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Growing California Poppies W of Cascades

Posted by goofyisgreen Z8 PacNW (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 24, 13 at 3:03

I live South Sound, probably 700 yards from the saltwater, bought some California Poppies seeds at the garden show. I've never grown poppies.

My yard is dappled shade, maxes out about 5-6 hours sun in summer, less other seasons.

Wonder if what type of light, water and fertilizer demands and expectations they have. My initial impression is that they are not super demanding.

How would they be on rocky slopes? Good to plant with daffodils (will they fill in later after daffodils have bloomed out)? What about interplanting with shasta daisies--it seems like they'll bloom out before the shasta daisies (they bloom in July for a month).

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Growing California Poppies W of Cascades

Assuming that you bought Eschscholzia californica, they like full sun and dry conditions. I'd suggest growing these in a container (use cactus mix potting soil) and placing the container in the sunniest spot on your property.

RE: Growing California Poppies W of Cascades

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 24, 13 at 15:12

Had them reseeding here for many years. Ones coming up in better soil grew big, soft and floppy. If your whole garden is shaded you may see effects of that, definitely not a shade plant. Speaking of rocky slopes, probably the one place I have most often seen these growing wild here in recent years is a steep barren slope along I-5 in Seattle, where there was a scattering of them for some time.

Here these have a pansy-like cycle, with germination and growth occurring fall-winter and bloom starting in spring or early summer - and attractive presentation, with compact display of closely spaced flowers not necessarily lasting through the hot time of the year - dry season conditions may even bring on foliage mildew. Nevertheless, some individuals may hang on for more than one year.

RE: Growing California Poppies W of Cascades

  • Posted by toasty z8 Seattle (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 26, 13 at 18:40

Unless there's another close relative that looks remarkably like the orange headed flowers -- these grow like weeds (esp. as I didn't plant them) in my yard. They grow in my beds and out the crevices of the rock wall. I think it could work well with daffodils, the bloom time doesn't overlap, both seem to be pretty persistent growers.

Definitely can be perennial; the leaves die back in winter but the single tap root gets to be quite established. They self-seed prolifically, too. I usually end up pulling them out by the handfuls after the blooms start petering in the summer.

RE: Growing California Poppies W of Cascades

The worse the soil the better they seem to grow from my opinion. They grow in my gravel driveway like crazy, you need a jack hammer to penetrate that soil it's so hard and nasty. I've thrown them in planter beds where I have good garden soil and they don't do well at all but in dry/sunny/nasty soil situations they thrive. Definitely as much sun as they can get otherwise they are floppy.

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