Oriental Poppies

wageo(z4 ME)August 13, 2004

I have a beautiful group of Oriental Poppies. Over 100 blossoms this last Spring. This is around the first of August and all that I have is bare ground in that bed. Is there a perennial that can be planted that will grow and thrive among the poppies and then fill in the bare ground after the poppies are gone for the season

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maineflowergirl(z4 Maine)

I don't have the answer to your question, but will watch for the answer as I planted some poppies and if they spread and do well, I may need to know too. I don't know how well they will do where I have them though. They were very tiny when I bought them late in the season (just four plants) and two blossomed and two didn't. I am waiting for the seeds to ripen on one that blossomed and then I will spread them around. It's really poor soil there and I HEAR that poppies will do well in dry, poor soil so we will see!

Some time I may get "blue poppies" that are in a whole different family from the oriental poppies and want more moisture. They are meconopsis betonicifolia. There's a place in Maine that specializes in them at the link below. Does anyone have these blue poppies? They come from the Himalayas. The photos make it appear that they are a striking blue color.

Joanie D.

Here is a link that might be useful: Blue Poppy Garden, Sedgwick, Maine

    Bookmark   August 14, 2004 at 6:30AM
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I have grown the perennial poppies for many years.

They bloom early summer, get huge, beautiful, the blooms fade, then I have all these pods and stems which start to turn black over time. I paint the seed pods as they stand in the garden for another 10 days or so for added interest and until I can cut them out and plant annuals in where the large "hole" is. I wouldnt know what to try as it seems that there would need to be more growing time for another perennial to exist with the poppy.
There probably is something, so I'll stay tune here to see what developes. My first thought would be a fall blooming type, asters, or fall crocus. Seems the competion for light would be a problem. Could you transplant some annuals in there or throw seed down such as zinnias or sun flowers after the poppies have past?

The himalayas which I tried a few years ago, they like the woods, not at all like regular poppies. I have not seen them do well in Maine, so I appreciate seeing your post Maineflowergirl, I would like to take a trip and check them out.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2004 at 11:12AM
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Where my bright orange poppies were there are now tall plants with bluish purple bells that hang down the go up the whole stock of the plant which is tall.
The are very pretty and they have taken over after the popies died. They have elmish looking leaves some with a dark purple stem. I can send you a photo if you want just let me know.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2004 at 10:26PM
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campanula persifolia or glom.? phyostegia? purple loosestrife? All these would bloom and grow about the same time- later after the poppies would have faded.

I was just thinking that my perennial bed of poppies was leaving like a 5 foot spread that it was just bare soil in the area when I do cut the poppies back (after the blooms fade)...how could anything compete so well? Curious, thanks. And excited to think I could get more perennials in sequential rythms of blooming!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2004 at 12:09AM
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sparrowhawk(z4 ME)

babies breath?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2004 at 8:05AM
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This year my oriental poppies were beautiful. I'm not positive I think I planted them. Summer '01. The drought summer. They came up '02. Flowered. I moved them Only one plant came back in new spot. This summer I guess they dropped seeds they came back in original loc little bed by front door with many blooms!!! They only lasted about a week for me. These beauties are short lived!!! Though they are worth having since their so beautiful. My question is this. I thought around this time they send up new groth. So far nothing. I finally cut the stems that looked like they belonged at Morticia Adams house. I left the base. Will they bloom again next yr? Are they this short lived for everyone. They do sort of melt away like that poster said!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 1:29AM
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laniebug(z4 ME)

I second babies breath, nice and airy. My poppies this year didn't last long at all got so hot all of a sudden.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 3:32PM
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cybertrek(zone 5 Maine)

Try them with Snapdragons. Snapdragons are not PERENNIAL but they are very good at self seeding and tend to come back in an opportune way. Of course you will have to let at least some of the snapdragons go to seed rather than cutting off the STALK once the flowers have faded. If you can find a pack of Snapdragon seeds this year buy them and scatter them around the Poppies. Next year buy a tray or two of Snapdragons from the nursery and plant them around your Poppies. Select a tray with plants that are not blooming yet. You'll hardly even miss the Poppies once the Snaps start blooming. The Snapdragons will need to be watered since they don't have a long taproot like a Poppy does and if you give them fertilizer once in a while they'll be very grateful.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 4:28PM
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Once the flowers go by they form a seed head on top. It is an odd roundish shape with a flat top. Once the seed head dries it can be picked & scattered. If you cut the stems off then you may not have let them get to the seed stage. If there were seedheads then you may get flowers next yr. If not, then no you won't.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2005 at 12:27PM
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You have to think about adding plants that like the same conditions (full sun, sharply drained, marginally crappy soil) in between and amongst your poppies.

I've had great luck with basic, boring German Iris, Sedum "Autumn Joy", Caryopteris (pay attention to your zone, may not overwinter for you). Echinacea. I have some Perovskia in the vicinity, but if you're looking for something with a "bushier" look, it might not be the selection for you. You could research ornamental grasses, too; but I would caution you about spacing (grasses get BIG bases) so do your homework. The German "Bearded" Iris work well because they flower at roughly the same time. The fans last throughout the season for nice foliage (see below; "my album").

Here is a link that might be useful: Iris and poppies

    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 10:34AM
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Leasa's plant sounds like it might be Campanula rapunculoides (Creeping Bellflower) --- the wild, spreading sort of bellflower.

Another plant that might work is something like Phlox paniculata planted in front of the poppies.

Oriental poppies have a taproot and are perennial --- they don't need to go to seed.

Interplanting daylilies or siberian iris could also work because they have pretty good foliage to fill the gaps left by the dormant poppy foliage.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 8:02PM
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