Growing Annual Poppies

Latin Name Pronunciation:  pah-pah'-ver 

Annual Poppies are a great choice for rocky, gravelly soils, and will readily self-sow in conditions they like. The flowers are colorful, but fleeting, lasting only a day or two.

Please note: The plants have a long taproot and don’t like to be moved once planted. When you receive your potted plant from us, be sure to remove the entire root ball when planting your Annual Poppy so as not to disturb that taproot.

Light & Water: Plant Annual Poppies in a full sun location. Once plants are established they don’t need a lot of water. Overwatering causes plants to become very tall and leggy.

Soil and pH: Annual Poppies prefer well-drained areas and thrive in poor garden soil and in soil that is often disturbed (like a gravel path), though they will perform in average garden soil too. They like soil that has a pH of neutral to slightly alkaline. You can test your soil with a Soil pH meter if you aren’t sure of what type of soil you have.

Location: Choose a full sun spot where your Annual Poppies can readily self-sow since the plants will do this naturally. Annual Poppy stems are frail and can be damaged by winds and heavy rain, so a sheltered location is ideal, but not necessary. The stems will need support either from surrounding plants, or garden stakes or hoops.

Pets/Animals: All Poppies contain alkaloids that are harmful to pets. Generally, pets and animals avoid Poppy plants, with the exception of rabbits, who quite like some varieties of Annual Poppies. After a brief sniff or taste, most animals find these plants distasteful and leave them alone, though it’s best to monitor pets to be on the safe side.

Deadheading: Keep your plants healthy by removing spent flowers.

Cut flowers: Annual Poppies are best enjoyed in the garden, as they are short-lived in vases. Because the stems release a milky sap when cut, the cut ends need to be seared with a match or dipped in hot water for 20-30 seconds (water should be at least 110 degrees F) before using the flowers in bouquets. Even with that treatment, the blooms will only last a couple of days.