Perennials forum: Poppy(s) question.

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Name: Rachael
NY (Zone 5a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Mar 29, 2016 6:06 PM CST
I have a packet of Oriental mixed Poppies (biennial), Burpee poppy Meadow Pastels mix (says perennial), and Burpee watermelon heaven California poppy (annual).

I was doing some reading and came across the suggestion that the Oriental Poppy needed to be cold moist stratified. So, into the fridge they went. It then occurred to me they could have already been cold stratified. If so, will it hurt them to be in there anyway? I still need to get permission to plant them where I would like to, so I can't plant them yet. Otherwise I might just throw them out there and cross my fingers.

Also, would either of the other two poppy varities I have benefit from the same treatment? Last avg frost date is May 10, so they would be in there for little bit.

I did plant few in a little greenhouse kit but none have come up this far, I may have planted them too early. Totally a beginner at this Smiling
Name: Jim D
East Central Indiana (Zone 5b)
Seed Starter Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Frogs and Toads Garden Procrastinator Cottage Gardener Birds
Annuals Hummingbirder Region: Indiana Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies
Mar 29, 2016 6:28 PM CST
From a commercial source , They will probably grow ,
From garden seeds , etc any you might collect , They should be Wintersown in fall , and or through February here , .
Takes a few weeks for any to appear ,

Plant very shallow , barely covering them , good medium light to germinate ,

In the Butterfly garden if a plant is not chewed up I feel like a failure
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Heucheras Hellebores Container Gardener
Birds Region: New York Irises Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lilies
Mar 30, 2016 8:41 AM CST
JimD is right. I never have any luck getting Oriental Poppies started.
I do have luck with the annual breadseed poppies Somniferum. I sow these in December and tamp them into scratched soil. Then I lay some screen over them weighted down with rocks .This keeps the birds off and washouts in heavy rains.

Sowing annual poppies

In November when there is a good day.
Scrape away any leaves or mulch to make a bare spot.Dig in and loosen the soil a bit where your clump of poppies will be ( I dont do rows because the annual poppy doesnt transplant successfully for me.)


There were images with this but I cant paste them.

Tamp the loosened soil area so the surface is level,dont pack the soil down,germinated poppies need somewhere for the roots to go and like a loose soil.
Seeds sown on mulch or anything but the bare ground ,wont germinate.

Sprinkle the seeds and press into the ground.Dont bury seeds

I have sown them and covered with screen held down with rocks.This protects the seeds from birds or washing away with rain.

I also made cloches “bottle greenhouses”

Cut the bottoms off of plastic milk bottles or clear large soda bottles and place the bottle over the sown seeds.I put 2 plant supports into the mini bottle green house so it wouldnt blow away.

These are the new poppies. DONT WEED THEM OUT.I have done that more times than I want to admit.
Also poppies dont need to be sown this thick. This picture was taken in March but we had a weird spring.
In April check your sites for germination. Dont be discouraged if you dont see anything,I have seen poppies emerge in late May.

If seeds are sown early like November ,and they germinate,leave them they will survive the winter.
In spring when the milk bottle plants are a few inches high,remove the bottle or screen covering so the plants can stretch and grow.
I thin by cutting out plants with scissors , that I dont want.I dont pull plants as this disturbes the tender hairlike roots of plants left in the clump.

I had a great clump of mixed somnifareums.
These are planted with Echinacia Summer Sky

[Last edited by ge1836 - Mar 30, 2016 8:50 AM (+)]
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Name: Rachael
NY (Zone 5a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all!
Apr 19, 2016 2:07 PM CST
Great info! Thanks you.

I planted the poppies day before yesterday, along with some nasturtiums and some forget me nots. Kissing by the disturbed soul, I think I nee some more seeds and some sort of screen since something feasted on my seeds lol

I do have a few in some mini jiffy pots, I know they don't like transplanting but I don't have much to lose.

Edit, killed a poppy seeding. Got some big fluffy looking peony poppies to go along with my Orientals and Californias. If I even get half of what I planted, it will be glorious!
[Last edited by EyeDelight - Apr 20, 2016 9:38 AM (+)]
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Name: Mike
Hazel Crest, IL (Zone 5b)
There's a place of quiet rest !
May 1, 2016 10:34 AM CST
Good luck on your poppy endeavor Rachael. The seeds I harvested last year and sprinkled around have germinated.

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