The Q&A Archives: Poppies

Question: Last summer I ordered poppy roots and planted them in the fall. (I didn't realize I needed to plant them as soon as I received them.) I also didn't know how to plant/care for them. Could you give me pointers on how to prepare the bed area where I plan to plant them, what I need to do to assure that next spring/summer I will have poppies to enjoy? Thank you.

Answer: Poppies do well in a well drained location in average to rich soil and full sun. These plants bloom in early summer and then subsequently go dormant (die back to the ground)until fall when they sprout foliage again. Each year the clump enlarges until it reaches mature size; the plants are long lived in the garden but should not be disturbed for best results. In general you should follow the planting directions you receive with plants and bare root material would be planted upon receipt in early spring so it can wake up naturally with the season. Since you waited until fall to plant your poppies, I am not certain whether they will have survived or not. If they have not emerged with foliage by mid June I think I would assume they did not survive.

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