Instructables

How to start poppies from seed?

I'm hoping to get info on starting poppies from seeds. Some questions are: What temperatures are best to start the seeds? Is it best to stratify the seeds first? I have been told to plant seeds where they won't be moved-for moving them can kill em.
A few years ago I had to remove poppy plant because it was growing in line of septic line-which had to be replaced. So this was apparently true as to why I lost it! I think it must have re-seeded itself and kept coming back every year. Since I have been trying to start more with not much success.
Thanks

canucksgirl2 years ago
Here's some information I found (as I haven't tried growing them from seed yet).

"Papaver somniferum seeds take two to four weeks to germinate, when they are planted in a location that offers average temperatures between 60 and 70 F, well-draining, nutrient rich soil with an average pH level of 7, full sunlight and light to moderate moisture. Poppies are highly sensitive to disruption; therefore, choose a permanent location in which to sow seeds for the best success rate."

Based on that information, your septic area was likely supplying a good nutrient rich soil for them to grow and seed on their own. If you're not having success in other areas, then I would bet the soil is lacking nutrients, the pH level is inadequate, or they are being over watered. There is always the possibility that the seeds you bought are sub-par (and you aren't doing anything wrong).
Thanks very much canucksgirl! I'm also inclined to think It was the seed! Time will tell -I will try few different ideas and I'll have to come back and post what was successful.

One post suggested I place seeds on snow in February, or try placing seeds in sandwich bag with dampened paper towels then refrigerate couple weeks or placing seeds in sand.

I'm going to try several Ideas and this time around - I have purchased seeds from several different sellers in hopes to rule out the seeds.
That's a good idea. You may also want to put a few seeds (of a different colored poppy) in the same area as the other poppies that grew around your septic. Since you already know they'll grow there, it may help you rule out if the seeds are a problem; plus it may tell you if you need to fertilize in the areas you intend for them to grow. If they do grow in that spot, you can either leave them be or remove them, since you're just testing what works.

Please do post back when you have some results. (The info may also help other would-be gardeners). :)
Most poppy seeds need light to germinate. Different varieties might have different temperature requirements.

You don't say what kind you had - California poppies are annuals and oriental poppies are long-lived perennials. I am not sure how long icelandic poppies live, since I always killed them within a month.

More info:
http://mrbrownthumb.blogspot.com/2009/02/sowing-poppy-seeds.html
These are the seeds I'm trying to start:
Papaver Somniferum Pink Flamingo Huge Peony Poppy Seeds,
Somniferum Poppy Rare Peony Fringe Fancy Mix Seeds,
*POPPY* RED POM POMS PAPAVER SOMNIFERUM ANNUAL SEEDS,
*POPPY* PINK POM POMS PAPAVER SOMNIFERUM ANNUAL SEEDS,
White "Swansdown" Poppy Seeds, "Scarlet Peony" Poppy Seeds, "Yellow Peony" Poppy Seeds-, &"Purple Peony" Poppy Seeds.
eagleflyingoverhead1111 (author) 2 years ago
These are the seeds I purchased and want to try and grow:
*POPPY* RED POM POMS PAPAVER SOMNIFERUM ANNUAL SEEDS,

*POPPY* PINK POM POMS PAPAVER SOMNIFERUM ANNUAL SEEDS,

White "Swansdown" Poppy Seeds-, "Scarlet Peony" Poppy Seeds-,

"Yellow Peony" Poppy Seeds-, "Purple Peony" Poppy Seeds-,

A Couple tips say start with mixture of sand and perilite and others say sprinkle them in snow in February
rickharris2 years ago
It's hard to stop poppy seeds germinating - They spread like a contagious sickness.

Just spread on the top of the soil. Water well. if dry.
I have tried this but no success! Thanks