My third year trying

Frisco, TX(Zone 7b)

I am going to sow some poppies - AGAIN.

This will be the third year trying. I have winter sowed, fall sowed, so-so'd ........ and failed miserably.

I believe one of the culprits has been bunnies, and that is something I have possibly taken care of. (fence and black lab)

But I am going to sow some in pots. Any help or suggestions?


Pretoria, South Africa

Hi W J,

I'm no expert as this was the first year for me, and even though I have a few plants getting ready to flower, it is not even close to the number of seeds I've sown! I would say about 5 %, germinated. I was hoping for a great show.... (By the way I direct sowed as I read somewhere they don't like being transplanted all that much.) I will keep an eye on you thread.


Plano, TX

i live near you-plano-and am trying poppies for the first time --i plan to dirrect sow them but since you have not had any luck doing that i will be sure to plant another type of seed there too--the black lab should help a lot--and he will love getting to scare away any birds!! my son has a golden lab and we just love him!! (i meant the dog but then thought i might add we love my son too!!!!)

Frisco, TX(Zone 7b)

Well, like I said, I have tried and failed miserably multiple times.

I guess I am going to sow some in pots and some in the ground and some in the air and some by sea and .... well, you get the point :)


Plano, TX

it's all trial and error for me!

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Poppies, I often wonder about them. Some are annuals, other biennuals, yet, there are perennuals poppies. Here in our hot/humid southern zone, I've known someone locally sowed them in the Falls and had great success. So, I asked with this particular Poppies that he grew, to find out those are biennuals. And yes, they're fuzzy when their root is being disturbed, thus make difficult to transplant. But most of the poppies seed packages say to sow them in Spring after last frost? What gives?

Louisville, KY

I have had great success winter sowing both oriental poppies and peony poppies. I started them here on my porch in January. I have had occassional shirley poppies from direct sowing. I am going to try direct sowing of larkspurs and shirley poppies on the top of the first snow. I have heartd that this works. Yes Bunnies will eat even relish Shirley poppies, but they leave the orientals alone.

Elmira, NY(Zone 6a)

I agree with timeinabottle about bunnies liking the shirley poppies but leaving the orientals alone. They will also leave P. somniferum alone, IME. I was trying to grow Papaver amurense in my last place. For two years, just as the thing would shoot up buds, the rabbit would come and eat them. I never did get any flowers on that thing. There were other poppy species right next to it, but obviously they did not have the taste rabbits go for.

sublimaze1, since you are in Texas, be careful that you are not sowing your poppies when the temperature is warm. They will not germinate at 80F or higher. Even over 70F, germination will be way less than at 55F.

Frisco, TX(Zone 7b)


so should I wait until the dead of winter here (sometimes up to 55, but generally 35-45) to sow?

Elmira, NY(Zone 6a)

Wait until after the winter solstice, and then, yes, try it. If you want to try a cheap bunch of seeds to get the hang of it, get some poppy seeds from the grocery store. IME, they are extremely viable. You can usually tell by the smell if they are good or not. Good poppy seeds have a good smell. Nutty. Expired poppy seeds smell like old vegetable oil. Rancid.

Mableton, GA(Zone 7a)

I posted this in the forum "Guilty confesion", but wanted to join in here too since they never grow for me!

I LOVE the beautiful annual poppies. But I can never get them to grow. I even bought some plants from Annie Annuals, but the plants dried up an died. I think they sent them to me (a first timer with poppies) WAY too late. They knew I had never grown them and where I was located and still said they would be fine. They sent them to me in June. Hello, they are cool season plants! I should have read more about them, but they had to have KNOWN they wouldn't grow in the summer in GA. I got one tiny Danish Flag bloom out of $70 dollars worth of plants! (VERY high shipping) It was so exciting though. I LOVED it and looked at it every one of the pityful 3 days I had it.
Anyway, after realizing I needed more info. on them I started looking on the internet. Then read enough to realize I wished I hadn't! Lots of info. on them being used for drugs, and now the Gov't can trace that I looked at it!!! Apparently, they can prosecute it they want to for any amount. One man went to prison for MANY years for having a 10' X 10' patch. Supposedly they don't really care about gardeners, but don't make any officers man! The funny thing is, I have an ex-narcotics cop across the street!! LOL (Funny 'til I'm busted for my gardening.)
Still, I'm going to try again. I ordered seed off ebay. One seller has a wealth of knowledge (how much must she grow?) and responded well to my many email questions. For GA, she recommended to fall/winter sow. She kept insisting that they were easy, easy, easy to grow. I think they just know about the cop so they won't grow for me ;) . ebay is a great source for seed and plants. Home growers have never disappointed me, and the plants are usually large and very healthy. I've never gotten a bug or fungus from them. Just check the sellers feedback.
If you do decide to try the seeds on ebay, don't type in "opium", because it won't come up. The word is restricted. Type in the botanical name. Good luck. They are so very Beautiful, Whispy and Magical looking!

P.S. I'll try to find the seller I bought from if anyone is interested. Just Dmail me.

edited to add the ebay sellers name : exjordanary (this is only one seller I bought from, but she knew a lot about them and helpes me a lot)

This message was edited Nov 30, 2007 12:56 PM

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