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How to Grow Poppies

Annuals and Perennial

Poppies are one of the gardening world's most popular flowers. There are many reasons for its popularity. Poppies are easy to grow. There are annuals and perennials in a wide range of bright, and attractive colors. Once called the "common cornfield weed", this beautiful flower is no weed. Poppies were originally found in many parts of the world, including North America, Europe, China, India, and other regions of Asia. In many areas, it is a common wildflower.

Poppy plants grow 12 to 24". Long lasting flowers include just about all the colors of the rainbow. Annuals bloom in about 65-90 days. Perennial varieties take longer to bloom.

Poppies look great on the flowerbed. Try mass planting in rock gardens, or use as border. They also look great in windowsill planters, or in containers on your patio or deck.

In addition to use in the flowerbed, poppies have other uses. The seeds are a favorite of some birds. Try some in your bird feeder. Poppy seeds and oil are also common in the kitchen, most notably with recipes for breads and cookies.

Yes, Poppies are a narcotic. It is used to make Codeine, Morphine, and Opium.


Poppy is grown from seed. They can be sown directly into the garden, or started indoors.

We recommend an indoor start, six to eight weeks before the last frost in your area. Start poppy seeds in separate pots, to allow ample room for root growth. This also helps to minimize transplanting shock.

How to Grow Poppy Plants:

Poppies are easy to grow. They prefer full sun to partial shade, and cool weather. Plants will grow in most soils. They prefer soil that is well drained and slightly dry.  In average soils, mix in compost prior to planting.

Transplant seedlings into your garden after all danger of frost. Final spacing of plants should be 8" - 18", depending upon variety.

Poppies grow quickly, and will bloom in early to mid summer

For best results, add a general purpose fertilizer once a month. Mulch around plants to keep the weeds down, and for an attractive appearance. Water only during extended dry periods.

Deadhead flowers to promote new blooms. Do not do this if you plan on harvesting the seeds.

To harvest the seeds, allow the flower to die and dry. Snip off seed pods and lay the out on a flat surface to completely dry. Separate the seeds from the seed pod, and store for later use.

Insect and Disease:

Poppies seldom have problems with insects and disease. Apply insecticides or fungicides only as needed.

More Information:

Growing Poppies

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