The Q&A Archives: Garden Gnome Poppy

Question: I purchased several poppy plants. When the flowering is over, can I cut the plant back and fill in with another type?

Answer: When the flowers on your plants are spent you can cut back the flowering stems, but you'll want to leave the foliage alone until it dies back on its own. If you cut the entire plant down to ground level after flowering is finished, the leaves won't be able to convert sunlight into carbohydrates to feed the roots. This will affect both plant growth and flowering capabilities in seasons to come. You can certainly interplant the bed with taller plants to hide the foliage of your poppies after flowering has finished. I do this in my own garden so I can have a succession of blooms all season long. I barely even notice the foliage of plants that are not flowering because other plants have taken center stage. Best wishes with your garden!

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