How Do You Grow Poppies?


Quick Answer

To grow poppies, plant them in a sunny, well-drained location when the weather is cool. Poppies germinate during the winter and bloom in the summer. Most poppy varieties are recommended for USDA hardiness zones 4 and higher.

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Full Answer

  1. Choose a planting time and location

    Plant poppy seeds when the temperature is 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Some poppy varieties need significant water, and others are drought tolerant, so choose a site that matches your seeds. When planting with other flowers, allow for the poppy's height reaching at least 12 inches.

  2. Sprinkle the seeds

    Sprinkle about 20 poppy seeds over the planting area. Do not bury the seeds, because they need sunlight to germinate. Use your hand to lightly press the seeds into the soil to keep them from drifting when it rains.

  3. Thin the seedlings

    Poppy seedlings sprout in the spring. Thin seedlings so that plants are 6 to 12 inches apart.

  4. Dead-head or allow self-seeding

    Poppies produce seed heads after their blooms die. If you leave the seed heads in place, the poppies self-seed back into the garden for the next season. To control poppy growth, remove the seed heads and discard or save the seeds to plant in another location.

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