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Best poppies/methods for growing poppies in the South

Simpsonville, SC(Zone 7b)

I know it can be done, I've seen poppies in people's yards as I drive by! I've just never succeeded myself. So, does anyone have recommendations for what types of poppies, and when/how to sow for the best results in warmer, humid climates (7b)? My daughter really likes poppies, and I'm doing anything I can to get her interested in the gardens!

Also, if winter sowing is recommended, I'd better trade for some of the appropriate seeds soon. Certainly can't find them in the stores around this time of year!

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I live in Central texas and love poppies also. In your area you need to surface sow the seeds any time between now and early Jan. at the latest. I have some but they are in the form of Seed Balls.

Simpsonville, SC(Zone 7b)

Thanks, I thought this forum was dead! Not many people around...

Are there particular types of poppies that are better for warmer zones?

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I have had good luck with CA poppies, Red Corn poppy(flanders poppy), Corn poppy (shirley poppy) and OK luck with Oriental and Icelandic poppies. If it grows in Texas I believe it will grow anywhere!

Fitzgerald, GA(Zone 8b)

kistuart,
Check out Renee's Garden site. She has all her seeds on half price until 20th Nov. She carries a very good selection.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

klstuart ~ did you get some seeds to try? About the time you were asking, I hadn't discovered this forum but I sowed some vintage seeds that were given to me. I have enjoyed the blooms for the past month or so. I understand they are best planted in ground without disturbing the roots. In other words, wintersowing in containers probably would be hard to transplant. They also require a good deal of moisture but apparently it fell at the right time here. Sadly they are beautiful for only a short time. I will soon be trying to harvest my first seeds.

Simpsonville, SC(Zone 7b)

I did end up getting quite a few seeds! I wintersowed them, with great results. They even transplanted well. I have a bunch of little clumps all over the garden. I'm a little concerned because they don't seem very big yet, not big enough to flower, and it's going to get hot here soon. Hopefully I will get some flowers before the heat kills them off.

I think next year I will try direct sowing just to avoid the transplanting work. I don't have much luck with it though, I think I have some hungry birds (I was out there today looking for the Marigolds that Should be coming up from direct sown seed... nothing.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Good to know it is o.k. to transplant them with out difficulty. Mine had come up in clumps but I was warned it was better not to disturb the roots. When did you transplant them? Maybe need to put them out sooner next year although when mine began to grow, they really took off. Yours will probably do so too.

Simpsonville, SC(Zone 7b)

It's getting hot this week, all highs in the 80's some up to 88. (not that hot but come on, I like my spring!) Makes me fear the 90's are right around the corner. How hot is it by you when they're blooming?

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Warm here too and high humidity which makes it pretty uncomfortable. These poppies have bloomed most of the month of April and the daytime temps have been from the low 50s to the mid 90s during the month. I honestly couldn't tell a problem with the blooms as long as the plant received moisture.

Lula, GA(Zone 7b)

HI, SC and TX and any other southern gardeners who grow poppies. Wanted to see how your poppy growing went. I, too, would like to succeed with them, particularly the breadseed type. I seem to recall that the foliage is quite large (and maybe unsightly?) after blooming so you have to plant for something in front. Have you had that experience?

Simpsonville, SC(Zone 7b)

Hmm, I was thinking the purples I'm growing are the breadseed kind... not sure though. Their foliage kind of looks like a weed to me. I actually have to pay attention in the early spring when I first see them coming up and remind myself not to pull them. But, after they bloom here there's not much life left in them and they pretty much die back. Some of mine are almost 3' tall this year, so if I was organized they'd be mid-bed with something in front of them anyway! As it is, I just pitched the seeds in a few places and they're coming up randomly. Fun surprises!

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Yes, I agree. The ones I have planted are taller and gangly looking. Once done blooming, I save seed and rip the plants up. They die and look ugly. Pretty blooms and plain foliage.

Lula, GA(Zone 7b)

Hmmm. Would you say they are worth it Podster? And thanks for the quick reply kl and podster. Super to be a DGer.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Absolutely worth it if I could only remember to sow them in the fall.
The blooms are delightful.
Were you also harvesting the seed for cooking?

Lula, GA(Zone 7b)

Podster, no, I haven't had enough success to harvest anything! I had a delightful, "volunteer" seedling that had a double ruffled coral poppy floweron gray green foliage this May -- I don't know what from which ill-fated attempt it came from. But I am undaunted.....sort of.....I am gardener!!

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

At least you remembered to plant them. Unlike someone else I know of... lol

Simpsonville, SC(Zone 7b)

:-) the past 2 years I've found myself running outdoors as it starts to snow with a packet of poppy seeds in my hand. Have to hurry, as we're only likely to get one snow in a winter here... at the most 2 or 3, so if I actually see white stuff I bolt out the door! This method is a little random, because I'll plant them wherever I have a relatively clear bed, but it seems to be working, kind of!

Lula, GA(Zone 7b)

Whatever works is a great plan! Today, it's in the 90s here and we could really use some rain and relief from this unseasonable heat.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I just noticed more Corn Poppies blooming to day, I'm really surprised because, like you Cedar, we have been unseasonably hot and dry for months. Everytime we get a drop of rain more pop up. They don't last long in this heat but I sure enjoy them.

Lula, GA(Zone 7b)

We were given free corn poppy seeds the other day but I figured best to wait till fall. Concur?

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I would wait until fall.

Lula, GA(Zone 7b)

Thanks.

Fort Mill, SC(Zone 7b)

Thanks for this thread. I really want to grow corn poppies next year, and you all saved me a good deal of frustration by letting me know to wait until fall/winter. ;)

klstuart, another SC 7b person! Is this the Simpsonville in the Charleston area? We're up near Charlotte...

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

The general rule for corn poppies is if you live south of the Texas Panhandle sow seeds in the fall, if you live north plant in early spring. The seeds are really small so surface sow them. I use seed balls so the seeds don't get eaten of blow away, but right now they are coming up everywhere.

Fort Mill, SC(Zone 7b)

Seed balls... I have to go find out what they are. Thank you for the info, 1lisac!

Simpsonville, SC(Zone 7b)

Hey neighbor! No, we're in the upstate of SC, Greenville county, south of Asheville, NC.

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