California Poppy, Cherry Swirl
Seduces the gaze with high-saturation red blooms with contrasting yellow eyes.
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.
Height The typical height of this product at maturity.
Spread The width of the plant at maturity.
Ornamental Use Ways in which the product may be used in the garden for ornamental effect.
Life Cycle This refers to whether a plant is an annual, biennial or perennial. Annuals complete their life cycles in one year; biennials produce foliage the first year and bloom and go to seed the second year; perennials can live for more than two years.
Growth Habit The genetic tendency of a plant to grow in a certain shape, such as vining or bush like.
Annual poppies are grown from seed sown directly in the garden after heavy frost.
- Direct sow seeds in average soil in full sun after all danger of heavy frost
- Prepare the soil by removing weeds and working organic matter into the top 6-8 inches of soil; then level and smooth.
- Most plants respond well to soils amended with organic matter. Compost is a wonderful form of organic matter with a good balance of nutrients and an ideal pH level, it can be added to your planting area at any time. If compost is not available, top dress the soil after planting with 1-2 inches of organic mulch, which will begin to breakdown into compost. After the growing season, a soil test will indicate what soil amendments are needed for the following season.
- Sow seeds thinly and cover with ¼ inch of soil.
- Firm soil lightly, water and keep evenly moist.
- Seedlings will emerge in 10-14 days.
- Thin to stand about 10 inches apart when 1 inch high.
- 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 seeds from germinating.
- Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For annuals an organic mulch of 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.
- Keep soil evenly moist but not wet.
- No fertilizer is needed unless the soil is poor. Do not over fertilize.
- Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
- Remove plants after they are killed by frost in fall to avoid disease issues the following year.
- Enjoy the beautiful blooms of these easy annuals in beds and borders.
- Poppies make wonderful cut flowers. Cut the flower when it is still in bud, and seal the cut end of the stem with a lighted match to prevent rapid water loss.
- Poppies are also excellent flowers for naturalizing in a wildflower meadow.
- Poppies are great for rock gardens.
- Poppies tend to self-sow reliably; leave some spent flowers to develop seeds.