need info on Poppy's

myaJune 3, 1999

Please help!!

I need info on poppy's FAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Jerri(z7 NW Tex)

Try Wildseed Farms. 1-800-848-0078

    Bookmark   June 5, 1999 at 1:47AM
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what do you need to know?

    Bookmark   June 28, 1999 at 6:27PM
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Can I seed poppy in an acid soil? I want to put my seeds under two pines in a sunny area.I'M not sure they can grow in acid soil.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2000 at 9:10AM
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I donot think poppies grow in very acid soil, but add lime to the soil before you plant. The lime will raise the pH. I have some poppies that a I planted in what I call regular garden soil, the pH is about 6.0 still acid and they are growing nicely. I planted seedlings last Nov. I am in SC. The seeds were started inside.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2000 at 3:52PM
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James C Trager

Poppy's what? The plural of poppy is poppies. I don't mean to be snooty, but the meaning of your message was not clear with that spelling error.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2000 at 4:29PM
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I ordered some poppy plants from a catalog and planted them like it said with sand ans soil. Do they die back after you plant them like that or should they go ahead and grow?

Please some body help me

    Bookmark   May 14, 2000 at 10:30AM
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Ann z5 IL

There are many species of poppies, Tommy. If the species you planted is an oriental poppy, then yes, they go dormant after they flower and die to the ground. They will be back next year unless something else happened and it is truely dead. However, you might want to plant something else in front of it to hide the annual collpse.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2000 at 1:41PM
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Ray Allen

Hi. Most wildflower gardeners plant three kinds of poppies from seed in meadows in the US: Most common and most popular is called Red Poppy (Papaver rhoeas) which is native to England and Europe. It is the poppy of Flanders Field, and the symbol of the American Legion. A vicar in England long ago isolated various color breaks in this normally all-red species and created what we now call Shirley Poppy (that was his name--Rev. Shirley), but shirley poppy (usually a color mix of red, pink, white, bi-colors, and doubles) is still P. rhoeas. This species is annual, and prefers neutral or acid soil. It is native to the "chalk grasslands" of England which tells you it doesn't like acid. It also will not grow in deep shade (or in heavy clay), so under pines sounds like one of the most difficult of all places to grow red poppy. Another meadow gardening favorite is California Poppy which is not a poppy at all (Papaver family), but is Eschscholzia californica. It grows as a perennial in its native range all up our west coast, carpeting grassy, treeless hills--one of the world's most fantastic displays of natural wildflowers--the show rivals Texas' bluebonnets in April/May. It is not very cold hardy, so in colder places, it's grown as an annual and is very successful anywhere if it has full sun and decent, loose soil. The third meadow gardeners enjoy is Iceland poppy, which is not easy to establish in the Northeast, but is very common as a 6-pack spring plant in California each spring, and I understand grows as a perennial in the southeast. It is a native of Iceland, but not as hardy as the name suggests. Oriental poppies (Papaver orientale) are the tough perennial kind and used usually only in flower borders...but they would be fine in a meadow as well--larger flowers than the others. I'd buy them as plants, not seed; all garden centers sell them. Opium poppy is a large annual and I believe I've read it is illegal to sell the seed in the US, but not illegal to grow !) I've seen it used as an ornamental in Maine, and it is truly spectacular--there are hybrids with fantasticlly large double blooms in pink, white, and other colors. Poppies are fantastic and very easy to grow--everybody loves them. By the way, if you cut them, they drop their petals quickly...BUT if you sear the base of the cut stem with a lighted match, they'll last in a vase about 3 days longer. Don't just heat it--burn it black, and your fresh poppy will work well in arrangements.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2000 at 12:32PM
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Shirl(Z5 MA)

My oriental poppies have just finished blooming. I cut the long stalks back to the leaves. I saved the pods from where the petals fell. Can I plant these and grow new plants? If I can, should I dry them out first or plant them right away?
Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2000 at 4:55PM
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Danny Barron

Shirl: If they just finished blooming, you might as well throw the pods they're never gonna mature if you've cut the stalks off.
You must leave the stalks till they begin to dry (and preferably begin to open (just to be sure)) before you harvest the seeds. As I recall they have no need for a domancy period (correct me if I'm wrong), and you can plant them immediately, though unless you're in a climate with more than 4 months of growing season left, I think I would plant them early next spring (probably freezing them or storing in a cool dry place till then).
However, in removing the seedpods now, your plants will likely have gotten stronger (not the sapping influence of setting seed) for next year :).

Danny Barron

    Bookmark   June 23, 2000 at 10:03PM
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Danny, Your info was very timely as I hasd just cut the pods off of my poppies today. The petals have been gone for about a month and while some of the pods had dried out completely others still appeared quite green. Would these pods be any good for sowing their seeds?

Also, when you mention harvesting the seeds, do you mean cutting the pods open and removing the seeds?

I was also worried about cutting the pods off altogether because some of the information I have read mentions that poppies seed themselves and with the pods no longer intact, I am worried that they may not return next year.

I have never worked with poppies before so any information anyone can provide would be helpful.

I have best been able to identify the type of poppy as Oriental.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2000 at 11:55AM
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Danny Barron

Orientals are perennials (rather tough ones in a favorable conditions (sunny, somewhat dry, well drained, with soil that doesn't get overly hot in during year (I live in the South)).
Your dried pods should have nice seeds in them. The ones that are still green are probably worthless (unless you let them mature on the plant). Oriental poppy seeds are very small and grow fairly slowly (2-3 years to blooming size). I don't believe you will experience much self-sowing...though I've grown them very successfully in flats, then transplanting (carefully...poppies hate root disturbances) into a pot during their 1st dormant season. You may have a few seedlings if nothing eats the little leaves (slugs) and it doesn't dry out too much for the little ones...etc.
Oriental poppies are easiest grown from root cuttings. It's very hard to move an oriental and get all of it's root...usually the remaining roots will develop crowns of their own next growth season. You can also take root segments and lay them in say 1/2 inch of a gritty potting soil and take care of them...and thus propagate them.
Some ppl misidentify the oriental poppies with the Opium poppys (Papaver orientale vs Papaver somniferum). The Opium/white poppies (not illegal in the US as best I know) are very showy and have VERY large seedpods (and seeds) and are cool-season annuals. They easily self-sow.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2000 at 11:03AM
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APCohrs Z5 IL

The poppy seed you buy at the grocery store is also opium poppy (papaver somniferum). You can plant it and enjoy the beautiful flowers. Unless you grow an entire field, you will not have enough to harvest opium and the authorities will leave you alone (unless they are already extremely PO'd at you).

This is why eating a poppy seed coffee cake will result in a positive drug test even though you haven't consumned nearly enough to get even slightly high!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2000 at 1:47PM
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david(SW Ga.)

Iceland poppies come from Mongolia, not Iceland. The native poppies of Iceland belong to the "Alpine poppy" group of species.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2000 at 9:06PM
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    Bookmark   April 24, 2002 at 1:31PM
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is there someone who know all is it possible to know about the variations of poppies somniferum L ?
i search the best poppygrowers....thank you

    Bookmark   May 2, 2002 at 6:22PM
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Little Cabbage, go to: for a vast amount of information re opium poppies.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2002 at 3:11AM
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Anyone know a website that is useful in the sowing of California poppy seeds? I would really appreciate the help!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2002 at 12:39AM
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I don't know where you live, GreenGirl. My yellow and orange ones seed themselves in the fall when the pods split. (I'm in a 6) Teh hybrid pink and frilly ones set seed later and it is often not ripe by a killing frost. So, I sew them in the late spring. This gets them off to a later start so they are late again in the fall. But I just throw them where I want them. I don't think they like to be transplanted, and I think they need light to germinate. I thought I might sew earlier and put a row cover on to see if they would germinate earlier.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2002 at 11:31AM
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persephone1(z5 mi)

I have one small cluster of nice oriental poppies that are about ready to bloom. I am a new gardener and would like to know how to propigate them. I want the option of growing them in another place on the property. Can someone throughly explain to me how to do this?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2004 at 9:22AM
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I've just started growing poppies of all sorts and had a successful outdoor experience this year but can not seem to grow them in doors. Has anyone had any success in this area. I have White Turkish, Giganthium, and Red and Black Peonnie Papaver Somniferum.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2004 at 11:13AM
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seething(VT zone: 4A, 3B)

I bought some Opium Poppy seeds about 5 years ago, then I moved, and never planted them. Last year, I found the packet, and figured ok, might as well try it. I live in zone 3, and don't have much sun either, so I wasn't expecting much. I basically hand cast them on a hand weeded dirt embankment (weeding it "tilled" it slightly), and then raked it lightly to slightly cover the seed. Then I ignored them. I eventually got a whole hill covered with very tiny poppies, the plants never got more than 4 or 5 leaves, and never grew above 8 inches, and they bloomed and had tiny white flowers of about 1 1/2 inch across. The seed pods that were left were only about 1/2 inch across (like a marble except slightly oval). Can anyone tell me what I could do this spring that might give me better success? Did keeping the seeds in the freezer for a year, then in a cool dark drawer for 4 years somehow stunt the growth?

The area I have to plant in is a slightly sandy hill about 4' x 5' that only gets afternoon sun for about 3 hours. It's full of broken glass and old rusty nails, and it's on property that used to be a butcher shop. I've never had the soil tested, but ferns seem to like it (they grow on it natively).

Secondly, if poppies are totally never going to work for me, can you suggest another pretty fast-growing wildflower-ish seed I can scatter in this area (preferably low pollen, due to allergies)? I do not want to have to weed it all summer, but do want some color.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2005 at 6:24PM
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Rosa(4ish CO Rockie)

Seething asks, Did keeping the seeds in the freezer for a year, then in a cool dark drawer for 4 years somehow stunt the growth?

Not in the least. Storage will affect the germination rate but not what you experienced.

I have the best luck with these sprinkled on top of the snow from now to April. Typically these are in shade (late afternoon sun) under some very large Ponderosas but still only get an hour more sun than yours. They do great. I give a good once a week soaking if we've had no precip but otherwise no care. Soil is well drained but on the dry side due to competition from so many trees.
Mine take quite a bit of time to take off in the spring.
You might try a little extra water with your sandier soils?

    Bookmark   January 20, 2005 at 8:52AM
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HELP....I have three oriental poppies. Two have come is all green, looks good. The other is browning around the edges (we are still having frosty nights) and the third hasn't come up at all....I think I have lost one but don't want to loose the other.....

    Bookmark   April 14, 2005 at 8:00AM
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I had an oriental poppy that just showed up in my garden last year. I gathered the seeds and stored them in the garage (fairily cool place). I just recently sprinked some seeds on the dirt and raked them in. I live in a zone 5 (Pacific Northwest) and it has still been chilly lately, is there any chance that it is still cool enough for the poppies to come up? Thank you

    Bookmark   June 17, 2005 at 9:26PM
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rayallen(zone 4)

Note to Seething: Your sandy hill with rusty nails, etc would be perfect for lupine. Lupines love sandy soil, and make attractive plants, if close enough together, will shade out weeds. Be sure you plant perennial lupines...seed of lupinus perennis if you're in the east.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 11:34PM
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This may laugh some of you right off the page, but here's what I did. I just returned from Italy. The wild poppies were blooming like crazy. They are simply stunning. Well, I devised a way to bring some back home to Colorado, I carefully dug some of the plants, placed them in empty water bottles so they could have a little water and some air and brought them home. I can't tell if they are going to survive or not. I did collect some of the pods as well and they are drying out. I live in zone 4 and have quite a bit of clay in our soil. Gardening is something I'm just getting the hang of, some years are better than others. I have planted oriental poppy's about 4 feet from where I would like to grow these wild ones (they are doing great). Any help or guidance on this would be greatly appreciated. I have never had much luck transplanting seedlings outside. They grow great, look great, but just never quite make it.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 9:59AM
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The link below should help you. There's a "How to grow Poppies" video and a full Step-by-Step instructional page with photos.

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing instructions

    Bookmark   April 14, 2009 at 6:58PM
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Not for anything, but you weren't stopped by customs? That is how new introductions of dangerous bugs or plant life happens...someone slips something past customs and inspectors.

All plant life has to be inspected before crossing the border.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 11:30AM
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That is indeed one way foreign pests arrive in this country and become permanently established. Rather than try and make that seed work it would be wiser to learn what the scientific name of that poppy is and then buy that poppy seed from an American seed company. That way the seed either has already come from plants safely, successfully grown in this country, or the seed has been properly imported and inspected for pests before it's entered this country's commerce.

What you have done ignores all of that (as well as having broken federal law).

I apologize for being a party pooper, but the quarantine laws exist for the benefit of us all, and ignoring them harms us all. What would you do if through your plantings you released a new plant disease into this country?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 11:15PM
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