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poppy seed, will seed mature if pod picked green?

Posted by chancygardener 6-NW AR (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 11, 05 at 16:54

Poppy foliage is getting to be ratty looking. Wondering if pods can be picked green and brought inside to dry ... or if stems placed in water will allow seed to mature?


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RE: poppy seed, will seed mature if pod picked green?

  • Posted by Rosa 4-ish CO Rockies (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 11, 05 at 19:25

Not usually. And it's photosynthesis that produces the energy needed to mature the seeds, not just water....
If you absolutely have to then let them go as long as you can, cut the stem long and hang upside down to dry. Preferably with something underneath or around the pods-like a stocking-to catch the seeds.


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RE: poppy seed, will seed mature if pod picked green?

sure wish I read this post before I went and pulled the 2 heads off a neighbor's spent poppies. they are green still but weren't flowering anymore so i thought i'd take it off his hands. this guy doenst even mow the lawn so I didnt think he'd mind. ha ha. Now i'll have to steal the last one later on when it is more dried up! If I ever saw the man I'd just ask him for it.. but I think he is a recluse.....!sad really. :(


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RE: poppy seed, will seed mature if pod picked green?

I was just going to ask the same question, some were half brown, some mostly brown, some green. Now they are all in one big pile!

But in addition to that question, I wanted to know if I could/should start the seeds now, to transplant for later. When is a good time. And, in the meantime, how do I store them? Same questions for lupine (which I did completely let dry out).

You might think I am new to this forum, and you are right, so I appreciate your patience and answers!


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RE: poppy seed, will seed mature if pod picked green?

I've let the ratty foliage survive so that I can have the seed. Today I picked some of them. Some pods still looked a bit green, but when turned upside down, the seeds spilled out.
Saucy, don't know where you are, but herein zone 6, I throw the seed out on top of snow in Jan or Feb. We don't get much snow here, so last year it was only a couple of inches deep when I "planted". I'm storing my seed in a paper bag until then.


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RE: poppy seed, will seed mature if pod picked green?

I'm not experienced at all in gathering poppy seeds - this is the first year I've had any grow for me! And all due to winter sowing (see the winter sowing forum).

Sure glad I found this question. Will definitely leave them alone. Some are in a pot, so can be moved out-of-sight, but others I'll just have to put up with.


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RE: poppy seed, will seed mature if pod picked green?

Personally wouldn't transplant Saucy. I do what Chancygardener does. Throw out inthe snow anytime from Jan-April. They like light to germinate and really benefit from the cold stratification of outside sowing.


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RE: poppy seed, will seed mature if pod picked green?

Once the pod of the poppy opens at the top, it's ready. Look at it this way, when ma nature is ready to set them free, they are good to go. Ma nature is much smarter than we are. That being said, the pods are usually brown and brittle. Makes sense huh? You'll find that same principle is true for a lot of plants - is the plant letting them go? Well then, it's time.

I have had great success winter sowing poppies. Easy instructions and support are available on the winter sowing forum - outdoor winter sowing in containers. Give it a shot.


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RE: poppy seed, will seed mature if pod picked green?

We have had frost overnight for 3 nights in a row....alot of my poppy pods are still green, if I do have to bring them in already to dry upside down will the seeds that fall be viable? I love poppies but this is my 1st year growing them. I live in NE MN. Thanks


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RE: poppy seed, will seed mature if pod picked green?

Can I ask the reason for sprinkling them on the snow in January rather than just shaking the pods around as soon as they are ripe? ie in late summer/autumn. I'm not familiar with your climates and am wondering why you need to store them at all rather than sowing them fresh. They self sow in my garden without any intervention.


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RE: poppy seed, will seed mature if pod picked green?

My pods kept looking pretty green until I skipped checking them for just a few days (I thought it was just a few days).

Now they're all brown, and mostly split and empty!


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RE: poppy seed, will seed mature if pod picked green?

I'm in south puget sound area the pacific northwest (US). We had a particulary bad bout of spider mites and powdery mildew late this summer. Pretty frustrating.
Anyways, I still have poppies blooming. I started some in april and a second planting in june. Some of the june ones bloomed by august; others are just starting. Late summer was unusually dry here. Then we started getting our usualy cool, grey and wet weather in late september. A couple of my pods which were just about ready to harvest for seed started turning green again so I pulled them and viola! all the seeds were fully germinated! Darn!!
My first Hen and Chicks plant bloomed in early september. I only got two flowers from a single plant, so I really didn't want to mess up the only seeds. I brought this plant, which was in a pot, onto my enclosed back porch. Unfortunately, the plants aren't getting enough light for the younger pods to develop. I have no supplemental light source, so I had to choose to keep the HnC pods dry.
Does anyone have any hints on how to deal with late season poppies in the pac northwest?


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RE: poppy seed, will seed mature if pod picked green?

Poppy seeds are ready to harvest when the heads open to allow the seeds to fall out when a wind blows or you tilt the head and they start to fall out.


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RE: poppy seed, will seed mature if pod picked green?

What Wally means is when the little "windows" around the crown of the seed pod open, seeds should be ready. Snip them off and the seeds can be shaken out just like a pepper shaker.


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RE: poppy seed, will seed mature if pod picked green?

Pick them even earlier, extract the syrupy filling in the seed pod and you get ummmm...never mind. (wink wink)


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