Poppies, both plants and poppy seeds for sale in Australia come from a wide range of species including Papaver, Papaveraceae, Mecanopsis, alpiium, orientale, pilosum, rhoeas, and cristata. And these are just a few.
Some poppies are very easy to grow in the garden, while others are difficult, and all this depends on the climate. Many are from areas of very cold winters and sharp drainage, others thrive in warmer climates and damp soils. The through away line that ‘poppies are easy to grow’ is true of a few species, others are just difficult.
One of the commonly grown species is Papavear nudicaule or ‘Icelandic Poppy’, pictured right.
The two major types of poppies in use in gardens are Meconopsis and Papaver, both species are very attractive with fascinating flowers and many with attractive and decorative seed heads.
Mecanopsis includes the himalayan poppy and welsh poppy, while Papaver includes Oriental poppy, Iceland poppy , Opium poppy, Corn poppy and other species.
With shades from white from varieties such as ‘Perry’s White’ through to dark red ‘Brilliant. The blue ‘Lingholm’ is a much sought after blue flowered Mecanopsis poppy, however difficult in Australian conditions.
How to plant Poppy Seeds
Poppy seeds can be a little tricky to germinate unless you know how to plant them. All poppy seeds are very fine, and all require light to germinate. This means surface sowing.
The best time to plant poppy seeds is in mid autumn, and this is how to do it.
- Choose the position where you want to pant the seeds.
- Cultivate the soil well, so that the top layer is fairly fine and even.
- Sprinkle the seeds on top of the soil.
- Water in with a very soft spray of water so as not to wash the seeds away, or force then to deep.
- Keep up with the fine spray waterings until the seeds germinate.
- You can choose to thin the seedlings out at this stage.
- From here on water gently, but normally as required.
- Weed around the seedlings as needed.
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