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HELP please!! Need advice!!

Saginaw, MI

Hello, REALLY, really , really want my poppies to grow this time!!! Getting very frustrated with not being able to grow them. Am in Saginaw, MI zone 5. Have never tried "winter sowing"--maybe this is what I need to do! When should I put them out this year in order for them to grow next year??? Now??? or not yet??? And just sprinkle on top of ground and put "very light" covering of soil on top and wait and see or what??? PLEASE HELP!! I have several different seeds to try that I have traded for or recvd. from other members on here(THANK YOU ALL) and I REALLY want them to grow this time! And does it make a difference when they are planted if they are perennial poppies or annual poppies?? I know what some of them are but not all of them. Any responses will be GREATLY appreciated!!

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

I am a little ways south of you but I have had the red annual poppy that has grown from winter sowing. I have always had a difficult time growing them myself. Maybe if some conversation gets going here with us we will get some good information.
About a week and a half ago I started mine from seed Royal Wedding, Great Red, They have both now germinated and are growing ,the RWs only germinated in last two days. I was getting kinda worried as to if they would sprout.
The master gardeners I have talked with before recommend hat you do not fall plant poppies but a long while ago the plants I got and still do as some others besides the poppy plants are more robust and vigorous when they do grow from fall planting.
As to your first post I would guess it is too late for fall so someone with advice about winter sow info needs to reply.
Just placing t.he seeds on top of the soil and watering to cover them ,or lightly soil cover sounds like you have that correct to me

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Just decide where you want poppies and sow them, as in sprinkle them on the ground. You guys get enough snow and cold weather that they should do fine. Assuming they aren't California poppies. I have bottles of them and the last thing I do in my garden is sow the colors where I want them, then think out in the spring. I don't cover them; just let them fly.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Oberon46 I think you have answered this before (a couple of threads I have read) What all cultivars grow where you are?
I imagine the Icelands really show off there! Gets to warm for them here in recent years.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Icelandics do well, but I grow others like Lauren's Grape. Can't remember their technical name. Arizona Aroma, Lavender Florist. Look them up and you will see what we grow prolifically.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Oberons advise is right. DON'T cover the seeds. I have the best luck with annual poppies. I wait until December or February at the latest.The seeds need cold spell and light to germinate. I have a bird problem here so I use old window screen over the poppy area and hold in on te ground with rocks.
Sowing annual poppies

In January when there is a good day.
Scrape away any leaves or mulch to make a bare spot..
Seeds sown on mulch or anything but the ground ,wont germinate.
Sprinkle the seeds and press into the ground.

I have sown them and covered with screen held down with rocks.This protectes the seeds from birds or washing away with rain.

I also made “bottle greenhouses”

Cut the bottoms off of plastic milk bottles and place the bottle over the sown seeds.I put 2 plant supports into the green house so it wouldnt blow away.

These are the new poppies. DONT WEED THEM OUT.I have done that more times than I want to admit.
Also poppies dont need to be sown this thick. This picture was taken in March but we had a weird spring.
In April check your sites for germination. Dont be discouraged if you dont see anything,I have seen poppies emerge in late May.

image is of germinated poppies.

Thumbnail by ge1836
(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Neat picture. those poppies are planted in rough ground. with the pinecone no less. lol. Just reaffirms my belief in their toughness. I swear they would grow on a rock.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

They do come up in the strangest places.Cracks in the sidewalk for one.

Saginaw, MI

THANK YOU to everyone who has replied! Another question(stemming from pic you posted -ge1836)--I also noticed the pine cones in the pic and I have a LAAARGE pine tree that I have on the side of the house--have oriental/asiatic lilies under it now--would the poppies do well under the pine tree???? or will they not get enough sun there??? and would they do well mixed with the lilies???? Thank you.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

The pinecone is missleading.It blew in from the border of evergreen trees.
I dont believe the poppies will do as well in part shade as they would in full sun.
My lilies are planted at the edge of the evergreens and even with more sun they lean.I expect that will happen to poppies too as they search for the light they want.

I have been searching for the pix of my plastic milk bottle greenhouses and cant find them. I do have a pix of Method #2 which is sown on bare ground,I gently step or push the earth where they are and then put screen and rocks on them. Birds and washouts from rain have made this necessary.

Pix #2 is of poppies growing in with lilies. At the far right not pictured is a row of old evergreens. OOPS thats #3

This message was edited Sep 30, 2012 9:34 AM

Thumbnail by ge1836 Thumbnail by ge1836 Thumbnail by ge1836
Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

This is a view of the property line with evergreens at the border.They are trimmed quite high and this allows more sunlight in.
I dont have a longview for June when lilies are in bloom.

Thumbnail by ge1836
Saginaw, MI

THANK YOU to everyone who responding to my original post!! I think I am going to "throw" some seeds out now & hopefully have lovely poppies next year, BUT , I am also going to hold some seed back and not put it out till next year. That way I'm hoping if one try fails--the other will succeed!! Thank you to everyone again.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

I was cautious like that.
Here is what happened to me with early sowing.
We had a unexpected warm spell in November and some seeds germinated. I stressed all wilter about this but was glad I held back some seeds for a later sowing.I sowed in Feb. and believe it or not all seeds germinated and grew,early sowed also.Poppies are amazing hardy and survive freezes and etc.

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

I am referring to annual poppies in the above conversations.
Orientals from seed do not germinate for me. I tried 3 times and gave up and bought established plants.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Weather gives me difficult with orientals It goes so quickly from hot too cold here in the fall, I have them germinated and growing outside just started 2 or 3 weeks they have been growing ,When last nights 35 came a couple got big and a couple disappeared, ,evidently they died Thing with all that was the 4 or 5 weeks ago it was still 90 degrees ,and they wont grow in that or my moving them around .
That is where it is difficult, that's what I hear and read redundantly.
I placed a bag over a can on them for tonight 29 to 32 ,just to keep direct frost off their leaves ,the ones that live then should have 2 to 4 weeks to prepare for hard freezes,
Anyway this is my happening now. Or my attempt as it is going

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

I always wait until there is consistently cold weather like December or January, to sow ANNUAL poppies.
Perennials is another matter.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

ALL that previously translates into giving perennial seedlings enough time to build a crown node on the tap root once that happens (four or five leaves?) they usually survive the usual happenings with the weather,, including the odd.
My only other here was with the annual red poppy and about a quarter ounce of seed got me two plants ,they bloomed nice and long only p u to that,as far as growing them consistantly

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

I was checking my new iris bed and saw poppies germinating where I had them sowed in 2011 Maech.
There were red popies there and they matured and dropped their seeds in July and August.

We have had at least 10 nights in the low 50's and mostly 40's but the past 2 nights were in the 30's.
I expect these plants to overwinter where thay are and grow bigger in late April and May when temps and soil are warm.

P S. If these plants grow in an area where I dont want them, I weed them out. It is almost impossible to transplant the young plants. I have never been successful at this, no matter how small the plants were.

This message was edited Oct 9, 2012 9:53 AM

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Well mine are still alive and growing this time, so far, Trying to determine when to get them proper weather? to grow them here is anything other than easy,If I have any blooming next spring it will be the first time since 1978? That is about the orientals, a couple of annuals have grown since then.
It gives an idea of how "easy"? poppies are to grow for some of us.It also fascinates me of the number of things that are suppose to be "easy to grow" Weather and reality really play with that around me!!
Not that I am discouraged about growing them ,but when I see empty lots around town where they have grown their selves or people have moved them and are growing them (taking them from empty unused property) I begin to about the whole idea.
As this suggests I am only hopeful at this point,only wow... ya know

Circle, MT(Zone 3b)

I just sowed two packets of poppies, American Legion and California, as the weather is finally sorta kinda chilly here. I turned over some new edges of my garden, and hoping for the best.

To be on the safe side, I bought a "Falling in Love" poppy (ok, 3 of them) from Annie's sale a few months ago. The outer leaves look scraggly, but the inside stalks seem to be coping and thriving. We get some warm says here, but the nights have been downright cold for our area, and the Farmers' Almanac (and good sense) say it ought to continue a couple of months more.

I expect to see more in the above-mentioned sidewalk cracks than anywhere else, really. My garden is so weedy and silty...

Hazel Crest, IL(Zone 5a)

Nola, the cold temps should help the germination process for your zone. Mike

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