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Poppies: Poppy seeds - when to sow?

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highalt
Nederland, CO

October 3, 2011
6:50 PM

Post #8835006

Hi. I actually want to ask a question about California poppies. I know they are not papavers, but I thought you guys could answer my question anyway. I did really well this spring with winter sowing annual poppies. I was wondering if CA poppies like the same cold temps as papavers. I'm guessing, given their name that they don't. So, the question is, when do I sow the seeds? I would prefer now. But I live in zone 4a with very freezing, long windy winters. If I wait until last frost to sow that will be next June. Any opinions? Also, I have areas that are inundated with underground gophers and voles. I know they love perennial poppies. Do they also like annual poppies and California poppies as well?

Thanks,

Anne
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 4b)

October 3, 2011
9:47 PM

Post #8835197

Boy, you are really straining the 'think tank' here. lol. I have scattered some california poppies in the fall and had some come up. Instructions for four kinds said to do this, and one said to wait til spring to scatter. I was amazed the following summer to find one that self seeded, but only one. June 1 is our day to plant outdoors if there are plants involved. If you are scattering seeds I would think they need a little cold snap, so I would think you could scatter them May 1st with no fear. I have winter sown them in jugs, let them come up on their own, then planted clumps around May 15th. Others here may have better information.

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

October 4, 2011
3:10 AM

Post #8835293

Check the sowing directions for Cal Poppies on One Stop Poppy Shop website.
highalt
Nederland, CO

October 4, 2011
7:43 AM

Post #8835536

Hi Oberon. I see you're over here as well. Stretching the think tank, huh? Sorry about that. I can hardly believe that you, in Alaska, are in a warmer zone than I am. June 15 is the official last frost date for me. That's pretty late if one wants anything the same year. Winter sowing right on top of the snow worked well for regular poppies. I did that between April and May and still have poppies blooming now. Just not sure about the Calif. poppies.

ge, I bought my poppy seeds from OSPS but, because of my long winter, I don't think that the normal instructions always apply.

Thank you both.
CLScott
Calgary
Canada

December 9, 2011
5:36 AM

Post #8922381

The original orange California poppies are hardier.
But they will take some light frost.
I think scattering the seeds in early May would be good.
I do that here in zone 3. Some years in April if weather allows.

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

December 9, 2011
7:18 AM

Post #8922478

The further north you live ,the later in the year you can sow.
I sow annual somnifariums in Nov-Dec. There are sprouted patches I can see from my bedroom window now.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 4b)

December 9, 2011
7:55 AM

Post #8922524

I haven't scattered or WS in jugs my 'stash' of poppy seeds. Fixing the gallon jugs to be suitable for planting is a show stopper. but here it is December so times 'awastin' -- It will be spring before you know it. Or at least Feb (time to get the begonia tubers out), March (dahlias will be sprouting in their cellophane storage bags), April (some seeds not WS need to be planted, and also the gladiola corms), May (End thereof -- up and running with hardening up plants and enjoying the early sprouts that started up tis month outside.)
Cem9165
Duluth, GA
(Zone 7b)

December 9, 2011
8:11 PM

Post #8923378

Ok, when would I sow seeds in 7a/b? I have somniferum, laciniatum, and paeoniflorum seeds to sow.

I also found flats of poppy plants at my local nursery, which I bought and have put some of them in pots. Some of the plants are still blooming.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 4b)

December 9, 2011
9:57 PM

Post #8923455

Do you ever get a freeze? I would wonder if you need to put them in the fridge before sowing. Poppies still in bloom? Amazing...

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

December 10, 2011
2:26 AM

Post #8923524

Oberon 45 is right.Poppy seeds need a cold period or they wont germinate.
Cem9165
Duluth, GA
(Zone 7b)

December 10, 2011
6:17 AM

Post #8923660

Yes, we do get a freeze. I will put the seeds in the freezer as suggested. I did winter sow seeds last year and they germinated fine. I wanted to put seeds out this year instead of winter sowing, this would be my first year doing this, so I wanted to do it right.
Oberon46
(Mary) Anchorage, AK
(Zone 4b)

December 10, 2011
7:12 AM

Post #8923719

Seems like poppies are pretty rugged. I am no expert, as some here are, but poppies are hard to mess up. Just the 'cold snap' seems de rigeur for these guys. And not even all of them I think, but I would err on the side of caution. Spring comes but once a year. lol. Except it seems like you have a loooonnnngggg summer compared to us (June to Sept) And that includes spring and fall.

ge1836

ge1836
Pittsford, NY
(Zone 6a)

December 11, 2011
1:56 AM

Post #8924665

I am only familier with somnifariums as far as sowing.
CLScott
Calgary
Canada

December 11, 2011
5:52 AM

Post #8924743

The Tom Clothier database says sow California poppies (Eschscholzia) in fall and they germinate in spring at 70F. The Deno database just says they germinate at 70F.

The trouble with sowing very early is that:-- you then must share seeds with birds and critters.

Papaver somnifleurum according to Deno needs light and 70F to germinate well.

TC says in dark? at 70F ?

Somnifleurum, paeonifleurum and laciantum all germinate similarly.
Cem9165
Duluth, GA
(Zone 7b)

December 11, 2011
6:06 AM

Post #8924758

Thanks everyone for the great info. I'm going to put the seeds in the freezer now, and sow them in March here. It warmed put quickly this past year, starting in February with few frost dates after that.

Thanks to highalt for starting this thread (^_^)

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Other Poppies Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Poppy reference sources (and pictures too) balvenie 29 Oct 7, 2009 11:38 PM
Oriental poppies - seed or root stock? ghia_girl 15 Jun 22, 2010 12:12 AM
Starting to grow mrpoppy 3 Mar 6, 2007 12:46 AM
Meconopsis from seed picante 42 Oct 12, 2008 7:15 PM
7b-ers who are going to sow soon sublimaze1 7 Mar 9, 2007 7:36 PM


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