The poppy (Papaver rhoeas L.) is an ancient flowering plant, long desired by gardeners in a range of landscape situations. Learning how to grow poppies allows you to use their beauty in many flower beds and gardens. Planting poppies is simple and rewarding when their single and double blooms appear in cooler seasons.
History of Planting Poppies
Growing poppy flowers are said to spring up on ravaged battlefields, as long ago as the 12th century. White poppies appeared on battlefields left by Mogul warrior Genghis Khan and were sighted in war zones following some battles of World War I. Thus, they have come to symbolize death and rebirth. The red poppy symbolizes fallen warriors and commemorates Veteran's Day in the United States. Growing poppy flowers have been used for medicinal and culinary purposes over the centuries. The seeds of the poppy are currently used in flavoring for breads and cakes and for the production of poppy seed oil.
How to Plant Poppies
Growing poppy flowers can be as simple as planting seeds or dividing roots of existing plants. Plant poppies from seed into poor to average soil in a sunny location for a good start to growing poppy flowers in your garden. Poppies grow from a taproot. When this taproot is disturbed in transplanting, a lost season of bloom may occur when planting poppies. Divide poppies in autumn to allow time for the taproot to restore itself. Planting poppies in either way can provide attractive foliage and large or diminutive flowers in your garden, flower bed or meadow.
How to Grow Poppies
Poppy plant care involves the deadheading of spent flowers, resulting in more prolific blooms of the poppy plant. Poppy flowers need limited watering once they have settled into their location. Too much water can result in tall, leggy, unattractive growth of the growing poppy flower. Choosing the variety of poppy best suited for your garden is an intriguing garden chore. The Armenian poppy is among the smaller and more delicate offerings. Oriental poppies offer the largest and showiest blooms but may die back during summer heat. California poppies self seed abundantly and should be planted where more poppies are desirable. Learning how to plant poppies correctly provides you with a striking choice for many sunny locations where soil has not been enriched or amended.
Gardening tips, videos, info and more delivered right to your inbox!
Sign up for the Gardening Know How newsletter today and receive a free download of our most popular eBook "How to Grow Delicious Tomatoes."
Becca Badgett was a regular contributor to Gardening Know How for ten years. Co-author of the book How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden, Becca specializes in succulent and cactus gardening.
Pantone’s Color Of The Year 2024 Is A Gardener’s Dream – Discover 7 Flowers That Are ‘Peach Fuzz’ Perfection
The global authority on color has spoken, and 'Peach Fuzz' is the shade we'll all be seeking out in the coming year. Find out why this gorgeous pinky orange deserves a place in your garden, and be inspired by our top flower picks
By Melanie Griffiths Published
15 Garden Trends To Avoid in 2024: Experts Warn Against These Outdated Designs
Garden trends come and go. We asked gardening experts to share the outdated trends that should be retired – and what you can do instead.
By Melanie Griffiths Last updated
Can You Grow Iceland Poppy Indoors – Caring For Iceland Poppy In A Pot
If you don’t have the room to grow these plants in a flower bed, you can still grow Iceland poppy in a pot.
By Raffaele Di Lallo Published
History Of Red Poppies – Why Red Poppy For Remembrance
Why red poppy for remembrance? How did the tradition of red poppy flowers begin more than a century ago? Click here to find out.
By Mary H. Dyer Last updated
Popular Poppy Varieties: Types Of Poppies For The Garden
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.
By Laura Miller Last updated
Planting Poppies In Containers: How To Care For Potted Poppy Plants
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.
By Gardening Know How Last updated
Alpine Poppy Info: Information On Growing Rooted Poppies
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.
By Mary H. Dyer Last updated
Double Poppy Info: Learn About Growing Double Flowering Poppies
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.
By Shelley Pierce Last updated
No Oriental Poppy Flowers – Reasons For Oriental Poppies Not Blooming
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.
By Mary Ellen Ellis Last updated
Saving Poppy Seeds : How And When To Harvest Poppy Seeds
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.
By Bonnie L. Grant Last updated