The Q&A Archives: Oriental Poppy Blooms Not Maturing

Question: The stems that support the blooms of my Oriental poppies seem to not mature. The bloom stays very close or at the base of the plant. This has happened two years in a row. I thought that the stem would grow at least 12 to 14 inches so we could at least see the flower. I have to almost dig under to plant to find dead flowers. Please help!

Answer: I think a soil test is in order! If your soil is too alkaline or too acidic, nutrients can be bound up and not available to plants. Boron and copper are important trace elements for healthy plant growth, as are the major nutrients phosphorus and potassium. All help promote healthy tissue growth and strong stems. A deficiency could keep your poppies from developing tall flowering stems. Have your soil tested by a local lab. The results will automatically include fertilizer suggestions, based upon the pH of your soil.

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