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Planting Poppies In Containers: How To Care For Potted Poppy Plants

Planting Poppies In Containers: How To Care For Potted Poppy Plants


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Poppiesare beautiful in any garden bed, but poppy flowers in a pot make a stunningdisplay on a porch or balcony. Potted poppy plants are simple to grow and easyto care for. Read on to learn more about container care for poppies.

Planting Poppies in Containers

It is not difficult to grow poppies in containers as long asyou plant them in the correct sized pot, use quality soil, and give themadequate light and water. Ask your local nursery to help you choose the varietyof poppies you want. You can choose by color, height and type of bloom – single,double or semi-double.

Any medium-sized container is perfect as long as it hasnever contained chemicals or other toxic materials. The containerneeds drainage holes to prevent the plant from standing in waterloggedsoil. You can also attach casters to the bottom if you want to be able toeasily move your container grown poppies.

These plants like humus-rich, loamy soil. You can create afavorable soil blend for poppy flowers in a pot by amending regular pottingsoil with some compost.Fill the container to 1 ½ inches (3.8 cm.) from the top with the humus-richpotting soil.

Sow poppyseeds directly on top of the soil. These seeds need light to germinate sothere is no need to cover them with soil. Gently water in the seeds, takingcare to avoid washing them to the sides of the container. Keep soil moist untilgermination occurs. Carefully thin seedlings once the plants reach 5 inches (13cm.) to about 4-6 inches (10-15 cm.) apart.

Container grown poppies should be placed where they willreceive full sun for 6-8 hours a day. Provide afternoon shade if you live in aregion that experiences extreme heat.

How to Care for Potted Poppy Plants

Containerplants require more frequent watering than those planted in a garden beddue to increased evaporation. Potted poppy plants will not do well in waterloggedsoil but they also shouldn’t be allowed to dry out. Water potted poppies everyother day during the growing season to prevent them from drying out. Allow thetop inch (2.5 cm.) or so of soil to dry out before watering again.

If desired, you can fertilize poppies every two weeks duringtheir first growing season with an all-purpose fertilizer or composttea. After their first year, fertilize at the beginning and end of eachgrowing season.

To enjoy continuous blooms, deadheadthem regularly, as pinching off old flowers encourages the plant to producemore.

Follow these guidelines and enjoy container grown poppiesfor years to come.

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How to Grow Iceland Poppies in Containers

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Container grown Iceland poppies (Papaver nudicaule) provide a colorful accent plant for patios, porches or walkways. Single-petaled tissue-paper-like blooms appear in late spring atop 12- to 24-inch wiry stems. Bloom colors include orange, pink, red, yellow and white. Thriving in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 8, Iceland poppies require full sun and fast draining soil. These perennial beauties require periodic maintenance to keep them looking their best.

Plant Iceland poppies in containers in the early spring or fall. Choose a container with drainage holes in the bottom. Fill the bottom one third of the container with fast-draining potting soil. Place the Iceland poppy's root ball in the container, positioning its top 1 to 2 inches below the container's top. Space multiple plants 4 to 6 inches apart. Backfill the pot with soil, tamping it down gently around the roots. Fill the container with soil until the level is even with the top of the poppy's root ball. Water the container 2 to 3 times with a watering can ensure that the soil is completely moist.

Water the Iceland poppy each time the top 1 to 2 inches of soil becomes dry. Fill the pot repeatedly with water until a steady stream begins to run out of the bottom drainage holes. Allow the excess water to drain away. Discard any excess water standing in the collection plate below the pot. Never allow the soil to become soggy.

Fertilize the Iceland poppy with a 10-15-10 nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium water-soluble fertilizer every 14 days throughout the growing season. Mix 1 tablespoon of fertilizer with 1 gallon of water, stirring it with a stick until all the granules have dissolved. Apply the fertilizer directly into the pot, substituting it for a supplemental watering.

Check both sides of the poppy's leaves each time you water for aphids, or small green to brown sucking insects. Spray infested poppy leaves with a steady stream of cool water to wash the insects away. Spray the poppy leaves with insecticidal soap or neem oil to eradicate large aphid populations.

Stake Iceland poppy blooms once they reach 8 to 12 inches in height, to keep them from falling over and damaging their stems. Push one end of a one-eighth-inch wooden dowel into the soil near the tipping bloom. Tie the stem to the dowel every 6 inches with string, tight enough to hold the stem upright but loose enough to allow some movement.

Deadhead Iceland poppy plants frequently to promote new blooms and stop the plant from spending energy to produce seed. Cut away flowers once they have dropped their petals or when their heads begin to hang downward. Cut through the base of the flower stem with a sharp pair of pruning shears.


Growing the Blue Himalayan Poppy

It took two years to grow the Blue Himalayan Poppy

Blue Himalayan Poppies are best grown from divisions – small plants that are divided off the parent plant. Last year I was given two such divisions and I couldn’t wait to see them bloom. Sadly all they did in the first year was grow long hairy leaves and I was sure that I’d done something wrong. Fast forward a year and suddenly I notice a flower bud. A big one. I’m rarely this excited about a flower.

I’d nearly given up

I’d nearly given up on Blue Poppies. They’re a notoriously difficult-to-grow plant that will only thrive in the most particular of situations. They’re especially treasured in botanical gardens and when the public are permitted in they are sometimes even stolen. To successfully grow them would be an accomplishment to be proud of.

My plants were grown from divisions

I started with two small pots of baby plants that were given to me last March. They were recent divisions and didn’t look that exciting at the time but that’s usually the case with plants. They shut down for the winter, pull in their leafy banners, and hide under the soil until spring arrives. Okay to be honest they looked like tatty dead old things and I wasn’t especially hopeful that they’d grow.

Blue Poppies like partial shade and cold winters

These flowers grow in conditions similar to their homeland: partial shady, cold winters, warm summers, and acidic soil. They like the same type of soil that azaleas and rhododendrons grow in so I planted them in this type of compost and then covered the soil with a light sprinkling of gravel.

I find that spreading grit or gravel over the soil in pot plants helps stop weeds from growing and keeps the compost moister for longer. This is especially important for Blue Poppies since they love moist ground.

These flowers are perennial so come back year after year

The leaves on both plants grew well the first year but it seems that new plants might only bloom in their second. If that is the case I’ve not read it anywhere but wish I did last year while I was impatiently waiting for the party to start. In any case, Blue Himalayan Poppies are perennial so I should expect to have this plant, and hopefully its sister and babies, blooming for years.

This variety can probably be grown from seed

I’m not 100% sure that the variety that was given to me is Meconopsis ‘Lingholm’ but judging from photos online I’m fairly certain. This is a modern variety that is fertile – meaning that new plants can be grown from the seeds. Interestingly, it wasn’t always able to propagate this way and it seems that a sterile hybrid decided to grow another set of Chromosomes and have babies. Life always finds a way.

Watching for seed heads

One thing that is not clear to me is whether or not the seeds from this flower will be viable. There’s a second flower forming on the plant but the second plant I have is not nearly as far along as this one. It could be that I’ll need to rely on divisions to propagate more of these flowers. I’d like to try growing them from seed too but imagine it might take a couple of years to get seeds that will grow.

Expanding the collection

The wait and surprise blossom was worth it and I’m so pleased to have these beautiful blue flowers in my collection. I think the next step will be to plant them out in the garden and to create a larger group of them over time. Wouldn’t it be beautiful to see dozens of these poppies swaying in the spring breeze?


How to Grow Poppies Indoors

Poppies are one of the easiest flowers to grow. They come in over a dozen colors or color combinations to dress up any garden, including indoor containers. One of the most popular wildflowers to grow, the average poppy is between 2 to 3 feet tall. There are also dwarf varieties that will only grow to a foot and make wonderful indoor container flowers. They are best grown with other plants when grown indoors, as they complement other plants so well. You can’t go wrong with the bright colors among foliage or trailing plants.

Dampen the peat pots and place them on a tray, such as a cookie sheet. Poppies do not like to be transferred, so this way you can place the peat pots directly into your indoor container when they start to grow.

  • Poppies are one of the easiest flowers to grow.
  • Poppies do not like to be transferred, so this way you can place the peat pots directly into your indoor container when they start to grow.

Place a couple poppy seeds in each peat pot. In order not to put too many seeds in each pot you can mix the seed with sand or use a folded piece of paper to gently tap the seed into the pot. You can also use a pair of tweezers and pick the seeds up individually.

Cover the seeds very lightly with vermiculite and sprinkle some water over the pots. Cover the pots with plastic wrap to keep in the moisture. If they start to dry out, place some water in the tray and the peat pots will soak it up.

Then place the tray in bright light, either a window that gets full sun or under a grow light. The seeds should germinate in 1 to 2 weeks, then remove the plastic. Thin out any pots with more than two flowers coming up in it.

  • Place a couple poppy seeds in each peat pot.
  • If they start to dry out, place some water in the tray and the peat pots will soak it up.

Keep the pots moist by placing water in the tray until you see the peat pots are totally moist until you are ready to plant them in your indoor garden. The poppies are ready when they are strong enough to be watered without damage.

Fill the container with potting soil, to within 2 inches of the top to allow for watering. Place any other plants you want in your container first but make sure to leave ample room for all of your poppy plants.

Create a hole big enough for the peat pot to fit in the container. If the peat pot has a lip that holds water around the stem of the plant, break it off gently. Place the pot in the hole and fill in with potting soil around it.

  • Keep the pots moist by placing water in the tray until you see the peat pots are totally moist until you are ready to plant them in your indoor garden.
  • Fill the container with potting soil, to within 2 inches of the top to allow for watering.

Place your container where it will get full sun to bright indirect sunlight. Water as the top of the soil starts to dry out. Try to keep the container in a fairly cool area.


Watch the video: Turning THIS into A Flower Garden. Growing ALL the Poppies. My Most Favorite Thing Ive Grown


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