Meconopsis from seed

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Balvenie, I saw your comment about wanting to grow Meconopsis from seed. I actually got mine started last year under lights in the basement. 28 out of 50 seeds germinated. I kept the shop lights far enough away to keep the soil temp down to 60 F. I sowed them in Ball mix because it contains no lime. The peat pellets have lime in them. Trouble is, they got some sort of fungal (?) infection after they were about 4-5" tall, when I was hardening them off (and so did a lot of my other starts).

It was so tempting ... I think I'll try it again. Anyone have any organic-type suggestions on protecting them from infection?

Marysville, WA(Zone 7a)

I'd still like to be able to grow Mecs from seed, but after so many failures I'll go on to something else. One of the forums mentioned using chamomile tea to prevent damping off, and that had been one of my problems too. The only ones to grow were varieties of M. cambrica. For some reason the Welsh poppy likes it here. I wish you lots of success in the next batch, the blues are my favorite of all the flowers.

Thumbnail by balvenie
Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Thanks, balvenie, I took a look at the thread where that suggestion was made (damping off). Lots of suggestions, like putting perlite on top, and spraying a hydrogen peroxide solution. I've always watered seedlings from the bottom, but I've never sterilized the mix in the oven before. Tell me what you've tried that didn't work. Is it still "damping off" if the plants are 4-5" tall? I thought damping off applied mainly to teeny seedlings.

Marysville, WA(Zone 7a)

Damping off does apply to seedlings, but that's as far as my 'success' with Mec. seeds has gone. I've planted seeds in potting mix, seed starter mix, soil, under lights, and directly in the garden. The only way I have had flowering plants has been to buy budded plants from a Nursery. I suppose the $ 8.00 or so per plant is reasonable for the exquisite flowers they provide, though it would be nice if they stayed around for awhile. This year I didn't buy a single Mec seed, perhaps next year I'll relent and try it again. Please keep posting on your progress.

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

To prevent dampening off, wash all containers in bleach water, sterilize the planting medium (internal temp of 180F for 1/2 hr), and don't plant too thickly. Meconopsis grow wonderfully here, and I collect lots of seed every year, so if you would like some seeds with which to practice, just click on my name and check out my trade list. They have been in my freezer since harvest. Here's a picture of my white M. betonicifolia.

Thumbnail by Weezingreens
Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Weez, it's great to hear from you (I've been a fan of yours for a while now). That's a gorgeous picture. OK, I finally did it. Soaked everything in bleach yesterday (trays, cell packs, bowl for mixing, sprayer, ...). Soaked the seeds 24 hrs. in Seedsoak solution. Today I mixed in 10% grit and 10% perlite with some Pro mix (new bag). I wet it with hot chamomile tea. Popped those teeny seeds onto the mix, pressed 'em in, and put on the dome. Now they're in the basement. Lights will go on at 8 a.m.

Thanks for all the good advice! What time is it getting light these days in Seward, Weez? Hey, I once spent a summer in Chicken working for the BLM as a river ranger. I'd sure love to see the northern lights again!

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Sounds like you are off to a good start with the meconopsis seeds. It gets light around 8 or 8:30 in the morning this time of year. Gosh, a summer in Chicken... that's really stylin'! LOL! The story goes that they called it Chicken because no one could spell ptarmigan.

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Yes, and there were lots of ptarmigans. And peregrine falcons. And wolves, and caribou. The BLM folks thought I was nuts because I didn't want to carry a rifle (for bear encounters). I told them I had already spent 9 years hiking and working in grizzly country (Yellowstone) without a gun, and that since I couldn't shoot, what was the point?

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

I know that black bears spook relatively easily, but the brownies are a bit more unpredictable. However, moose are one of the more dangerous visitors we have here. They do not necessarily run when shooed away. Often they turn and charge... I know this personally... but that is another story.

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Oh, I think we could have a great time trading moose stories, and by the way, I had a wonderful time looking through your seed offerings. I'll D-mail you if I think I can handle any more than I already bought! Most of them are Eschscholzias, so they're going to get sown outside. But I'm trying some very challenging ones indoors: the Meconopsis B. & Lingholm, and then some Schisandra chinensis, Rhodiola rosea (from Russia) and Gardenia jasminoides. These last three I'll try with the coffee filter method.

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

You're welcome to any seeds you see on my list.

Lisbon, IA(Zone 5a)

Weezer, the only way I've ever been able to get any poppy to germinate for me was to winter sow it. How well would the blue poppy do with winter sowing? Or would I be farther ahead to sow it and keep it inside for two weeks and then take it out side?? I have two packages that I'm itching to try it with. :)

Diann

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

If I were you, I'd try it both ways. Here is what Tom Clothier's germination tables show: "Germinates in low temperatures; 5 to 15C (41 to 59F) Meconopsis germ. quicker in a peat-based soilless compost." I've had Meconopsis sprout indoors under lights, and I've winter sown it. My first choice would be to wait until your temps are starting to warm in the spring, then winter sow them in a container under a clear domed lid or in a bottle that will allow moisture and light. In my opinion, it is much harder to keep the seedlings going than it is to sprout them. If you need more seeds, let me know. Mine have been in the freezer since I harvested them last fall. It is better that way... to keep them fresh.

Lisbon, IA(Zone 5a)

Thanks Weezer!

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

;)

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

I have just been directed to this cause I have not been successful with my Meconopsis. I got mine as a plant and it I guess has turned out to be a not Meconopsis. I will try again this year. I want one badly. Thanks Weesingreens. Steve.

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Hi, Steve... not a meconopsis? If it is a very blue poppy, it is most likely of the Meconopsis genus. Now, there are several species to chose from, and some are more tolerant of cold or heat than others. I think that purchased plants are often mis-labeled, but it's pretty hard to miss that bloom color. I think our mild summers are more friendly for blue poppies. In hotter country, I think they are best planted where it is semi-shade with lots of moisture, but good drainage... not an easy combo. What did your poppy look like?

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

That is just it. It has grown here for 3 years and despite the texture of poppy leaf never Bloomed. Therefore I doubt that it is a Meconopsis. Though my friends say that it is a thistle. Well thistle thrives here and again it has never bloomed, it is soft and does not grow over 5" tall. This is the picture. I don't know what they sold me. Please note I have placed it on the east side of a tall bolder and it is shaded all the time except morning. So I don't know.

Thumbnail by Soferdig
Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

No, not a Meconopsis, I'm afraid. It isn't anything familiar to me. Why not start a thread in the identification forum and post the pic. It would be interesting to know what it is.

Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

The leaves sort of look like this:

http://davesgarden.com/pf/showimage/86034/

Clatskanie, OR(Zone 9b)

weezengreens, you should take a pH meter to that area that you said that they proliferate and self seed, and see if there is something special about the pH. If it is 4.5 to 5 or some other really low pH, then you may be up against a pH wass. Many plants only feed and thrive inside their pH feeding range, and outside that range they are most subject to soil born deseases like the 5 major damping off fungi. In addition, it would not be surprizing either to find out that two months in moist vermiculite, in the refrigerator helps them get going. If I had a stash of them in the freezer right now, I would be wetting them down and putting them into the fridge to absorb some moisture. I would probably want to germinate them in something sandy for a lw=ow pH. Hope that helps, Frank

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Hi, Frank... all good ideas. I know that keeping the seeds as fresh as possible is important. Mine go in the freezer right after harvest. Peat is suggested for germination, so I would think they prefer a bit of acidity. I've had germination under lights, indoors, in a sterilized starter mix with a peat base, vermiculite, and some finely ground perlite. Germination is far less difficult that keeping them going. I saw a few germinating in the mix yesterday, so it is my plan to put them on the lowest shelf where it is cooler once they have fully germinated. It is certainly too early to set them out, as it was 6F this morning. The growers at the Blue Poppy said the seedlings are surprisingly cold hardy, but I'd like to see it in the upper 30's before I took a chance.

Fort Wayne, IN(Zone 5b)

Hi all,

I am new here.

I was told to come here from the general gardening board on HGTV to hopefully end my long unsuccessful quest for
the elusive "Blue Poppy"

I have been scanning the web for a while now and found several sites but 134 thousand sites is a lot to go thru
and the ones that had what I think I want didn't look to "safe"

Does anyone know of a reputable place where I can get flower seeds or maybe even live plants?
Any help and/or advise would be humbly appreciated.

Thank you in advance

Bluewolf

Lisbon, IA(Zone 5a)

You can get flower seed for the Blue Poppy at most garden centers... Plants, well, I have not seen them in Iowa...

Diann

ps. welcome to the Poppy forum! ;)

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

Hi, Bluewolf -- I got my seeds from Swallowtail. I know they were viable last year, since I had 28 out of 50 germinate. (That's with not a lot of experience, too.) Now I am waiting for this year's batch to germinate.

Picante

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

By the way, Weez, if you ever do a pH reading on that soil, let me know. Mine is going to have to be acidified, I presume.

Seward, AK(Zone 3b)

Bluewolf, click on my name, then from my homepage to my trade page. I have lots of Meconopsis seeds in my freezer for SASE. Picante, I'll try to do a pH reading when things thaw out.

Fort Wayne, IN(Zone 5b)

Weezingreens,
I clicked on your name, went to your home page, then to trade list, but then didn't know where to go from there.
I haven't had much of a chance to play on this board so I have no experience.
I had "registered" in July but couldn't kigure out how to get it to work so I just gave up.
And yesterday I got scolded for hoggin the puter so I had to quit again/
And now I have to get ready for work so alas no time again.
Maybe this afternoon
Thank you
Bluewolf

Fort Wayne, IN(Zone 5b)

Weezingreens,

I am still unable to figure out the pages to get your address
Help me please

Bluewolf

Lisbon, IA(Zone 5a)

Bluewolf, Weezer is in the address exchange. On the DG's homepage go to the extras tab and from there go to the address exchange and you should be able to find Weezer there... I think to get access to that part of Dave's you have to put your address in the exchange, too.

Diann

Fort Wayne, IN(Zone 5b)

Ticker,

It said that address exchange only available to subscribers of DG

Now What do I do?

Lisbon, IA(Zone 5a)

I take it you're not a subsciber? Well, then you can send Weezer a d-mail and ask for the information directly from her. You should also know, that sometimes folks prefer to trade only with subscibers. You can always subscribe and reap full benefits of Dave's Garden. It's the best money I've ever spent.

Diann

Fort Wayne, IN(Zone 5b)

Ticker,
How do I do that?
woof

Lisbon, IA(Zone 5a)

Do what? subscribe or d-mail Weezer?
If you want to Subscribe you can probably find a tab at the top of the page (close to where you found Extra's) and follow directions from there.

if you want to d-mail Weezer, then you just click on her name and you should see a group of stuff come up of which one says d-mail Weezergreens...

Diann

Fort Wayne, IN(Zone 5b)

Sorry Ticker,
Meant subscribe. figured out how to D-mail weez.
Daylight savings and all not in the right frame of mind
Please forgive me

Tired Wolfie

Lisbon, IA(Zone 5a)

Wolfie, forgive you for what? There is nothing to forgive! :) People are supposed to ask questions, that's what this place is mostly about. :)

So, like did you have to jump the two hours ahead thingy? Wasn't there some place in Indiana that had to do that? I'm actually doing better with DST this year than I thought I would... or maybe it hasn't hit me yet. :)

Diann

Fort Wayne, IN(Zone 5b)

Ticker,
Here in Indiana ALL of the state now has to "jump" ahead one hour.

I was just really really tired yesterday. We had a long past 5 days.

My boyfreinds granny died on Wednesday had to leave work run his Mom all over the countryside( he is a truck driver ) and of course she wasn't buried here in Ft. Wayne.
Then work on Friday. Saturday the festivities for me started at 3am (couldn't sleep in noooo that would be to easy! :)) didn't get to bed till 10pm. Sunday was exhausted.
Monday back to work and DST and not much sleep (he snores)

Don't know if I am going to get the swing of this or if I am just going to stay tired for 6 months
I know it is good for the whole more daylight thing but for some of use really early risers it stinks

Well gotta get ready for work
Take care and have a beautiful day (it's supposed to rain here all day)
Wolfie

Lisbon, IA(Zone 5a)

Wolfie, You've had a rough week, I'm sorry for that. Your sleeping rythyms and DST will mesh once you finally get to sleep a bit. You take care, ok?

Diann

Fort Wayne, IN(Zone 5b)

Ticker,

Thankie for the warm wishes!

Just still have lots still goin on. What with Granmas stuff and all
sheez who woulda imagined how much stuff a 97yr old woman could cram into one little room

So what kind of snow did you get??

BF had to deliver to some marina there in Iowa but could deliver till today cause they wern't plowed out!!!

That must have really s*cked I would have gone mad with all that snow

Wolfie

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

I just purchased Meconopsis seeds and I was hoping to winter sow them, now I'm wondering if that's a good idea.

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