The Q&A Archives: Planting Poppy Seeds

Question: A neighbor gave us poppy seeds from a blue poppy. How and when do we plant these seeds? Do we need to refrigerate them before planting?

Answer: Himalayan poppy seeds (Meconopsis) are difficult to germinate, but do not need any special pre-germination treatment. Store your seeds in an airtight container in a cool, dark location until 8 weeks before your last frost of the season. Sow seeds on the surface of moistened potting soil and keep the pots or trays at 55F-65F. Viable seeds will germinate in 14-28 days. Seedlings are very susceptible to damping off disease. Provide lots of air circulation around seedlings and water from the bottom of the tray to avoid splashing water on the foliage. Your seedlings should be ready to set outdoors in a protected place in early spring. Best wishes with your Himalayan Poppies!

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