Poppies ( Papaver)

Red Poppy at Sensible Gardening and Living

What’s not to like about poppies, probably one of the cheeriest flowers around. Bright, multi colors and beautiful papery, silky petals. Poppies grow well in full sun and average to poor soil. A drough tolerant perennial  so an excellent plant for the xeriscape garden.  Some are short lived but self seed easily. Oriental poppies are very long lived perennials and tend not to self seed as much as other varieties.  If they should reseed, transplant when plants are very young as poppies do not like to be transplanted as they have a very long tap root.

Poppies / Sensible Gardening and Living
Poppies / Sensible Gardening and Living

Poppy seed pods are beautiful when dried and great for use in flower arrangements. Harvest the seed heads when still green and hang the stems upside down to dry. For cut flowers use Iceland poppies.  After flowering cut back the stems and folige to about 6 inches. The foliage will die back to the ground and may disappear by late summer.  Iceland poppies will continue to bloom if they are regularly dead headed.

Oriental Poppy Allegro ( Papaver orientale )

Poppies / Sensible Gardening and Living
Poppies / Sensible Gardening and Living

Oriental Poppy Princess Victoria Louise

Poppies / Sensible Gardening and Living
Poppies / Sensible Gardening and Living

Plant Pros: beautiful blooms / drought tolerant, deer resistant / pest and disease free / decorative seed pods / long blooming / reseed / easy to grow

Plant Cons: may over seed / short lived / foliage dies back in summer / do not transplant well

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About Lynne Cherot

It's been a life time of gardening and many years of working in the nursery trade, but now I enjoy exploring and creating in my own gardens and farm fields . I'm passionate about gardening and work alongside my husband who takes care of our apiary. Bees & flowers make a great team! Hopefully by sharing my garden knowledge, your gardening will be easier and more enjoyable.
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7 thoughts on “Poppies ( Papaver)

  1. Yes, poppies are truly a happy, in your face type of flower:) Sorry they don’t work in your garden.

  2. We all have a few plants like that, I guess it goes back to right plant in right place:)

  3. I am so jealous! Princess Victoria Louise poppy was my Holy Grail for several years. I failed utterly. North Carolina and oriental poppies do not mix. For me, it survived a few years but never bloomed – maybe not enough winter chill, which I heard poppies like. In any event, it’s a moot point because after a while it just disappeared.

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