The Q&A Archives: Poppy Not Blooming

Question: I planted a poppy plant five years ago and the first year it bloomed a beautiful orange red. I have had nothing but foliage every year since. I use only compost as feeder.

Answer: There are several reasons I can think of for why your poppy (Papaver orientale) doesn't bloom. The first reason is that it may be too cold where you live; these plants are generally only considered hardy into zone 5. Microclimates can vary, however, so if there are other poppies which bloom in your neighborhood, then this is probably not the reason.

The second possibility is that your soil is somehow not rich enough -- these plants require a very rich soil which is also well drained (meaning not soggy). You might wish to perform a basic soil test and see if there is any type of deficiency. Your County Extension can help you with the test and with interpreting the results. Their telephone number is 777-8156.

Poppies also require full sun to bloom their best and may not bloom if they are located in a shady spot.

Good luck with your poppy!

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