How To Grow Poppies In The Garden
Growing poppies is simple if you use the 10 steps provided in this article how to grow poppies.
How To Grow Poppies 10 Easy Steps
1.) Buy high quality non-stearl seeds
This seems fairly obvious but for first time buyers many end up purchase cheap seeds at the dollar type stores and other low quality big box outlets without being able to see other customer reviews.
Most of those seeds have went through a sterilization process or are low quality and they will yield low quality flower stock or they will not grow at all.
Search Amazon to see what seeds have the best reviews. This will give you the best success.
2.) Sow Seeds in Spring or Fall
You can sow the seeds of poppies in either the spring or the fall.
• Midwest – Plant poppy seed before snow in fall. Otherwise store seed in refrigerator until spring planting.
If planting in the spring, please see #3 for important information.
3.) The Seed Must Go Through Cold Stratification
In the wild poppy plants will drop their seed in the late summer and early fall. The seed will lay on the ground and are exposed to the elements. One element that is needed is a period of cold in order to signal the seed to germinate, this is why poppies do not grow in the deep south.
If you have collected seed from flowers and want to store it to plant in the spring then you will need to “trick” your seeds to grow. Learn how to cold stratify your seeds.
4.) Sow Where You Want Poppies To Grow
Poppies have very delicate roots and are not a fan of transplanting. Sow the seed where the plants will remain, as they resent transplanting.
5.) Provide Fertil Loose Soil With Room To Grow
Poppies like loose, loamy soil with plenty of room to grow. The plants are not fans of clay soil. If you have clay soil, read elements of good soil to learn how to enrich the soil for planting. Poppies like their own space. Really, their own garden plots work best to make show stopping displays.
6.) Covering the Seed with dirt
Poppy seeds need sunlight to germinate. If you cover the seeds you plant with a heavy covering of soil, the seed can not get sunlight. If you feel the need to cover the seed, it should just be a dusting of soil over the seed.
7.) Water Water Water
Keep the seeds and soil moist until the plant has developed true leaves. The seeds do not like to dry out. Once the plant has true leaves the roots start to grow deep and will tolerate the top layer of soil drying out.
I’m not to worried about watering my poppies, the deep roots usually can suck up the water needed and are extremely forgiving plants.
When we plant our seeds, we tend to go heavy. 5 seeds to a foot is not uncommon. Most gardeners know that some seed will not germinate and other seedlings will be lost to rabbits and insects.
• Thin your seedlings out to give them room to grow. In the beginning, I thin to 6 inches apart.
• Each poppy plant will need about 1 foot of space once it is established. So a second thinning to keep the healthiest plants may be needed as the plant ages.
9.) Keep Insects At Bay
In the early stages of poppy flower growth slugs and snails can be an issue. The critters eat your leaves, which will not allow the plants to grow and flourish. Have issues with them?
Sluggo is a product that I suggest you mix into the soil you plan on sowing your seed in. Water the Sluggo into the soil up to a week before. It takes a week or so for the product to work, which is why I recommend adding it before planting your seeds.
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How To Grow Poppies From Seed
10.) Self Sowing
Poppies are self sowing plants. In the late summer and early fall bulb seed heads appear and when the seeds are ripe the bulb seed pods will crack open and disperse the seed onto the soil beneath the plants. The seeds will go through the cold stratification from step number 3 during the off season to begin the growth process again.