Poppys are often grown because of their beautiful colored heads. They don´t need a lot of attention or care to thrive, so they are grown in a lot of gardens all over the world. The only important thing, that you have to take into account is when to plant them!
So when to plant Poppy Seeds? Poppy Plants can be planted during the fall or during the spring. The best time to plant them, however, is during the fall.
There are more than 100 varieties of poppy you can choose from, they can be annual, biannual or perennial. The field poppy is the simplest and easiest variety to grow. It’s annual and bees like it.
If you want long-lasting poppies in your flower beds you can opt for Oriental poppies which are biannual and have bigger flower corona.
How Long Does it Take For The Poppy Seeds to Germinate?
Depending on the poppy variety the seeds germinate anywhere from 7 to 30 days if they have everything they need in order to do so (a sunny spot with good drainage and all the nutrients they require – nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
You can do a simple PH-test to find out if your soil is good enough for your Poppies to grow. If you don´t want to buy a commercial tester then you can make your own PH-test by using household items.
What Kind Of Soil Do You Need?
Poppies grow best if they have at least 250mm topsoil so they can expand their roots.
You can increase the soil volume by raising the beds. The soil should be moist at the surface for the poppy seeds to germinate and for leaves to be able to grow out of the soil.
The soil shouldn’t be too wet or overly dry because these beautiful flowers don’t like either.
Another thing you have to care for when it comes to the soil where you want to plant the poppy seeds is its pH which should be 5.8, you can measure it with a commercial tester or with household items.
How to Prepare The Area Where You Want to Plant the Poppy Seeds?
If you already have flowerbeds they need to be prepared before planting the poppy seeds.
Rake the area well in order to break small lumps and pick up the stones and remainings from the previous plantation.
If the soil in that specific area has too much clay you can improve the drainage by adding around 2 inches of compost after you dig in a Lil.
What Sowing Method Should You Use?
The poppy seeds are very small and the energy level contained inside the seed is even smaller so you have to make sure that they have all the conditions required in order to grow.
To survive they need to develop their first leaves as soon as possible, that being said the seeds have to be planted 5-10 mm deep in the soil.
This way they will have enough contact with both the soil (so they can have enough humidity till they germinate) and the warmth of the sun. The sowing should be made early for the plants to be able to grow before high temperatures come.
Don’t hesitate to irrigate poppies if their soil is dry, they need moist soil to be able to germinate as fast as possible, at the surface, where you sowed them, not only deep in the ground.
You can also mix the poppy seeds with sand, this will help you spread them more easily in the soil.
How Often Should You Water The Soil in Which You Planted the Poppy Seeds?
In the spring the weather isn’t that warm so you can water the poppy seeds at least once a week.
Don’t overwater them or they will rot. The autumn tends to be a little hotter so you can water them up to 3 times a week, it depends on the soil and the weather.
Can Poppies be Planted Indoors and Then Transferred Outside?
Yes, you can plant them indoors, they will have better conditions to develop in but be careful if there’s a big difference between the climate indoors and the one from outside it will be hard for them to adapt when you transfer them. You can plant them in pots and give them enough light and water to get them to germinate as fast as possible.
Another great option is to use biodegradable pots made from peat or manure. Plant the poppy seeds in them. This way they will adapt fast and easy when you’ll transfer them outside because their roots won’t be damaged while trying to take them out of the pots.
You can place up to 4 seeds in one pot. You can cover them with a plastic wrap, this way the seeds will germinate faster and once they germinated you can remove the plastic wrap. Keep the pots in a sunny place, you need your poppies to get enough light.
When they reach the height of 1 inch you can thin seedling, this way their roots will develop better. Water them to keep the soil moist but don’t drown them. You can plant the biodegradable pots with poppies outside once the soil reaches a constant temperature of 12C.
What Should You Know In Order to Be Able to Have Beautiful, Long-Lasting Poppies?
You can divide clumps of poppies after they finish blooming, this should be done in late summer, be careful because you don’t want to divide them too early and harm them.
Remove dead blooms, this way the plant will create more flowers because it won’t put its energy and nutrients in something which won’t bloom.
This will also prevent the plant from developing seeds. So if you want to get some seeds then don’t remove the dead flowers and let them turn into pods.
If you want to harvest seed pods cut them when they’re light brown. Before opening them dry them for around 2 weeks.
After that, you can store them in jars. If they’ve been dried properly and harvested at the right time they can stay stored up to 2 years.
You can also plant poppies that have eatable seeds. The seeds are used for making oils or medicine for headaches, migraines, and coughing.
You can combine the poppies in your flower beds with other beautiful flowers, even field flowers (like daisies, cornflowers, bluebells), the combination will look wonderful. Poppies can be used as cut flowers for making bouquets full of color.