Sow poppy seeds outdoors in thoroughly warmed, well-drained soil in full sun, late spring to summer. Sow seed thinly and evenly and barely cover with fine soil. Since poppies have large, delicate flowers, find a site that is protected from the wind. Plant oriental poppies among late bloomers.
How to Grow
Seedlings emerge in 10-20 days at 55-70°F soil temperature. Thin poppy plants to stand about 12" apart when seedlings are 2" high. Remove all seedpods from Oriental poppies to prevent self-Sowing, but leave some pods on short-lived perennials and scatter them once the seeds are ripe so plants self-Sow. Oriental poppies are best grown from plants, and they’re best located with other perennials. These poppies generally take a season or two to become established and begin blooming well. Avoid dividing oriental poppies unless they become very crowded; then divide them carefully in late summer or early fall.
Oriental poppies combine nicely with other perennials that bloom in spring to early summer. Plant them with irises, bellflowers, baptisia, columbines, catmints, and peonies. Most poppies make stunning cut flowers for fresh bouquets.