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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Growing From Seed.... Oriental Poppies

Fall of 2008 I had an obsession..... Poppy Seed.

I was determined to get my hands on as many different kind of seeds as I could find.

I had large packets of corn poppy seeds....
That gave me beautiful red blooms....that made a huge impact.
Shirley and Peony Poppy ..... in pink....white and reds....that swayed in the breeze.
They did beautifully in my wildflower garden....but I must say, you need a bit of nerves of steel to grow poppies from seed. I direct sew to uncovered dirt in early March, and pray the wind or the birds don't carry off my blooms. Where I thought I had them planted, they never grew.... what I thought was a weed (and many I pulled) we're beautiful flowers. But I must say, it was all worth it, and I am trying again this year.

Things I will be doing differently ( I hope!)....
1. I will mix my seeds with sand and sprinkle then from an spice jar for more even seed distribution and more weight so they might go where I want them to....
2. I will have plant markers made up and ready to remember where I planted them and what kind they are.
3. I will have other annuals planted with them, so when they die back and reseed the old foliage is not so noticeable.
4. I will select colors I like and mark them with tags and plastic baggies to try to collect seeds.
5. I will take more pictures of them! Lol... I had so many and ended up with very few photos.

Here are some of the seeds I am planting...
(All pictures of there are from the web)


Peony Poppy Black Cloud


Danebrog Lace

Bombast Red


Coral Fringed


Hens and Chicks This is the seed heads...cool huh?

And this is hen and chicks bloom.... neat plant.

Queen Alexandra


Lauren's Springer Grape


Drama Queen


Bombast Rose

More Giant Peony Poppy
Mine was from Burpee and it is in the stores right now, I picked up some at Lowes last week.
This was my favorite from last year, and if I had to try just one, this is the one I would do.

Here is some info from the web..... I thought it was very interesting.


How to grow Poppies (Link for Credit)

Prepare the ground properly. Till up the area you want to plant poppies in. A power tiller works best but the old fashioned, shovel, pick, hoe and rake will work too. It is a good idea to add some kind of organic fertilizer to the soil. Cow manure is best however it will come with a lot of weeds. Chicken manure that has been allowed to rest for at least a year is also recommended. Once you have prepared the ground, it is time to plant your seeds.

There are two times of the year that are best for planting poppy seeds. The Spring and Fall. Poppies are a very hardy plant and they like the cold. So plant your seeds just after you think the last snow has fallen. If it does not snow where you live, plant the seeds in the middle of February. It's easy, just sprinkle or broadcast the seeds where you want them to grow. If you live in a dry climate, be sure to water on a regular basis. The seeds should come up between seven and twenty five days, depending on your weather conditions. The seeds will come up everywhere you planted them. Because the seeds are so small, some people like to sow the seeds with a mixture of sand and seed, then broadcast the seeds that way. You will find they won't be crowded so close together. You can plant them in rows or just plant them everywhere.

Some people like to thin the plants from eight to ten inches apart when the seedlings reach a height of five to six inches. If you do thin out the plants, the remaining poppies will fill out more and produce more seed pods per plant. When the plants are ten inches tall start to fertilize with a liquid fertilizer. Alaskan fish fertilizer works well for the organic gardener. Or you can use Miracle Grow, a common vegetable fertilizer. You can buy these fertilizers at your local garden store. Be sure to follow the directions on the water mix. Fertilize and water on a regular basis until you see the seed pods start to form.


Let nature take over. Your plants will grow long stems with the flower and seed pod at the end. The flowers last from three to eight days, then the flower petals drop off. The plant uses all of its remaining energy to reproduce. The seed pods will grow fat with seeds and eventually the seed vents will open up to re-seed themselves. This is the time to collect the seeds for cooking. Save the seeds from the biggest pods for Fall planting. This is also the time to cut the long stems with their pods for dried flower arrangements.

Seed heads are frequently used in wreaths you will love the large pods. The stems dry straight and hard and can be used for a number of things such as: support sticks for other plants, use in arts and crafts, playing an ancient Chinese fortune telling game, or simple "pick-up sticks". For cooking, the seeds are a pantry necessity. Everything from poppy seed cake and muffins, to an ingredient in herbal butters and as a decorative topping on biscuits and for making a great poppy seed dressing. Many recipes can be discovered just by visiting your local library. In some countries, poppy seeds have been a staple and used to make flour and as an ingredient in most of their cooking.

For the Fall planting, plant your seeds in the middle of September and prepare the soil as I have indicated above. Poppies are very hardy, they should winter over just fine. However just in case, save about half your seeds for the Spring planting.

Poppies are beautiful plants and are a show piece for any garden. However, they do contain alkaloids that are a narcotic. It may be illegal in your area to grow opium poppies. Check your local laws. It is definitely illegal to harvest the raw opium these plants produce .I am selling these seeds to you strictly for beautification and the decorative and cooking aspects of them. Once you start your own garden of these beauties, you will never need to buy seeds again!

The history of these flowers is incredibly interesting and their wonderful versatility make these a very productive plant to own. I hope you enjoy these beautiful ancient flowers.

Here is a good source for poppy seed I found....check it out if you'd like.

I always check EBay too, that is where I got all of mine.
Happy Gardening....Brooke

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