Poppies....I am confused

chickscleo(5)March 28, 2009

I have had zero luck with poppies having tried seeds and transplants. I have been researching how to grow poppies. I am confused and to whether or not they need stratification or not?....Or do some and not others?

I love poppies and wonder what I am doing wrong...Are there any poppy experts out there that can help me out? Thanks!!

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Hi chickscleo,

I am not a poppy expert, but I have successfully grown two kinds of poppies--Flanders and Oriental poppies. In fact, I have eight or nine clumps of poppies in my garden right now coming back from last year.

I winter sowed my poppies. (See the Winter Sowing forum for more information about this growing approach.)

I sowed my containers heavily, since the seeds are so small. I plopped my containers outside, the seedlings sprouted, and when they had their second and third sets of leaves (sometimes bigger), I planted them out. I had poppies blooming all summer. They were not big because it was the first year, but I am looking forward to larger poppies this year.

According to my winter sowing journal, I sowed Oriental poppies on 2/10, and they sprouted on 4/21. I sowed Flanders poppies on 4/18, and they sprouted on 4/24.

I have tried to winter sow Tibetan Blue poppies (Meconopsis betonicifolia), and I have not had any success with these. But I am still trying! :)

Hope this helps!

Nora Belle

    Bookmark   March 28, 2009 at 11:13PM
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Thank you for the info...I have actually been looking into winter sowing. Too late this year but that brings me to another question. If the poppy seeds can be put out in containers during winter, can I just direct sow them now? The packages say to wait until all danger of frost is gone. I do see though that some types are annual or perennial...So confused on this issue...Oye!!!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2009 at 11:05PM
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There are perennial and annual poppies. I believe many annual poppies are considered hardy annuals and will reseed in our zone. I believe this is what the Flanders poppies are doing.

As you can see by my Flanders poppy sowing date, it is not too late to winter sow. In fact, I have about 50 containers of annuals and veggies to sow, which I will do in Apri and May.

You could try direct seeding the poppies. Nothing ventured . . .

What I like about the winter sowing method, even for annuals, is they grow with some protection-- from some of the elements and from critters. When the plants have second and third true sets of leaves, I plant them out. I can watch them and protect them better because I can see them, and sometimes critters leave the larger seedlings alone. (Maybe they don't taste as good? Other plants in taste competition taste better?)

Gardening is lots of trial and error, which is part of the fun. :)

Hope this helps some.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2009 at 10:23AM
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I realized in my last post I forgot to write the most important information--it's not too late to winter sow, especially poppies! Get a couple jugs, throw in some Pro-Mix, sprinkle your poppy seeds, andd wait for the poppy magic! :)

Nora Belle

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 6:53PM
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maderb(WI. z3/4)

I grow these papaver Somniferum poppies every year, Throw them on the grownd when night temps are still cold & they'll grow. Do you have too much of a Clay soil?? Here were I'm at it's really sandy, they seem to like my Sandy soil, I use cow manure compost mixed into my sandy soil & the poppies really take off!!!!!!!! My poppies here are really like weeds, I can't get rid of them, they pop up all over & even between the side walks..........

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 8:43PM
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