Papaver Species, Oriental Poppy, Perennial Poppy

Papaver orientale

Family: Papaveraceae (pa-pav-er-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Papaver (puh-PAY-ver) (Info)
Species: orientale (or-ee-en-TAY-lee) (Info)
Synonym:Papaver grandiflorum
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:




18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:



Dark Purple/Black

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Juneau, Alaska

Knik-Fairview, Alaska

Lakes, Alaska

Meadow Lakes, Alaska

Seward, Alaska

Tanaina, Alaska

Wasilla, Alaska

Sacramento, California

Aurora, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Denver, Colorado

Grand Junction, Colorado

Longmont, Colorado

Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Ellington, Connecticut

Monroe, Connecticut

Lewes, Delaware

Nampa, Idaho

Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Mackinaw, Illinois

Mount Prospect, Illinois

Sandwich, Illinois

Thomasboro, Illinois

Logansport, Indiana

Macy, Indiana

Council Bluffs, Iowa

Inwood, Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa

Wayland, Massachusetts

Coloma, Michigan

Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Lapeer, Michigan

Pinconning, Michigan

Royal Oak, Michigan

Albertville, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Winona, Minnesota

Piedmont, Missouri

Fort Benton, Montana

Blair, Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska

Auburn, New Hampshire

Roswell, New Mexico

Tijeras, New Mexico

Buffalo, New York

Crown Point, New York

Greene, New York

Penn Yan, New York

Pound Ridge, New York

Winston Salem, North Carolina(2 reports)

Belfield, North Dakota

Akron, Ohio

Bucyrus, Ohio

Oak Hill, Ohio

Reynoldsburg, Ohio

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Ashland, Oregon

Bend, Oregon

Dallas, Oregon

Gold Hill, Oregon

Klamath Falls, Oregon

Lake Oswego, Oregon


Mc Keesport, Pennsylvania

Norristown, Pennsylvania

West Chester, Pennsylvania

Conway, South Carolina

Rock Hill, South Carolina

Desoto, Texas

Hereford, Texas

North Richland Hills, Texas

Bellevue, Washington

Langley, Washington

Olympia, Washington

Port Orchard, Washington

Port Townsend, Washington(2 reports)

Poulsbo, Washington

Puyallup, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Spokane, Washington

Tacoma, Washington

Ellsworth, Wisconsin

Cheyenne, Wyoming

Sheridan, Wyoming

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 20, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

The flowers make a big, splashy show, but if you go away for a long weekend you may miss it.

Goes summer dormant after bloom---it doesn't mind having its foliage cut to the ground when it starts going yellow. This leaves a gap in the border. Most gardeners deal with this by planting near the rear of the border and covering the gap with annuals or late-rising perennials around it. (Boltonia and Gypsophila are traditional, but I prefer herbaceous Hibiscus or Euphorbia corollata or Lespedeza thunbergii.) Some foliage will re-emerge in early fall. Best planted in late summer while dormant.

As the "regional" list above shows, this is a plant of the north and can't tolerate the hot humid summers and short winters south of Z7 in eastern North America. Requires good d... read more


On Jun 1, 2012, Garden_Potter from Olympia, WA wrote:

My sister in Spokane WA gave me this poppy which I have planted in my garden in Olympia WA. It's growing well but shortly after it starts to bloom it rains and the leaves start turning black and curling up. Last year I removed the affected leaves as soon as I noticed them and cut the plant back to the ground once it quit blooming. It's doing the same thing again this year. I will try making a waterproof cover above it but would appreciate any better suggestions. It's one of my favorite plants so I don't want to lose it.


On Apr 12, 2011, Erutuon from Minneapolis, MN wrote:

I planted oriental poppy two springs ago (2009) when I dug a small new garden plot in our lawn. I dug the bed deep and watered it consistently, which must be good, since last summer it didn't even go dormant. This spring it has many crowns that are competing for space above ground.


On Jun 11, 2009, TijerasTess from Tijeras, NM (Zone 6a) wrote:

The most gorgeous oriental poppy is growing in our rock driveway; startling red, papery flowers with yellow centers. And, no, I didn't plant it there. I did plant some seeds in an adjacent flowerbed but none of those have made an appearance. (I'm finding that at 7500 feet, lots of things I plant from seed don't seem to show up till the following year--delightful little surprises!)

I'll be collecting the seed pods as they ripen, and trying to transplant this one after the other 12-13 buds open and fade.


On May 12, 2009, anelson77 from Seattle, WA wrote:

I wouldn't do without these. They have a short, marvellous bloom season in mid June. Huge, crepe papery red petals with black blotches. I also have some white ones with purple blotches. In July the foliage dries up. It is good to have late blooming perennials or annuals nearby, like asters, to fill in the gap. Later when it is cool again, a foliage clump appears and overwinters.
They grow in full or part sun, good or poor soil, need moderate water in spring but none in summer. They reseed, but not too much. The seedlings dont transplant well.


On Feb 9, 2009, JonthanJ from Logansport, IN wrote:

There are two seriously different kinds of Oriental Poppies in American gardens. Most varieties are clumpers that have deep taproots and require good drainage and deep soils. A much smaller group of varieties is made up of turfers that spread through the top foot of even clay loam soils by means of stolons. As you might expect this second group survives conditions that kill the members of the first group pretty quickly. The most common of the turfers is an orange double, with no dark blotch at the base of the petal and a relatively small seed pod, that is frequently seen in Indiana as a broad bed of some considerable age. Plants that my Aunt Pearl set out in the 1950's continue to bloom. Later someone gave my mother a more attractive variety that bears single blossoms of a more int... read more


On Nov 25, 2008, popgeo from Toronto, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:

Impressive flowers . Did well from the first year, all roots did survive transplanting except one.

Starshine, which cultivar is blooming again in fall for you ?


On Mar 25, 2007, WUVIE from Hulbert, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

While it took me a couple of years to figure out
I was transplanting poppies instead of lettuce, once I
got it straight, the poppies began coming.

They don't care much for transplanting, so they are best
grown where they are sown.

Gorgeous poppies appear in spring and though the
show is grand, it is rather short. Soon you are left
with a stand of ugly, nevertheless necessary stand
of dried pods, which make for an interesting arrangement.

Toss the poppy seeds or pods into the refrigerator
until fall and then combine the seeds with sand for
easy distribution in your garden for next year's blooms.

I plant more poppies every year and am always anxious
to see that first lit... read more


On Aug 24, 2006, kooger from Oostburg, WI (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is one of my favorite flowers. The only downside is that they are hard to move. Transplant as very young plants for greater success.


On Jan 28, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

My neighbor has these, and though in clay and totally neglected, they come back year after year looking beautiful. I have some planted from seed, but am waiting for them to bloom.

Cool temperatures aid germination of seeds. They resent transplanting.


On Apr 14, 2004, sue1952 from Utica, MI wrote:

In SE Michigan - Needs full sun - will bloom in June - die back totally and then start back up in the fall - this is a good time to take a division. Starts growing well in Spring. So beautiful when it blooms - people notice the beauty and comment all the time.


On Nov 2, 2003, Weezingreens from Seward, AK (Zone 3b) wrote:

Oriental poppies like our cool, moist climate. they bloom here in mid June, but the foliage stays green all summer, unlike some of the hotter climates.


On Aug 1, 2003, starshine from Bend, OR (Zone 6a) wrote:

This flower also blooms again in the fall. I like the surprise setting, when everything is calming down and getting ready for winter, here is this amazing dinner plate sized flower bursting up with colour!


On Oct 27, 2001, Crimson from Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

Large, silky flowers feature black blotches at the base of each petal. Plants bloom profusely in May and June, the year after the seed is sown. Foliage dies back in midsummer, reappears in fall or the following spring.