(Papaver spp.) Poppies all fall under the genus papaver, though there are several species within the genus and these can be both annual and perennial, so be sure to refer to the description to determine which kind you have. Perhaps no flower has mesmerized humans quite like the poppy. Since prehistoric times, they’ve been grown for food, for beauty, for medicine — and self-medication. Opium poppies (Papaver somniferum) produce addictive and powerful narcotics. In some countries, it’s illegal to cultivate them. In addition to the opium — or breadseed — poppy — there are about 70 other species, in hundreds of varieties, from the frilly perennial Papaver orientale to the feathery annual Papaver somniferum laciniatum. All poppy varieties are very similar to start from seed, and all require well-drained soil. Poppy seeds can be sown in the fall, allowing the cold-hardy seeds exposure to winter temperatures. Most gardeners choose to sow their poppy seeds in very early spring because this cold temperature helps to get the seeds to germinate faster. They need about 15 consecutive days of at least 55 degrees F in order to germinate. Surface sow seeds and cover with a very fine layer of soil as light aids germination. Spacing will vary depending on variety. Plants prefer full sun unless in the hottest climates, where they like some midday shade. Keep well watered in very hot, dry climates. Elsewhere they can tolerate dry and poor soil, as they are not very thirsty, and there's no need to fertilize.
(P. somniferum) A deeply dramatic poppy, with intricately ruffled blooms in shades of obsidian to dark burgundy. The flowers are fully double and so large, from 3-5 inches across! This show-stopping variety stuns in the landscape or in arrangements, and it’s unique in that the seedpods also make a wonderful addition to dried flower designs. These annual plants stand 3-4 feet in height and will readily self sow in the garden.
(P. somniferum) Invite the Cream Peony poppy into your garden and you will be rewarded with massive, alabaster orbs! Opulent, opalescent blooms reach 4 inches across and are fully double. We love to see it romanticize a garden design and fill out floral arrangements, as it is also a great cutting type! Plants stand 3-4 feet tall, painting the landscape with large dollops of cream that sway in the breeze.
(P. somniferum) Three cheers for this brilliant crimson red pompom style annual poppy! The highly doubled, frilled heads make a wild statement in the landscape with their unusual form and stunning color. Plants stand 3-4 feet tall with misty blue-green ruffled foliage and massive blooms that reach 4-5 inches across! A loud and eye-catching variety to use as a focal point in containers, beds and borders. Annual that readily reseeds.
(Papaver rhoeas) Our new favorite, as it was the first to flower, with loads of blushing blooms all spring! Just try not to fall in love with this poppy with petals like vibrant silk! Its gleaming jewel tones of coral, salmon, rose and cerise make it a must have for any garden design. The dazzling blooms are semi double to fully double with picotee edging. The nodding blooms will gently blow in the breeze, beckoning pollinators and enthralling onlookers. This annual type poppy self sows, producing 18-30 inch tall plants with blooms that reach 3 inches across.
(P. somniferum) Massive, blue-green poppy pods are the size of a golf ball and make an exotic and intriguing floral design element. When dried, they are full of delicious bread seeds! The 3-foot tall plants have sturdy stems and produce large, single, lavender to pink blooms that are heavenly in appearance. The petals fall back, revealing humongous large pods, which are among the largest of any poppy we have grown. Highly sought after by flower farmers, high-end floral designers and home gardeners alike. Loads of seeds are stuffed into these big pods, making it a popular choice among bakers and heirloom chefs!
(P. somniferum) Extraterrestrial and out of this world! The Hen and Chicks poppy is highly coveted by fine florists who use the unusual seed heads in arrangements. Named for its unusual habit of forming small clusters of smaller seed pods in a halo shape around the main seed pod, like a momma hen and her chicks. The fresh flowers are gorgeous in their own right, with silky pink petals splashed with purple. As the petals fall, the strikingly unusual form of the seed pods is fully revealed! Plants stand 2.5 to 3 feet tall on long slender stems, excellent for cutting and drying. Annual that easily self sows.
(P. commutatum) Ladybird is a delightful domesticated version of a wildflower from the Caucasus, Turkey and Iran. Lipstick red poppy with black spots, these colorful blooms are reminiscent of ladybird beetle wings. A popular choice for maintained wildflower fields and patches and recipient of the prestigious R.H.S.’s Award of Garden merit. Gardeners have included the dainty Ladybird poppy in their garden designs for hundreds of years. Plants stand just 1-2 feet tall with 3-inch blooms; annual that self seeds.
(P. somniferum) A sweetheart pink pompom bloom that is 4 inches across. One of the earliest to bloom and produces loads of flowers and lots of lovely seed pods! The highly doubled, frilled heads make a wild statement in the landscape with their unusual form and stunning color. Plants stand 3-4 feet tall with misty blue-green ruffled foliage! A loud and eye-catching variety to use as a focal point in containers, beds and borders. Annual that readily reseeds. A favorite in our trials.
(P. somniferum) These massive scarlet blooms look positively majestic as they sway in the breeze atop wiry stems. The regal, highly ruffled heads reach an impressive 5 inches across, proudly set atop 2-3-foot stems. We adore this variety for landscape and floral design; the blooms are eye catching when planted en masse or used sparingly as a focal point.
A stunning gem plucked from one of the most beloved gardens in England. The pillowy soft, snow white petals of Sissinghurst White poppy originated in the famous “white garden” at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, England. All plants in this particular garden fall within the range of white, from cream colors to crisp snow white like this poppy. The color blocked planting makes for a breathtaking effect. Two-to-three-foot-tall plants have dust-blue foliage and pods and large blooms that dance in the breeze like clouds across the sky. The plant collection at Sissinghurst Gardens is internationally respected. This is a treasure that we are delighted to see reaching gardens across the globe! Annual poppy that readily self sows.