Buds on Poppies won't open fully and bloom. What to do?

North Brunswick Town, NJ(Zone 7a)

I have been growing some poppies this year, through the summer. I know they are generally a cool weather plant, but I have managed to baby them, (they are in a planter) and get some nice blooms.
However, lately the buds are simply refusing to open. The weather has not changed much, generally in the low 80's or high 70's, so I figured that's not it.

I have 1 bud in particular that is partially open, about 1/4 of the way, and has been like that for 3 days. You can see the white of the flower inside pushing against the bud walls, but it just won't open. 1 other did this, then rotted and fell off. Is there anything I can do to "help" it open? Should or can I possibly just open the bud by removing the 2 pieces holding it together, or will this also kill the flower?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. I will put up a pic as soon as I can. Thanks in advance for any replies,

North Brunswick Town, NJ(Zone 7a)

Well, I opened the bud myself today... not sure how smart that was...
The flower inside does look like it was starting to wither even before opening. The flower irself has loosened up from being as tightly packed as it was, but hasn't actually opened, and I'm not even sure if the seed pod was even ready to open or not. it's bright yellow.
I guess we'll see what happens :)
Does anyone have any input regarding what happened and what I did? Thanks in advance,


Tobyhanna, PA(Zone 5a)

I grew shirley poppies this year and they finished blooming sometime in July. I had a few buds do what yours did. I really don't know why it happens. In the bud forming process maybe a sudden cold snap, too much moisture, or too much rain affected the bud. I just snip the bud and stem off down to the next leaf group and sometimes a new bud will form there. I think it's too late in the season now. There's always next year.

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

There are many types of Poppies for garden growing and some flower at different times from others, as for the buds NOT opening I agree with all the tips given by PAgirl, whenever I see any plant with buds that are refusing to fully open my first thought is insects living inside the bud, like earwigs or that type of thing, or maybe earlier damage from flying insects, maybe just a plant that has done it's work all season earlier on and has no energy left for continuing to make good quality flowers and the ones that are left are never going to put on a good show.

Nature is like a tap, it knows better than most gardeners how and when to switch off as it needs to rest over the winter and prepare plenty new roots for the following spring.
Never use the seeds from buds that you know are week, diseased, or poor in quality..
For now, just remove these buds and if you get more flowers just enjoy as the season is beginning to slow down in September.
Best of luck. WeeNel.

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