Growing Poppies - Knowledgebase Question

Longview, TX
Avatar for KJRich
Question by KJRich
November 25, 1997
I love the look of poppies but I can't seem to get them to grow. I have planted probably 10 packets of seeds and nothing happens. I am planting them in full sun in a flower bed with a clay base that I have enriched with potting soil, sand and peat moss. What am I doing wrong?

Answer from NGA
November 25, 1997
Why not try germinating the seeds indoors under lights, then transplanting outdoors--that way, you'll be able to nurture the delicate seedlings.

Sow the seeds indoors in a soilless seed-starting mix. Follow directions on the seed packet carefully--there are several different types of poppy. For example, the cultivar Papaver orientale requires light to germinate, so you should simply scatter the seeds on the soil surface. Other types need darkness to germinate.

Poppies germinate best at a temperature of 55-60F; germination can take 2 weeks or more, so be patient. Once the seedlings emerge, place them under fluorescent lights until they are sturdy enough to set outside.

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