Poppies make a stunning summer garden display when planted in the fall. Learn how to grow poppy flower seeds and transplant them.
Fall is the best time to sow poppy flower seeds.
Autumn marks the beginning of a summer garden full of vibrant poppies. At the end of the growing season, either allow your poppies to naturally dry out and scatter seeds or scatter a packet of seeds over bare soil in a sunny location. Ignore the urge to tuck the seeds in because they need light to germinate, regardless of how you get them to the soil. Poppy flower seeds sown in the fall sprout when the conditions are right. In colder climates, some sprout in the fall and survive the winter.
Those seedlings grow into the most significant, sturdiest plants and bloom first. Other fall-planted seeds wait until the first few days of spring to sprout. If you miss planting in the fall, you can scatter poppy seeds throughout the winter and into the very early spring whenever there isn’t any snow on the ground. The cold-tolerant seedlings emerge weeks before self-seeding annuals like zinnias and cosmos.
Taprooting Poppy Plants
The ideal time to transplant is in the fall when the seedling stage has just begun. All poppies have taproots, making it difficult but still possible to move plants, even very young seedlings. Jennifer Bouseelot, a native of Iowa who teaches horticulture at Colorado State University, exclaims, “I’ve transplanted many poppies!”
A taprooted plant, in contrast to plants with fibrous roots, is unable to produce new roots to repair the damage quickly. Taproots dislike being disturbed, according to Jennifer. Dig deep and preserve as much of the soil as possible. Dig deeply to lift the plant out of its current location when transplanting a poppy flower, carefully maintaining the soil’s integrity around the plant’s roots. Till the plant settles, gently slide it into a fresh hole, firmly press it in, and maintain moisture.
When to Divide Oriental Poppies
If you’ve ever wondered why your magnificent Oriental clump’s large seedpods never seem to produce any seeds, it’s because most plants sold today are intricate hybrids. Most, if not all, of the seeds in those pods are sterile because they are hybrids of three original species (Papaver orientale, P. pseudo-Orientale, and P. bracteatum). That group can still be multiplied by division in the fall.
Additionally, move the entire thing if the plant is in the wrong area. Utilizing the plant’s natural cycle is the key. An adaptation from their original Persian homelands (in what is now Iran), where the summers are hot and dry, Oriental poppies die and vanish in the summer.
When new growth appears in the fall, it’s time to start digging. Poppies spread quickly thanks to the urge to grow with autumn, and the roots won’t have to support fully developed foliage and flowers.
The ideal poppy flower to choose
Although they have a delicate appearance, poppies are rugged individuals who can withstand cold winters and dry summers. Even the large, lush Oriental plants thrive in arid climates.
Field or corn poppies, also known as bright red Flanders (Papaver rhoeas), are cultivated for their striking color. Van Gogh painted with this fiery bloom splashed all over his works. Later, it served as the inspiration for Poppy Day, when paper poppies were distributed in honor of the World War I soldiers who lost their lives. Pretty wildflowers abounded in the disturbed ground.
For maximum impact, plant Flanders poppies in your garden near ornamental grasses, close to plants that are silvery grey, or along a white fence.
The best way to enjoy annual poppy charms or to increase your collection of bright, citrus-colored biennial Iceland poppies (Papaver nudicaule), a sure sign of spring at garden centers, is to start from seed. I’ve been treated well by Iceland poppy, says Jennifer. It takes root well. Plant the source in the fall because cool weather is ideal for all seed-grown poppies.
Sow shining orange California poppies (Eschscholzia California) in the fall for trendy color. Like the traditional orange, lovely variations include cream-white, rosy purple, glowing red-orange, and frilly double-flowered varieties for a chic splash—plant burgundy celosia behind them in the spring.
With delicate Shirley poppies, embrace the unexpected (Papaver rhoeas). When a vicar discovered an anomaly among thousands of poppies in Shirley, England, in the late 1800s, it gave rise to this two-toned bloom. Its petals had white edges rather than entirely red.
He created the Shirley strain, a combination of pinks, salmons, and whites with contrasting edges, from the seeds of that mutant. Although single colors are offered, the nostalgic mix is the most enjoyable. Before the big buds burst, you can never tell what color the blooms will be!
Old-Fashioned poppy flower
If you see a large, dense patch of fluffy, orange-red Oriental-looking poppies in bloom close to an old house, you’ve found a heritage perennial whose name and origin are currently unknown. While the plant resembles a double Oriental in appearance, it spreads quickly through the use of underground stems called stolons that root as they go.
Rarely does this perennial appear on the market. If you see a large bed blooming and want to try growing it, introduce yourself to the gardener. They might give you some! To get a head start on your yard, return in the fall and dig hard.
Prickly poppy flower
Keep an eye out for different poppy varieties, like the snowy white crested prickly poppy, in seed catalogs and garden supply stores (Argemone polyanthus). According to Jennifer, the blousy white flowers are a visual treat during the dry, hot summers in the West.
What is so special about the poppy flower?
The poppy has served as a constant reminder of the First World War. Although it is closely associated with Armistice Day (11 November), the First World War landscapes are where the poppy first gained popularity as a symbol of remembrance. On the Western Front, in particular, poppies were frequently seen.
What do poppy flowers smell like?
Poppy has a somewhat enigmatic appeal thanks to its citrusy and subtly sweet notes, including vanilla, cherry blossoms, and cocoa.