a black plastic mulch for a season or two - and then vigilance ever after. Luckily the foliage is very distinctive - so babies should be easy to spot. If you move any plants from where these Macleaya are located - wash the roots off really well - make sure you aren't taking roots or seeds along for the ride. I unfortunately have moved both Macleaya and the truly evil Aegopodium (goutweed) to freshly dug new beds. Both times in a vain attempt to save some poor plant from being strangled by it's thuggish neightbors. The thug loved it's new home - the strangled plant either expired from transplant shock or strangulation or both.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2005 at 2:45PM
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lilyroseviolet(Maine 4and 5)

sounds like good screening for a more unmanaged area

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 3:59PM
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nushie(5a / 5b)

I recieved some allium from a neighbour, and along with it came this lovely plant that i had no idea what it was.
Big ,and beautiful it be came... obviously loving it where it was. And yes... i too be came the host of a new batch of little babies everywhere ,this spring. It didn't take me long, but i completley dug it out, and transplanted it in an area where it can be on its own, and i don't need too worry too much about it.
I love the plant too much to just get rid of it completely, so i've opted ,like what another post suggested... too plant it on its own somewhere.
My neighbour also said.. MULCH,MULCH,MULCH too help keep it contained if its with other plants.

any one know of a website with photo's??

Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2005 at 8:39PM
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I wondered what it looked like so went to the GardenWeb database....

Here is a link that might be useful: Plume Poppy

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 10:56PM
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I think they're smashing plants, aesthetically. But I've shied away from adding them to our gardens. As with anything you are trying to eliminate you have to go at it with a comprehensive plan of attack.

First, deadhead religiously... don't let seeds mature!
Second, begin digging out volunteers and GET THE ROOTS. Don't compost them, throw them out.
Third, start working on the "mother plant".
Fourth, keep the area mulched with sodden cardboard and keep replenishing it.
Fifth, be prepared to do battle for 2-3 years!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 7:06AM
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we moved and this place has plume poppies in one spot near the barn. It is a a stunning plant. The bees love it! They are on it from dawn till dusk.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 9:50PM
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I too love this plant but I will not let it cross my garden gate again. Had planted tiny piece in terrible hot dry sandy area - took off like a rocket. Self-seeding was not the issue - rather the spreading underground root system that showed up many feet away. I finally resorted to Round-up (sorry!). I had heard that there is a non-spreading species or cultivar, but that may be wishful thinking. It is a glorious hellion.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 10:11AM
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Yes it's prolific but part of it's charm lies in it's 'travelling' habit. The roots are fleshy so easily pulled out, it grows in both sun and shade, damp or drier soils. It's more an asset than a curse with stems left through winter giving stature, grace and hopefully much needed protection for insects. Highly versatile, statuesque and much treasured in my London garden!

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 12:57PM
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I would absolutely LOVE to have some of this Plume Poppy!! I am only able to locat seeds on the web & I would love an actual plant. Anyone know where I can get some???

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 3:35PM
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Lisa you can have some of mine in the spring. Where are you?

    Bookmark   January 16, 2015 at 7:38PM
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