How To Grow Poppies From Seeds In Your Garden

Growing poppies from seeds is quite an amazing idea for adding striking colors to your lovely garden. They act as a beautiful filler for unused spaces. The best part about growing poppies is that once you have planted them, they will come back every year, resulting in graceful drifts with time.

Poppy is a generic name for plant that belong to the Papaveraceae family. This group includes biennials, perennials, and annuals. They also include field poppies, oriental poppies, Himalayan poppies, and Welsh poppies. The summer flowers might be fleeting. However, their flowers make a fabulous addition to your garden in May and June.

The most popular variety of poppy is oriental poppies with large flowers. These plants feature hairy foliage and flower stems. Their petals could be crimped, shaggy, or ruffled and come in different colors from purple, red, pink to white. They could measure around 15cm across. Some of the other well-admired poppies include Papaver rhoeas, field poppy, Papaver somniferum, and opium poppy. If you like to try something challenging, then go for Meconopsis betonicfolia, blue Himalayan poppies. Now, let’s see how to grow poppies in your garden.


How to Grow Poppies 

how to grow poppies

Many poppies do best in well-drained and moist soil in full sun. Opium and field poppies tolerate poorer, drier soils as compared to oriental poppies. Meanwhile, Himalayan poppies thrive in slightly acidic, moist soils in partial shade. Many poppies thrive well if propagated throughs seed but the oriental ones need to be propagated through root cuttings.

Biennial and annual poppies are typically propagated from seeds. However, annual poppies need to be sown onto well-prepared soil directly. One can sow them in early summer, spring, or autumn, where they can flower. You can prepare the soil by getting rid of weeds and rake it. Also, water soil using a sprayer and then, scatter the poppy seeds. Here, you do not have to cover it. So, this is how to grow poppy:

  • Select a sunny place with great drainage. Rake the area to a nice tilth.
  • Next, take some poppy seeds and sprinkle them thinly throughout the area for creating natural drifts.
  • Now, seeds will take 7-30 days for germinating based on the soil condition, variety, and climate conditions. You have to keep the soil moist throughout germination.
  • After the seedlings are big enough for handling, you have to thin them to about 30 cm apart.
  • Keep watering the area daily, specifically throughout dry spells. Do not overwater your plants because this encourages leggy plants, quick growth, or also rot.

The best time to grow Himalayan and oriental poppies is spring. If you are growing poppy in a container, then you have to replant it in the soil. Just dig a hole and put well-rotted organic matter into it. Now, remove your plant from its container and place it in the planting hole. Next, backfill this hole and place it firmly in place. Keep watering well!

When and Where to Grow Poppy

Sow your poppy seeds into the garden directly in autumn or spring. If you are planning to plant early, then it is best to plant between March and May. However, you need to wait till summer for a perfect display. If you like to have more flowers in the very first season, then slow between August’s end and October.

Poppy thrives in many soils but if you want great results, then opt for well-drained soil. These plants thrive well in acid, neutral, or alkaline soil in full sun. The perennial oriental large poppies are great for growing in borders. These plants bloom in May and June and the foliage comes back to life again in August. You can plant them alongside low perennials like hardy geraniums, which fill up the gap perfectly when the foliage dies off.

Annual poppies could be planted as a wildflower mix. For planting this wildflower patch, select a sunny, open site. Seeds need to be sown on a well-prepared area and take some measures for keeping birds away when seeds germinate. Gardeners rarely plant poppies in containers as these plants perform better in gardens. Also, check out this video to find out how to grow poppies from poppy seeds in your garden.

How to Take Care of Poppies

Annual poppies are very simple to take care of. There is no requirement of deadheading or staking the plants. You have to let them seed or flower as a part of the wildflower display. After flowers fade and release seeds, pull up parent plants and keep them on the compost heap. It is a nice idea to shake these plants over the ground before you remove them for releasing stubborn seeds.

Oriental poppies may require support for keeping them upright. So, place them over the mound before their flower stems emerge. Poppy flowers last for around 10 days but your plants will have a second round of flowers when you cut them back. It will be best to stop oriental poppies from setting seeds as this could reduce their energy to produce more blooms.

Meanwhile, Himalayan poppies require deadheading and staking too. So, cut back the plants to the ground level and mulch with leaf mold, bark chippings, or compost in spring or autumn.


Poppies make up a fabulous part of a wildflower mix. Specifically, these plants act as an attractive pollinator for bringing butterflies and bees to the garden. So, poppies provide an amazing way to attract wildlife and keep your children interested in nature at the same time. Now, grow beautiful poppies in your garden. If you still have queries or comments related to ‘how to grow poppies’, then post them in the comment section. Also, share this article with other home gardeners who may find this information useful!

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