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Poppy, Brilliant Red (Oriental)

Short Description

Makes a striking display in the late spring garden.

Full Description

Huge, bright scarlet-orange flowers feature black blotches at the base of each petal. Plants bloom profusely in May and June from the year after the seed is sown.
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Item#: 38844A
Order: 1 Pkt. (1200 seeds)
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Product properties

Zone This refers to the USDA hardiness zone assigned to each part of the country, based on the minimum winter temperature that a region typically experiences. Hardiness zone ranges are provided for all perennial plants and you should always choose plants that fall within your range.


Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Sun, Part Sun

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

36 inches

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

18 inches

Bloom Season The time of the year when this product normally blooms.


Resistant To Adverse garden conditions, such as heat or frost, deer or rabbits, that this product can tolerate well.


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Introduction to Perennials
Perennials return year after year blooming on their own. Watch this introduction and discover how easy and rewarding growing perennials can be.
Watch video
Perennials Tour #1
Take a garden tour and see favorite perennial plants in a garden setting. In this video- Shasta Daisy, Ornamental Grass, Butterfly Bush, Echinacea and Hydrangea.
Watch video

Poppy: Direct Sow, Bare Root or Potted Plant Perennial

How to Sow and Plant

Poppy may be grown from seed sown directly in the garden, or grown from bare root or potted plants.

Sowing Directly in the Garden:

  • Direct sow in late spring to summer, after the soil is thoroughly warm, in full sun in deep, moist, well-drained, well amended soil.
  • Remove weeds and work organic matter into the top 6-8 inches of soil; then level and smooth.
  • Sow seeds evenly and thinly and barely cover with fine soil.
  • Keep evenly moist.
  • Seedlings will emerge in 10-20 days at 55-70 degrees F.
  • Thin to about 12 inches apart when seedlings are 2 inches high.

Planting Bare Root Plants:

  • Choose a location in full sun with deep, moist, well-drained, well amended soil.
  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 6-12, inches removing any debris, and lightly raking as level as possible.
  • The addition of organic matter (leaf mold, compost, well-rotted manure) benefits all gardens and is essential in recently constructed neighborhoods.
  • Dig a hole twice as deep and wide as the bare root.
  • Spread the roots out in the hole. Hold the roots suspended in the hole at the proper depth. Fill in around the roots with soil until the hole is filled.
  • Tamp the soil firmly to get rid of air pockets and to ensure that the plant is set at the right depth.
  • Water well to fully saturate the roots and soil.
  • Because poppies have tap roots, be very careful to not damage the root when planting.

Planting Potted Plants:

  • Choose a location in full sun with deep, moist, well-drained, well amended soil.
  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 6-12 inches removing any debris, and lightly raking as level as possible.
  • The addition of organic matter (leaf mold, compost, well-rotted manure) benefits all gardens and is essential in recently constructed neighborhoods.
  • Plant on a cloudy day or in late afternoon to reduce transplant shock.
  • Dig a hole for each plant large enough to amply accommodate the root ball.
  • Unpot the plant and gently loosen the root ball with your hands to encourage good root growth.
  • Place the top of the root ball even with the level of the surrounding soil. Fill with soil to the top of the root ball. Press soil down firmly with your hand. Because poppies have tap roots, be very careful to not damage the root when planting.
  • Use the plant tag as a location marker.
  • Thoroughly water and apply a light mulch layer on top of the soil (1-2 inches) to conserve water and reduce weeds.

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their germination.
  • Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For perennials, an organic mulch of aged bark or shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time.  Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
  • Careful watering is essential in getting perennials off to a good start. Water thoroughly at least once a week to help new roots grow down deeply. Soil should be damp at about 1 inch below the soil surface. You can check this by sticking your finger in the soil. Water early in the morning to give all leaves enough time to dry. One inch of rain or watering per week is recommended for most perennial plants. You can check to see if you need to add water by using a rain gauge.
  • After new growth appears, a light fertilizer may be applied. Keep granular fertilizers away from the plant crown and foliage to avoid burn injury. Use low rates of a slow release fertilizer, as higher rates may encourage root rots.
  • Remove foliage when it dies back. Oriental poppy foliage dies back after bloom in mid-summer.
  • In colder regions, apply another layer of mulch (1-2 inches) after the ground freezes in fall. Evergreen boughs (from Christmas trees) provide additional protection. Remove this mulch in the spring.

Growing Tips

  • Do not transplant poppies as their tap root is easily damaged.
  • Poppies make great cut flowers. When cutting snip the stems just before the buds open. Seal the stems by burning the cut ends with a match before immersing them in water.
  • The seed pods are great for dried arrangements as well.
Full Sun, Part Sun
36 inches
18 inches
Bloom Season
Resistant To
Ornamental Use
Beds, Borders
Planting Time
Life Cycle
Poppy, Brilliant Red (Oriental) is rated 2.3 out of 5 by 8.
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Did Not Bloom I bought these way earlier this year. Unfortunately they did not come up. I followed the package directions but nothing happened. I'm sure they probably would have been nice. Anyway, very disappointing. I won't try that again. I also shared some with my grandmother and hers did not sprout either...
Date published: 2016-09-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Bummer I was very disappointed with the results of my poppies. No flowers showed up at all. Maybe I didn't plant the seeds properly, but I thought I did.
Date published: 2016-09-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Wow! See the biologist's review in the comments: If a biologist who knows how to grow poppies based on scientific knowledge can't make very many grow out of a seed packet of 500 seeds and others here are having problems too, well then, I'll have to plant some other easy (and proven) to grow bright red flowering plants instead!
Date published: 2016-07-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from poppy, brilliant red Poppies grow crazy in European fields with no help. But when I lived there I transplanted some from out of a ditch. They died. I took seeds that fall and followed Burpee's instructions. They died. In the U.S. I tried starting them indoors. They came up like gangbusters...and died. Only GOD can grow poppies!
Date published: 2015-11-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It's all in the numbers When you finally get a flower and see how many seeds are in it, you'll understand how this plant species survives. I worked for five years trying to get from seeds, to seedlings, to established plants and finally had two survive the winter and bloom this year. Spectacular! But forget about planting the seeds in transplantable peat pots, or starting them indoors and moving them out. Either it rains too much or too little or the plants suddenly die off. The only way to reliably grow these flowers is to sew a huge quantity of seed in a place that gets plenty of sun and trust in Nature and the numbers to eventually produce some hardy plants that are around the second year to flower.
Date published: 2013-08-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from slow to grow Growing up my dad grew poppies in our yard and they usually took a little to sprout each year. Well this year I tried growing some myself. They were a little slow to start but once they sprout they start to really take off. My advice is to make sure they are getting plenty of light and water. I am growing mine indoors because its still a little cold out here and they look really good so far!
Date published: 2013-03-20
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Sparse Germination I have a degree in Biology, so I do know how to plant seeds. So far, I have 5 tiny seedlings.
Date published: 2011-06-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Worst seeds ever. I have purchased 3 packets, nothing so far.
Date published: 2009-06-15
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