Tips on oriental poppy from seed?

garystpaul(4)January 17, 2014

I've tried these many times over the years and usually get through the germination stage just fine. It's the transplanting and growing on that cause problems. I understand that poppies resent transplanting, but what's one to do?

At the moment I have a nine-cell pack of papaver bracteatum (not orientale but related), all nicely sprouted with from 2 to 8 seedlings per cell. Any advice on how to proceed from this stage?

Any help appreciated.


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bencjedi(6 - Central Kentucky)

I've had the best success going out in wintertime and generously sprinkling those tiny seeds randomly in the flower bed. That reminds me.. I have another variety of poppy seed and need to go out in the cold and spread them around. I tried in the house in cell packs and ran into the same problem as you. They are hard to transplant, so winter-sowing directly outside has proven (at least for me) the only successful way I have grown them. The seeds are so small that they don't even need covered. The action of precipitation gets them where they need to go.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 10:20PM
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Thank you, benecjedi. There's wisdom in what you write. I routinely sow seeds of opium and other annual poppies that way with good success, usually in late winter right on top of the snow. It didn't occur to me to try the perennial types that way as well; perhaps waiting for early spring.

In any case, I have to deal with the ones in my cell packs. If you or anyone has advice on that, I'm still paying attention.


    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 9:09AM
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Campanula UK Z8

I sow mine in 1litre pots (5inch), thinning the seedlings till I have one really good one, then just tip the pot into the planting hole, keeping the rootball intact.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 12:59PM
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I agree. One plant per pot gives as little root disturbance as possible. Plant out when still young.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2014 at 7:24PM
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Exactly what I'm going to try. Thank you very much.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 9:24AM
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SouthCountryGuy Zone 4b-5 SE BC(Zone 4b-5 SE BC Canada)

I grow lots of poppies and don't find them to be a problem if, as stated above, you thin to one in each pot and don't bother the root ball. So for the ones in your cell packs thin the seedlings to one in each pot. If you need to pot up just transplant the whole cell, as Campulana described.

I adore poppies, just wish the flowers would last a bit longer.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 12:09PM
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