Information About Poppies

Popular Poppy Varieties: Types Of Poppies For The Garden

By Laura Miller

Poppies add a splash of color to the flower bed, they're easy to grow and there are hundreds of poppy varieties to choose from. With so many poppies available, the biggest problem for gardeners is narrowing down the selection! This article can help with that.

Planting Poppies In Containers: How To Care For Potted Poppy Plants

By Our site

Poppies are beautiful in any garden bed but poppy flowers in a pot make a stunning display on a porch or balcony. Potted poppy plants are simple to grow and easy to care for. Click on the following article to learn more about container care for poppies.

Alpine Poppy Info: Information On Growing Rooted Poppies

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Alpine poppy is a wildflower found in high elevations with cold winters. Believed to be one of the world’s most north-growing plants, if you’re a chilly climate gardener, you’ll definitely want to learn about growing alpine poppies. Find out how in this article.

Double Poppy Info: Learn About Growing Double Flowering Poppies

By Shelley Pierce

If you are a fan of peonies and can't get enough or have difficulty growing them, then you may want to consider growing peony poppies, also known as double poppies. Wait, aren't they illegal? Click this article for additional double poppy information.

No Oriental Poppy Flowers – Reasons For Oriental Poppies Not Blooming

By Mary Ellen Ellis

Oriental poppies are among the showiest of perennials, with big, bright blooms that light up a spring garden. But having no flowers on oriental poppies can happen some years, and it?s a real disappointment. Learn why it happens and what to do in this article.

Saving Poppy Seeds : How And When To Harvest Poppy Seeds

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Poppies have a bad reputation as part of the opium trade, but for gardeners, they are simply lovely blooms in brilliant colors. These easy-to-grow plants are also simple to propagate from seed. Learn when to harvest poppy seeds in this article.

Opium Poppy Laws – Interesting Facts About Opium Poppies

By Amy Grant

Opium poppies are steeped in culture, commerce, politics and intrigue. Curious about opium poppy laws, plants and flowers? Find out some fascinating opium poppy information in this article and learn why you shouldn't try to grow this flowers.

Arctic Poppy Facts: Learn About Iceland Poppy Growing Conditions

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Iceland poppy growing conditions are extremely variable, making this short-lived perennial a natural choice for a variety of landscape situations. Read this article for information on how to grow Arctic poppies. Click here to learn more.

Care Of California Poppies: How To Grow A California Poppy

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

In some regions it is considered a weed because of the plant's stoic and tenacious nature; however, in its native range, the California poppy plant is the state's flower and a symbol of the Golden State. Learn more about the flower in this article.

Mexican Tulip Poppy Care: How To Grow a Mexican Tulip Poppy

By Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden

Growing Mexican tulip poppies in the sunny flower bed is a good way to have long lasting color in those sometimes hard to fill areas. Read this article to learn how to use them in the landscape.

Iceland Poppy Care – How To Grow An Iceland Poppy Flower

By Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden

The Iceland poppy plant provides showy blossoms in late spring and early summer. Growing Iceland poppies in the spring bed is a great way to add delicate foliage and long-lasting flowers. Learn more here.

Information On Growing Poppy Flowers

By Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden

Learning how to grow poppies allows you to use their beauty in many flowerbeds and gardens. Planting poppies is simple and rewarding with tips from the following article.

How to grow poppies in your garden

Poppies hold a special place in many people's hearts.
Image: Kovalyk Artur/Shutterstock

Growing your own poppies from seed is an easy way to add striking swathes of colour to your garden, and a great filler for any unused space. Even better news? Once planted, they’ll come back year after year, forming graceful drifts over time.

Follow our simple guide on how to plant poppy seeds and you’ll soon have lots of these distinctive and delicate flowers to brighten up your beds and borders.

Atypical Orientals

Atypical Oriental poppies feature unusual petals. “Place Pigalle” is a dwarf selection that begets flowers in early through mid-summer with white crinkled petals edged in a salmon-red ruffle and grows 18 to 20 inches tall. “Pink Ruffles” displays deeply fringed salmon-pink petals with oblong black spots close to the eye and grows 27 to 29 inches tall. Both of these atypical Oriental poppies have black eyes and grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 9.

Papaver Species, Corn Poppy, Field Poppy, Flanders Poppy, Red Poppy


Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater

Sun Exposure:


Foliage Color:




Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

From seed direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow pods to dry on plant break open to collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Fort George G Meade, Maryland

Lutherville Timonium, Maryland

Fredericton, New Brunswick

Clarkston Heights-Vineland, Washington

West Clarkston-Highland, Washington

Gardeners' Notes:

On Nov 21, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A once common weed of wheat fields in Europe, sometimes cultivated as a hardy annual. The species has scarlet red flowers with a black base.

Pre-started plants do not grow as well as plants direct sown in the garden. Plants are tap-rooted and even small seedlings are stunted by transplanting.

In Z6a New England, seeds should be sown in March. Plants need cool weather, especially cool nights, to grow well. Seedlings don't mind light frosts. Other essentials are full sun and light soil.

Seeds should be thinly sown, and should not be covered, as they need light to germinate. 1/2 teaspoon seeds mixed well with 1 cup builders sand (pass through a sieve or strainer several times to mix thoroughly, and again to sow) will cover about 12 square feet of . read more prepared seedbed. (Prepare the seedbed by raking till flat and smooth.) Tamp the soil with a brick or piece of lumber after sowing, before watering in. Young seedlings need regular watering till they're 3 inches tall. Thin to 4-5" spacing, and weed regularly.

Plants tend to flop here without support.

As with other poppies, cut flowers when buds begin to show color and singe cut ends with a flame or boiling water.

Shirley poppies are cultivar strains descended from those originally selected by the Reverend William Wilks, vicar of Shirley, beginning in 1880. They should not be lumped with the species. They vary a great deal, depending upon your seed source and how they have been maintained, but the original strain consisted of picotees and pastels in a range of colors including white, pinks, opalescent silver, bluish grey, dusty rose, lilac, mauves, and salmon, often with contrasting edges, and lacking the black base of the species. Today they may also include semi-double and double forms. 'Mother of Pearl' (AKA 'Sir Cedric Morris'), a refinement on the original Shirley poppies, is available today.

If you want self-sowing, know that these strains will all quickly revert to the scarlet species unless the occasional scarlet-flowering plants are ruthlessly rogued.

Bloom lasts only 2-3 weeks here. I don't find them to bloom long enough to pull their weight in a small garden, especially when flowering is over and the plants are turning brown. The bloom season may last over two months in climates with cooler summers like Great Britain and the Pacific Northwest.

Papaver commutatum is a separate species and not a synonym.

On Jul 4, 2010, Clary from Lewisburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Pretty wildflower. Weedy habit. Wiry, twining stems and delicate petals. The blooms don't last long and fade quickly in bright sun. Red flowered plant self-sowed and produced orange flowered "children."

On Jul 2, 2009, anelson77 from Seattle, WA wrote:

These grow easily from seeds broadcast in February or March in the Pacific Northwest. They like full sun, fertile soil but make do with poor dry soil. They bloom for a fairly long period, in June and July. They come in a variety of colors and flower forms but the simple red ones can't be beat. They look great with delphiniums, and other poppy varieties.

On Nov 20, 2006, Fleurs from Columbia, SC wrote:

With their delicate tissue-paper blossoms, Shirley Poppies are one of the delights of early Spring here in South Carolina. They're very easy to winter sow and don't mind being planted out while there's still a chance of frost -- in fact, it's the heat they don't like. Although their bloom time is brief, that just makes me appreciate them all the more.

On May 4, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

I'm still trying to get these to grow from seed. Maybe it's my casual broadcast method in early January. that's the problem?

On May 4, 2005, JaxFlaGardener from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

I finally got one of these poppies to grow, and it now seems worth the previous wasted efforts! I've tried growing from seeds. The plants would sometimes germinate in seed trays, but would soon damp off. Broadcast seeding didn't provide any results until I found out that the seeds should be planted in the cool temperatures of late Fall (October/November here in NE Florida). I broadcast some poppy seeds in November last year, using a few of my collection of Red Poppy seed packets provided in all mailings from the National Home Gardening Club. This Spring, I wasn't sure if the seedling plant that came up was a dandelion or thistle or poppy so I left it to grow instead of pulling it up. I'm glad I left it! The poppy bloomed for the first time yesterday (May 3). It will be interesting . read more to see if it survives in our hot, humid climate and if it will reseed.

Update, 06/16/2008 - The poppies didn't reseed and I've not been able to remember to plant them at the right time for the past few years, but may try again this year.

On Aug 10, 2004, WalterT from San Diego, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

The poppies of Flanders fields. I first saw them in northern France in the middle of World War 2, summer of 1944. The sight of vast fields of blood-red poppies brought back memories of my early childhood. World War 1 was still in the recent past and the songs and poetry from that war were still heard frequently on the radio. Before the war ended I visited the huge American WW 1 cemetary near Chateau Thierry and as I gazed out over the thousands of white crosses and stars of David I said, half out loud,"Here we are again, boys." Now there are blood-red poppies growing all over the world, literally and figuratively. It is remarkable what thoughts the sight of a single plant, a single flower, can generate in one's mind. WTH.

On Aug 9, 2004, starshine from Bend, OR (Zone 6a) wrote:

I love the dancing petals ripe with a variety of colours from the onset of summer til it fades into fall these poppies grow well in full sun, or partial sun. They will also tolerate drought fairly well (though I wouldn't let them turn brown)

On Apr 24, 2004, frogsrus from San Diego, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Set out seeds in the fall for March bloomers here in southern CA. Does best in full sun. Will flop over and reach for light if in partial shade. Beautiful bloomer for after the bulbs have gone. Reseeds.

On Jul 6, 2003, Oberon46 from (Mary) Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b) wrote:

Planted from seed in spring (Mid-May for us in Alaska). Had first bloom July 4th, a brillant red with black center. Plants are 12-18" high with stems as big or bigger than my thumb. Huge fleshy plants. Will collect seeds and broadcast in fall.

On Nov 10, 2002, Bug_Girl from San Francisco, CA wrote:

I have had limited success with these plants. I never see them in cell packs so one has to buy seeds. Each brand of seeds has different qualities, some of the ones that reseeded very more successful then the ones bought in packages. Some of them had a powder mildew problem, and some of them flopped over, due to excess vegative growth, however, some of them were just lovely.

On Jul 2, 2002, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Sowing seeds to germinate in late summer, to overwinter and bloom the following spring/summer results in much bigger and healthier plants that have many more flowers than those sown in late winter or early spring.

Removing spent flower stems before seed starts to ripen results in flowering for up to 3 months.

On May 2, 2002, Lilith from Durham,
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

A native species in the UK, poppies paint a new road verge or embankment a brilliant hue in their first year, but rapidly decline and after a few years exist only as seeds in the soil, waiting until the land is turned again. Once a common sight in cornfields, more effective seed cleaning and use of selective herbicides have made poppies much rarer.

On Aug 30, 2001, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Hardy Annual. Self-sows readily and is a good choice for naturalizing in a meadow garden. Single, red, cup-shaped flowers have a black blotch in the center. It is the classic poppy bloom and absolutely stunning. The original species of this plant was introduced into our country from Russia in 1876 by William Thompson, the founder of the Thompson and Morgan Seed Company. Leaves are deeply lobed and the plant is fully hardy. Seeds need darkness to germinate

Iceland Poppy (Papaver nudicaule)

Not all poppies are easy to grow like the Oriental poppy. A case in point is the Iceland poppy, also known as the Arctic poppy. This is a short-lived perennial, but it performs as an annual only in northern climes. Elsewhere, it's usually grown as an annual, but it may not grow at all in any region with warm, humid summers. Iceland poppy cultivars are available with bright yellow, white, salmon, rose, and pink flowers.

  • Native Area: Arctic, subarctic
  • USDA Growing Zones: 2–7
  • Height: 12–24 inches
  • Sun Exposure: Full

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