Poppies after Blooming

ocelaris(7a)August 13, 2010

Can anyone point me to some pictures of what Oriental Poppies (or icelandic) look like after they're done blooming? I heard they go dormant during the heat of the summer, and just wanted to see what they looked like as foliage when they die down. So many pictures with flowers, but for the rest of the summer what do they look like? Thanks, Bill

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Just for fun, I searched for any pictures of post blooming poppies under every key word combo I could think of - came up empty since the "going dormant" phase is not the plant's best feature.

You'll know this phase because it's ugly and you'll want to get out there with your clippers. Fairly shortly after blooming the foliage starts to flop, turn yellow then crispy brown. There's no saving it, no water, no fertilizer, etc. it's what they do. Cut them down because this dead foliage is not going to come back. The beauty is they start to regrow new foliage from the ground up by the end of the season.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 1:17PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

duluth's description is accurate. That is why my poppies are planted toward the back of the property and behind several "rows" of plants like yarrow and tall phlox and russian sage--all of which don't hit their stride until after the poppies are done blooming. So no one really sees the ugly remains of my poppies (or the blank empty spot after the ugly stuff is removed), unless they actually wade out into the middle of that bed and look behind the yarrow/phlox/sage.

I adore oriental poppies. Mine are pink.


    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 1:52PM
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arbo_retum(z5 ,WinchstrMA)

kate, we grew them 23 yrs ago, moist, v. happy for 5 yrs. then all gone; maybe got too boggy. i miss them so much and tried in other beds but none ever took. what do they like?
th much,

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 1:48PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Mindy, I planted my pink Oriental poppies so many years ago (maybe 15-20 years??) that I no longer remember exactly what I did, but since I was not a very experienced gardener back than, I assume I dug up the general area and added some admendments so that the drainage would be very good. (Poppies do not like to sit in water--summer or winter!)

I remember that it was rather difficult locating pink Oriental poppies and that the pink plants were a bit wimpier than the standard orange ones and it took them about 3 years to really settle in and grow with true vigor. In fact, now that I think of it, I lost one clump completely one of those first years. The other two clumps have not really spread, but at least they return strongly every year now.

With good drainage in winter, the only other thing I remember that was crucial was that Oriental poppies do not like hot, hot, hot weather--which unfortunately we have lots of in Kansas during July and August. During that time, on really hot days, I give the poppies a light drink--don't want them drying out. Other than that, there isn't much else I do for them. Mostly let them do their own thing.

Oh yes--sometimes I give them a light feeding (10-10-10) in early spring--but some years I forget to do that. They seem to do fine either way.

I do have a small green-wire "fence" around the area where the poppies bloom--so that I won't forget they are there in the middle of the summer when they are nothing but blank spaces!

I actually adore my pink Oriental poppies and they have proven relatively easy to grow.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 7:32PM
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