Planting Poppies – Flowers that bloom in late spring

Poppies are a favorite in my yard because they are so colorful and have such delicate flowers so early in the spring. They are a short-lived flower that can be damaged in a hard rain so plant them in a protected area or stake them. 

They grow up to 18 inches tall and bloom in a variety of colors. Pastels are a new color variety that has come out and they are stunning!

 Tips for planting

  • Choose a site in full sun to light shade.

  • Plant the seeds in fall in mild-winter areas, or in the very early spring – as soon as the snow has melted – in colder regions. If I wait too long in the spring I place the poppy seeds in the refrigerator in a plastic bag with soil for two weeks then plant them outdoors. They need a cold treatment and this gives the seeds the cold they need to germinate well.

  • The seeds can be placed directly onto the surface of a prepared flowerbed. There’s no need to cover the seeds so just sprinkle them onto the soil.

  • The seeds are small so if you mix sand with the seeds they will scatter better.

  • When the seedlings are 1/2 to 1 inch tall, thin them so that they are four to 10 inches apart.

  • Keep soil slightly moist for perennial poppies. Annual poppies will often tolerate slight droughts well so it’s not quite as important with them.

  • You do not need to fertilize poppies. They also grow well in poor soil and rocky soil.

  • Poppies do best in milder weather and will get rather thin and sparse looking when the heat arrives; It’s best to pull the plants out of your garden at this time.

  • Poppies have a loose growth habit. They do well in wildflower-type plantings or alone. I usually follow the poppy crop with an annual flower crop

  • Poppies usually last just a few days – until a hard rain or brisk wind whips them off – it’s a good idea to plant another annual on top of them when they’ve finished blooming.

  • There are a number of types of annual poppies. Corn poppy, Shirley poppy and Flanders poppy are among the favorites.

  • Poppies can also be perennials so read the seed package carefully to help you determine where to plant you poppies. Annual poppies can reseed easily if you shake the seed head after the flower has died.

  • The annual poppies also have very pretty seed heads, which can be used for dried arrangements and crafting.

Consider growing poppies. They add color to your yard in the spring and are easy to grow.

Tags: growing poppies, flowers that bloom in late spring, garden planning for early flowers, poppies

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One response to “Planting Poppies – Flowers that bloom in late spring”

  1. Mark

    So how late is late? Its almost June, and my California Poppies, which I planted in the early spring, are already full plants and blooming spectacularly, and I want to buy some 3 million mixed Corn Poppy seeds (a pound) and plant them too. But is it way too late, even with the refrigerator treatment? Would it fail; if so I will wait until late fall to plant them (I’m in Georgia).

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