Enjoy these drop dead gorgeous poppies in your garden. They will self seed and bring you joy for many years to come.
The poppies listed on my website resent transplanting and do best when direct sown.
Keep your seed in the fridge until planting. You can plant them directly into the garden as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring. Poppy seeds require exposure to cool or cold temperatures before they will reliably sprout. They do best in poor soil so sow where the soil has not been amended and choose a sunny spot with good drainage.
Weed the area and rake to a fine tilth. Do not cover, just sprinkle on top of the soil and pat gently to make contact with the soil. Poppies require some light to germinate. Pour some poppy seeds into your hand and sprinkle them very thinly across the ground to create natural looking drifts.
Mist the bed with water daily or as needed so the soil remains moist near the surface until germination. Poppies typically germinate within 15 days if the soil temperature is near 55 F or 12C, but allow 7-30 days to germinate, depending on the variety, soil condition and growing temperatures.
Once the seedlings are large enough to handle, thin them out to around 30cm (6 – 12in) apart. They will repay you with huge, plentiful, healthy blooms.
Slugs love them, so keep an eye out.
Poppies are easy to grow and self-sow with abandon, without becoming weedy. Let them tell you where they want to grow. They will thrive for years at a time in surprising spots, like a crack in the driveway. Other times, they simply won’t take, no matter how much you try. Keep them moderately well watered in hot, dry weather, and do not fertilize.
If spring and summer are cool and damp, or plants are overcrowded, expect smaller seed heads.
If this all sounds difficult, remember they do it all by themselves once you have them in your garden!