Growing poppies

Discussion in 'Flower Gardening' started by Melody Mc., Nov 21, 2022.

  1. Melody Mc.

    Melody Mc. In Flower

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    Living in a cold climate with a very short growing season poses some challenges. And many valued rewards.

    A neighbour who runs a commercial greenhouse and provides bedding plants to the nearest town gifted me with a six pack of Flanders Poppies this spring. They were incredibly root bound and quite yellowed. I put them in the ground right away and gave them lots of fish fertilizer and water in the first month. I was amazed that they flowered - and kept flowering into late summer.

    Most growing sights that I visit are not geared towards a short growing season with very cold soil in the spring, or early frost. I also have issues with the seeds taking well over a month to germinate when planted outdoors, and weeds taking over. My seed order company for the north suggests starting them indoors 4 weeks early ( they can take up to 30 days to germinate) and try to pot them out within two weeks of growth. I'm going to try this , and try be to extra careful by using Coir pots....(and I've poked a dear friend to make me a newspaper pot maker :) )

    Corn also is notorious for not liking transplant, and the coir pots did very well this year. ( although not as well as planting the seed under clear plastic).

    I understand that it is not ideal, but my curiousity is if anyone else has grown poppies from transplants ( seedlings)? Perhaps purchased them from a nursary?

    Also with cross polination - I'm wondering if anyone has experienced this as being a problem?

    Thank you :)

    Mel
     
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  3. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    I've only ever grown poppies from seeds Mel so I'm not much use to you. I hope someone else can give you the information you need.
     
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  4. Melody Mc.

    Melody Mc. In Flower

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    Thanks Eileen :) I appreciate that. I'm thinking it may be an experiment year again. Some in the ground as seed competeting with weeds, and some as transplants. Could be fun :)
     
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  5. Zigs

    Zigs In Flower

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    They are very hard to transplant but not impossible. You have to soak them really well before digging them up and then take as much soil as possible with them.

    If you dig them up bare rooted, put them straight on the compost heap :)
     



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  6. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Have you tried, Papaver radicatum or Papaver gorodcova? They may be well suited for your growing situation.
    I have found that most poppy sorts have trouble with being transplanted, not all though. Oriental poppies are an exception also the arctic poppies do well.

    The Flanders poppy can be sown directly into the ground or into pots as you have done and had success with. Your outside situation is quite different from ours, but one thing you can do to enhance your poppy planting is to use pool liner or black root cloth. it is a technique that I have used when planting purslane.

    You wait until the ground is no longer frozen, then scratch the soil.
    place the black root cloth or pool liner over the bed for a few days, so the ground woll warm-up prior to planting.
    Broadcast the seeds or plant them in rows,
    Cover the bed with one of the black materials mentioned above and wait. After 3-5 days pull up one corner and check if they are coming up yet. If not re-cover and wait some more, checking every few days. When they do come up, you can remove the covering.

    Good luck with this.

    BTW— I have no problem with transplanting corn. I raise them in the longer root trainers. Bob’s yer uncle.
    I do plough a trench, let the trench soil warm-up a day before planting the corn. As the plant grows, I earth-up the corn plants. I also plant the corn in a square rather than in a single row for better pollination — this gives me a better harvest.
    I have posted this somewhere on here in the past.

    Good luck, kiddo.
     
  7. Logan

    Logan Hardy Maple

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    It's best to grow them from seed, this year i sowed some Californian poppy seed in a small seed tray put the tray in a plastic bag and put them in the fridge for 2 weeks. They germinated a few weeks after, i separated them into clumps and planted them, they did take a while to start growing but they did flower well. I thought that they would have died down but they grew more and will survive the winter. Apart from the oriental poppy, can't buy the annuals as plants.
     
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  8. Daniel W

    Daniel W In Flower

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    I've grown Shirley Poppies, Flanders Poppies, and breadseed poppies from seeds. I just sow them in plastic pots about 1 cup to 2 cup volume, and grow until no danger of frost. Then just carefully slide them out of the pot with minimal handling of roots, into holes I already dug. The did fine. Also the Shirley poppies reseeded with lots of volunteers.

    I don't grow breadseed poppies any more. The sheriff lives two houses down the road and I'd rather not get arrested LOL.

    A nice poppy I started in containers.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Daniel—Apart from your words I find this foto excellent.
     
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  10. Melody Mc.

    Melody Mc. In Flower

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    Thank you so much for the advice everyone. I really appreciate it. Notes hahve been taken :) My choice of flowers here is often shaped by what will survive the winter. Poppies are going to be my delicate indulgance of one pretty garden of my choosing. If I can make it work, it will make me quite happy. I still have to cross the bridge of cross polination etc, but I am hoping to save seeds and keep the garden going, even if the poppies aren't true every year that is okay.

    My hope it to have some in the ground started indoors to flower sooner, and also have some seeds sown directly to come along during the later part of summer. I kept some salmon pink oriental poppy seeds, and they bloom quite early and die back early. Once I can get them established I'm sure they can help fill in the gaps. The varieties that I know I can start ahead I will, and the others will be the seed starts.

    @Daniel W - what Sjoerd said with the photo - I could have that one as my screensaver and enjoy it every day. Especially the bee coming in for a landing. :) I very much appreciate you sharing your success with transplanting. I had a similiar idea rattling around in my little brain of trying a narrow deep pot to help with the taproot ( like a 1 litre carton) , lined with a bag with holes to help lift out the plant, or cut to open up like a root trainer, and making a go of a delicate transplant. I appreciate hearing how you managed it. Those Breadseed poppies are beautiful and I've ordered some seed - to bad to hear about the Sheriff down the road....one of the adantages I have of living in the boonies in Canada. If you decide to grow them again, and things go south on you...I'm sure I could take up a collection to bail you out. Those pretty poppies would be worth it. :D:cool: ( Steve Earl Copperhead Road is playing in my head right now hahaha)

    @Sjoerd - I did some reading on the varieties you suggested. My Ahhhhh moment was recognizing that there were so many different varieties aside from California, Oriental and ...well, what I thought was simply "poppies". :oops: ( red cheeks) . I still have a lot of reading and learning to do. I'm going to continue searching but could so far find only one variety of "Icelandic Poppies" available to me. I could not find any arctic poppies, other than that they are native in some areas further north. I appreciate the idea of warming the soil with black cover. I just finished reading a book on Cold Climate Gardening, and he suggested the same. I really appreciate you sharing your experience.

    Re: corn - mine transplanted fine over the years but sometimes my corn was stunted ( not full of kernals to the end, and only one cob per plant). I did some research over the last winter and learned that various stages of the cobs development happen at certain stages of the leaf development. And it has that long tap root. I was growing mine in too small of transplant pots, and not putting them in the ground soon enough - they were too far along in their growth so not all of the rows of kernals formed. Last year was much better. I'm still looking for those root training pots in Canada - Amazon still says on backorder. o_O
     
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  11. Daniel W

    Daniel W In Flower

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    @Melody Mc. I think your idea about newspaper pots is excellent. I wish I had thought of that. I should try them next season.

    Thanks Mel and Sjoerd for your nice compliments about the poppy photo. That was summer 2021. This year, honeybees were scarce.
     
  12. Logan

    Logan Hardy Maple

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    I use toilet roll tubes in a tray or something that will keep them up straight and stop the compost falling out.
     
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  13. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Strong Ash Plants Contributor

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    Good luck Melody.
     
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  14. Melody Mc.

    Melody Mc. In Flower

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    Thanks CM. :) I'm actually pretty excited.

    ( And I accidently opened the wrong box from the post office yesterday and happened to observe a bag of 5 inch coir pots that Santa sent......from here on out to secretly be referred to in my mind as the "Poppy Pots". It is a good thing Poppy Seed is abundant...I'll have enough started in so many different types of growing vessels that I could publish my findings.)
     
  15. Daniel W

    Daniel W In Flower

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    Yes! Please publish your findings here!

    It's amazing that such tiny things as poppy seeds actually grow.
     
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  16. Zigs

    Zigs In Flower

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    It's illegal to grow opium poppies over here too but they come up everywhere and I've never known of the coppers arresting anyone for it :)
     
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