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Perennials: Papaver alpinum

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Forum: PerennialsReplies: 3, Views: 49
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Westford, MA
(Zone 6a)

June 1, 2009
3:06 PM

Post #6626306

I have recently discovered poppies! I didn't think I could grown them in 5 hours sun, max, but I'm going to give it a try.

At a local nursery, I found one very healthy and large Papaver alpinum. I immediately fell in love with its grey-green fern-like foliage and multi-colored blooms, so I bought it. Later I read on PlantFiles that they are a short-lived perennial.

If I want it to survive and make babies, should I leave it alone after the blooms fade (i.e., no deadheading or pruning til next spring)? I assume it will drop seeds ... or is that just wishful thinking?

Is anyone growing this poppy? I'd love to know how long the blooms last and also know if it will be OK with a bit less sun that it would like. I do have several "full sun" perennials that are doing perfectly fine in part sun.
Elmira, NY
(Zone 6a)

June 22, 2009
12:29 PM

Post #6722065

I have not grown this poppy but I have grown other Papaver perennials, like pilosum, radicatum, lateritium, rhaeticum, and so forth. Do leave it alone and once the pods form, keep an eye on them and let them dry on the plant if possible. Then take them off, open, and save the seeds. Or you can indeed let the pods split on the plant and give it a little help by shaking the pod around. The flower of perennial poppies last longer, in my experience, than those of P. somniferum.
Westford, MA
(Zone 6a)

June 24, 2009
12:54 AM

Post #6729469

Thanks, paracelsus. It bloomed a really long time and might still be going strong if not for the rain we've had nearly every day for 3+ weeks.

I fear I have missed the seed window. If I just left it on the plant, and the rain washed it off the leaves, then I imagine (hope) it will make new baby poppies next year? I'd love for this one to spread. I like the ferny, silvery foliage almost as much as the blooms.
Elmira, NY
(Zone 6a)

June 24, 2009
2:35 AM

Post #6730026

It should reseed some, yes. I too like poppy foliage. A lot of them have a nice whitish bloom to the blue-green leaves.

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