How to grow Papaver somniferum Seeds

Poppies deserve a place in your garden.
Their flower colors range from vibrant to subdued.
Flowers may be single, double or semi-double.
In border gardens, poppies combine beautifully with Lamb's ear, Cornflowers, Larkspur, Shasta daisies and Veronica.
For a meadow look,you can't go wrong with a sowing of papaver somniferum among Lupine, Coreopsis, Indian blanket, Blackeyed Susan, and Cornflowers. The colors compliment each other and the various plants extend the flowering season into fall.
Poppies are beautiful plants and are a showpiece for any garden.
Once you start a garden of these beauties you may never have to buy poppy seed again.

Poppies are very easy to grow from seed. They are known for self-sowing and you may find them popping up all over in your garden.They are not invasive and the seedlings are easy to pull out if they land in unwanted areas of your garden.

Poppies are frost tolerant and germinate in cool weather and cool soil.
Poppy seeds like temps, 50- 65 degrees for germination and can be very slow if it is hot.
All varieties of papaver somniferum seeds germinate at different times. With some varieties you may see seedlings in as little as 3 days. Others can take up to a month. Do not give up on them if they are slow! Keep the soil moist at all times and do not allow them to dry out.
Poppies prefer well drained soil. If you have clay where you live, ammend it by digging in a couple of inches of compost.
Sow seeds in early spring as soon as the ground can be worked. If you live in warm areas, zone 5 or higher you can sow in late fall, they will begin to grow early the following year
Poppies bloom profusely under cool growing conditions. When temps rise the plants tend to bloom sporadically.
Select a site in full sun, one that received at least 6 hours of direct sun daily. In warmer climates plants do best with some protective shade at midday.

Poppies do best when sown directly into the area that you have chosen for them.
Simply scatter the seed sparingly onto prepared garden soil. By sowing sparingly it will reduce the need to thin the plants later on.  
Once you have scattered the seed, then.walk on the area to firm the soil and 'set' the seed. Loose soil does not hold moisture.
You do not want to cover the seed! Poppy seeds need light and oxygen for germination and your seeds may not germinate if they are buried.
Water your poppy patch and keep the soil moist but not soggy until the seeds are well on their way.
We recommend using a slug/snail bait. Slugs/snails can gobble up your seedlings in one night, you may never even know they had germinated.
Once the seedlings are 1 inch tall thin them to stand 6 to 10 inches apart.
Your poppy plants will not do well if they are growing side by side crammed together in a big lump. They must be thinned!
Your plants will not grow to mature size if you do not do this. You will find them in bloom at 6 inches tall and only producing 1 tiny flower.
With annual poppies you can sow more than once during spring to extend the growing season.

There is no need to use chemical fertilizers with poppies, they just don't like them. Any organic material or manure is fine.

Poppies are seldom bothered by pests. Do not use any form of chemical pesticides or weed control products anywhere near you poppy plants.
The best solution is prevention. Space plants so that they have good air circulation. Do not over water. Plant in soil with good drainage. Aphids may attack young plants in bud. Wash them off with a hard spray with the garden hose..

One can never get enough of some plants, and poppies definitely belong in that category.
Luckily they satisfy the desire for more. In most areas of the country, once you plant a poppy you find it's numbers increasing from year to year. The seed is so fine that the slightest breeze can carry it from one area of the garden to another...and another.

I am for carefree plants. So for me poppies are hard to beat. With so many stunning poppy varieties available today, indulge a passion for them...start a collection, or add to an existing one!
We recommend it!
We recommend  for the largest selection of Papaver somniferum seeds and a humungus number of perennial poppy seed varieties too.

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