Poppy


QUICK REFERENCE PLANTING GUIDE

1. Light/Sun Exposure - Full to sun partial shade (at least 5 hours of direct sun per day).

2. USDA Hardiness Zones - 3 to 8.

3. Planting Distance - 2 feet apart in ground.

4. Mature Height/Spread - 2 to 4 feet tall within 2 years.

5. Bloom Time - Late spring/early summer.

6. Planting Instructions - As indicated below. 

Potted Plants - Dig a hole twice as wide and twice as deep as the pot in which your plant was grown. Please note that many of our pots are biodegradable. If your plant is not in a traditional plastic pot then you may place the entire biodegradable pot in the ground; otherwise, gently remove the rootball from the pot. Partially backfill the hole with soil and place the plant into the hole. The top of the root ball should be level with the ground surrounding the hole. Refill the hole with soil, firming the soil around the plant with your fingers. Check to be sure that the plant is not planted too deeply. If it is, raise the plant carefully and refirm the soil. Water thoroughly. 

Bare-root plants - Dig a hole twice as wide and twice as deep as the roots of each plant. Form a small mound of dirt in the bottom of each hole and spread the roots of each plant over it so that the crown (the point where the roots join together just below the leaves) will be 2 inches below the soil surface. Carefully fill in the soil around the roots, filling the hole up to 1 inch above the crown (The rest of the hole should be filled with soil after the leaves have grown a bit). Water thoroughly. 

GET THE MOST ENJOYMENT

For dramatic brightness, nothing rivals the flamboyant colors of poppies in the garden. The big, ruffled or fringed flowers in brilliant colors atop 3 to 4 foot high stems will create an eye-catching scene. These beacons of spectacular color spread 1 to 3 feet in full sun to light shade in any well-drained garden soil from a dry sandy mixture to a good garden loam. Poppies will even tolerate some heavy clay soils; the key is good drainage. They bloom in early summer when bright colors are often lacking and are one of the easiest of all flowers to grow.

NOTE: Oriental Poppies will go dormant each year after their blooming period. In the fall they will send up new leaf rosettes, which will remain over the winter.

SOIL PREPARATION

Although these plants will perform well in average garden soils of all types, we recommend having your soil tested periodically by the local County Extension Office.  These tests can determine if the soil needs any amendments to enhance your plants' growth and performance.  See below for our recommended practice to improve your soil without any additional testing:

1.  Spade or till the soil to a depth of 12-18 inches.

2.  To provide nutrients and improve drainage, add organic matter to your soil by mixing in a 2 to 4-inch layer of dehydrated manure, garden compost, shredded leaves, and/or peat moss.

3.  After active growth begins, periodically feed with Cottage Farms' water soluble Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Plants in containers need more frequent watering and feeding, especially when in active growth and bloom.

CONTINUING CARE

Water - Your plants require 1" of rainfall (or equivalent watering) each week when planted in the ground.  Do not allow plants in containers to dry out.  In a container that is exposed to full sun, water it well at least once every other day, and possibly every day, during periods of intense summer heat.  You may wish to temporarily move containerized plants to an area where they are shielded from the hot summer sun (i.e., in the shade of a tree, on a porch near an overhang).

Mulching - Apply a 2-4 inch layer of shredded bark, compost or other organic mulch around your plants to promote moisture retention, maintain even soil temperatures, and to discourage weed growth.

Weeding - Keep the area around your plants free of weeds. Weeds compete with other plants for food, water and light. Walk around the garden periodically and pull weeds, including the roots, as soon as you see them.

Grooming - Clip off dead or unsightly growth to maintain attractive form and shape. Remove flowers when blooms have faded, leaving as much foliage as possible. As long as the foliage remains green it will gather sunlight and transmit energy into the root system for the following growing season.

Pruning - You can cut the dead foliage to the ground in the fall or spring.  Some prefer spring for pruning because the old dried stems help to hold a snow cover during the winter, a good insulation for the roots. Clip off all dead growth when plants go dormant if preferred.

Feeding - Feed your plants once every 2-3 weeks during the growing season with a water-soluble fertilizer such as Cottage Farms' Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Discontinue feeding after September 1st so your plants can harden off for winter dormancy. Resume fertilizing when new growth appears in the spring.

Winterizing - After frost, the green foliage will remain. At that time apply a 4-6 inch layer of mulch over the tops of the plants.

For container planting, move plants next to your home's southern foundation for added warmth and protection. They may also be moved into an unheated, protected area such as a garage or cellar. If moved to a protected area be sure you water them well once every 7 to 10 days.

In spring, remove mulch from in-ground plantings and remove any dead or damaged parts on any plants.  Also, bring containerized plants back out into the garden sunlight where they will immediately begin to repeat their yearly garden performance. 

 

CAUTION: Not all plant material is edible. Though most plants are harmless, some contain toxic substances which can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or other discomforts. As a general rule, only known food products should be eaten. In case of ingestion, please contact your local poison control center at once and advise them of the plant ingested. Keep out of reach of children.