Poppy – Planting

Q: When can I plant poppy seeds?

A: Poppy seed are most commonly planted in late October. Several kinds of poppy are grown in the South: Shirley poppy (Papaver rhoeas), Iceland poppy (P. nudicaule), Oriental poppy (P. orientale) and the infamous opium poppy (P. somniferum). All have gorgeous flowers when in bloom.

Some gardeners simply scratch the soil and scatter the seed in areas where they grow large warm-season perennial plants like agastache, perovskia and boltonia. The poppy blooms are very noticeable before the other plants begin to flower. Afterwards, the poppies disappear in the heat. Although some are touted as being perennial, I wouldn’t count on it in our summer conditions. If you don’t want to take a chance on seed, poppy plants are common at area nurseries in spring. Plant them as soon as they are available.

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