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How to Grow Poppy

Papaver Germination Information

Papaver is the botanical name for Poppy
Papaver Seed Germination How to Sow Papaver:
  • Best sown indoors at 55-60°
  • Expect germination in 10-15 days
  • Seeds can also be sown in situ outdoors in late fall or early spring with germination occurring in the spring
  • The seeds of P. orientale need light to germinate, however, the others need darkness so place the seed flat in a dark location or cover the flat with black plastic
  • Outdoors, make sure those seeds are completely covered
  • If sowing seed outdoors, we recommend a maximum planting depth of 4X the width of the seed

How to Grow Papaver:
Transplanting: Transplant when there are at least two sets of true leaves, taking great care with the roots as they resent being disturbed

Spacing: Space the perennial P. alpinum 6 inches apart, and the biennial P. nudicaule 10 inches apart. The perennial P. orientale should be spaced 18 inches apart. The annual P. rhoeas should be spaced 9-12 inches apart

Temperature P. orientale must receive cold treatment of 12-14 weeks at 40-45° in order to flower. Finish plants at 50-55° days and 55-60° nights. Very tolerant of drought and high humidity, but prefer climates with cool summers

Soil: Plant in rich soil with excellent drainage. The perennial P. orientale must have dry soils

Appearance and Use:

Planted in borders and rock gardens. P. nudicaule is the only poppy suitable for cut flower use. P. alpinum grows 5-10 inches high, 1 1/2 inch flowers in colors of white, yellow, or pink. It is native to the European Alps and hardy from Zones 4 to 6. P. nudicaule has single or double, cup-shaped flowers in colors of white and yellow, red, orange, rose, or apricot. Native to North America and hardy from Zones 2 to 7. P. orientale is a basal rosette of coarse, pinnate leaves growing 2-4 feet tall. The late spring flowers are 4-6 inches diameter and are colored white, orange, pink, red, or salmon, all with black centers. Native to Asia and hardy from Zones 2 to 7. P. rhoeas Field Poppy, is native to Europe. The 2 inch flowers come in colors of red, purple, white, pink, salmon, or orange, often with dark centers


About Papaver:
Pronunciation:  på-på’ver
Lifecycle:  Annual, Perennial
Origination: Papaveraceae; nativity is embedded in text above
Common Name: Poppy