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The CA poppy should be sown directly in the ground as they are almost impossible to transplant. They develope a large deep taproot that enables them to withstand drought about as well as a cactus. They will keep coming back year after year even if they are mowed down and totally neglected! They will reseed themselves also. They need to be kept damp but not wet during their germination and for awhile until they have had a chance to estaplish a healthy tap root. after that they need virtually no care at all.
Hi Zanymuse - great information! Hope you don't mind a follow-up question. Does "should be sown directly in the ground" mean "should be sown directly into its final location in the ground or a container", or does it mean "sow them only in the ground, not in containers"?
Mine are sown directly in their final containers (I'd read that they don't like to be transplanted), but if this is not advisable, I'll try them in-ground.
They can be sown into pots if they are going to stay in the pot. Just make certain the pot is a deep one for the Tap root to have plenty of depth, I have dug up poppies with taps that are well over 20" deep and bigger around than my wrist! I haver never planted any in pots but have had one plant itself in one of my 1 gal. pots. It did great for awhile but died after 2 years Because the root was crowded and when I tried to plant it out it resented being moved! It seems that the only thing besides round up that will kill them is moving them!