Answer: Poppies resent being transplanted, so you're right in sowing the seeds directly in the garden bed. You can expect the foliage to grow in the spring and the flowers to follow in June. The plants will die back in mid-summer, so put some tall annuals in the bed with your poppies to mask the dead foliage. You can allow the flowers to produce seedheads. When the seed capsules turn tan and the holes on top open, cut the head from the stem and shake the seeds out into a container. These can be used in cooking. Or, allow the plants to self-sow (spread the seeds on their own). Oriental poppies are perennial plants. After the tops die down, the roots will live on, and produce new foliage the following fall, with flowers in the early summer. Shirley poppies are annual plants that need to be renewed each spring. They self-sow easily, if you allow the flowers to form seedheads.
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