Poppies - Knowledgebase Question

Pittsburg, CA
Avatar for corko2
Question by corko2
February 18, 1998

I have alot of Shirley Poppy and Iceland Poppy seeds that I would like to plant out in some of my borders. Can I direct seed them where I want them and let the rains take care of the watering? If I understand correctly, they don't like to be buried into the soil as they need light to germinate. Is this correct?

Thanx in advance for your time....


Answer from NGA
February 18, 1998
Both kinds of poppy seeds can be sown directly into the garden. They'll need constant moisture, though, so don't let the soil dry out until the seedlings develop.

Iceland Poppy (Papaver nudicaule) seeds need light to germinate so just sow them and press them into the soil with the back of your hand, or something flat. Keep the seedbed moist until they germinate.

Seed for Shirley Poppies (Papaver rhoeas)are so tiny you should mix them with a cup of sand and then broadcast them over the area. Keep the bed moist until they germinate.

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