How To Grow Poppy Flowers From Seed

The much loved Poppy Flower adds a stunning display of blooms to any garden. They look stunning en masse and flower over a long period time, you will hear the bees contented buzzing as they roll around in the open flowers.

Types of Poppies:

Poppy Papaver nudicaule is a perennial but mostly grown as an annual. They do best in cooler conditions and can handle a light frost. 

We have the beautiful Poppy Australis, which has the largest blooms of the nudicaule varieties flowering in soft pastel lavender, salmon, lemon, cream and pinks.

Poppy Papaver rhoeas have lovely crepe papery petals that can be singles or doubles. Varieties include Shirley, Angel's Choir, Falling In Love and Flanders Red.

Poppy Papaver paeoniflorum are big peony like fluffy double flowers (unfortunately we are unable to stock this variety as it is not allowed in Tasmania). 

Sowing Tips

  • Poppy seeds are extremely tiny - probably the tiniest seeds you will see, therefore it is best to start them off in small single cell punnets in a greenhouse or under grow lights, as they need a temperature of around 18-24 degrees C to germinate. If you are starting the seeds off early, then a heat mat should be used to get the best even germination. Once germinated you can take the heat mat away.
  • Start by gently pressing the seeds on the onto surface soil and cover ever so lightly with a sprinkle of soil.
  • Water in the seeds by misting or bottom watering to avoid dislodging the seed or pushing them too far down into the soil. If sowing the seeds into small single cell punnets, be aware they can dry out quickly, and may need watering twice daily.
  • Germination should occur at around 7-21 days.
  • Poppy seeds can be sown direct, but as they are so tiny I prefer to raise seedling to prevent them being washed away with heavy rains.

Planting Tips

  • Poppies dislike having their roots disturbed, so take care when transferring into the garden.
  • Poppies can tolerate poor soil conditions, but providing them with nutrient rich, well draining soil and applying a diluted seaweed treatment every few weeks will help encourage growth.
  • Some poppies may require netting or support to avoid getting damaged from wind.
  • They do not need to be over watered- poppies dislike being water logged.
  • They prefer a full sun position with at least 6hrs of sun a day.
  • Poppies can be grown in pots, just make sure not to over water them and place them in an area that is in full sun.

Harvesting Tips:

It doesn't seem as though the delicate, ruffly papery texture of poppy petals would be hardy enough to last for days in a jar - but they do! 

I think it is just magical watching them unfurl over days or even hours in your home.

For the longest lasting blooms for vase life, harvest your poppies when the buds are just slightly cracking and showing a splash of colour.

To extend the life of a cut poppy flower immediately after cutting plunge roughly 2.5cm of the stems in clean boiling water for about 10 seconds.

They will last 5-7 days in a vase, changing the water often and adding in some flower food powder or sugar, will help extend their vase life. 

Poppies will self seed readily if left to go to seed.

Shop our poppy flower seed collection here.

At this stage the flowers should be harvested.

Poppy seed pods make an interesting point in a bouquet or look great in a vase on their own.
Shop our poppy flower seed collection here.