The Q&A Archives: poppies

Question: A friend had a lot of poppies and gave me some, but they are dieing the leaves just dropped and are starting to dry up. What is wrong? and what should i have her do?

Answer: You've learned one of the lessons of growing poppies - they really don't like to be disturbed. The best time to move them is when they're dormant. Prepare the planting bed by amending with compost to provide a well-draining site. Mark the location of the plants when their leaves begin to yellow and wilt at the end of the season. Then carefully dig them after the first frost of the season, replant in the prepared bed, and mulch with a 3" inch layer of organic matter. Remove the mulch in the early spring before new leaves begin to sprout. If you keep the spent flowers removed before they form seedheads, the poppies won't be so apt to reseed themselves. Just leave your new poppies alone for now. They may recover and begin to regrow. If not, perhaps your friend will give you more that you can transplant this winter.

Best wishes with your garden!

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