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Cold Stratifying Poppy Seeds

Posted by ali-b 6 (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 24, 10 at 0:30

The flower seed packages in the store were so enticing. I bought some poppy seeds and then recalled that they need chilling first before they'll germinate. I did some web research and found times varying from a few weeks to the entire winter for putting them on a damp paper towel inside a baggie and left in the fridge. Has anyone had experience with poppy seeds and what length of time will work? Thanks.


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RE: Cold Stratifying Poppy Seeds

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 24, 10 at 10:27

Which poppy? Annual or perennial...

Most annual types will germinate with no chill but do prefer a little cooler temps for germinating, around 60F.


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RE: Cold Stratifying Poppy Seeds

I planted shirley poppy seeds (annual) last spring and I had flowers from summer into fall. I never "chilled" them at all.


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RE: Cold Stratifying Poppy Seeds

Thanks for the info. They're Ferry-Morse brand, oriental coral reef and it says its perennial. So, I guess they need to be chilled. The package says to sow them several weeks before the last frost.


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RE: Cold Stratifying Poppy Seeds

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Wed, Mar 24, 10 at 17:28

Papaver orientale, Sow at 68F, germinates in less than two weeks - do not cover fine seed.

The 'sow x number of weeks before last frost' likely refers to indoors, in order to have them large enough to plant out before weather becomes too warm - not outside before last frost to give them a chill. No chill needed. The orientals tend to retreat into summer dormancy, then return when cooler Fall rains arrive.


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RE: Cold Stratifying Poppy Seeds

I appreciate the information. I've been trying to start everything indoors under lights. So, I'll give these a go. Now, the hard part is finding some space for them...


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RE: Cold Stratifying Poppy Seeds

I sowed a flower bed with a packet of Oriental Mix of Reds seeds outside in the Fall of 2008, and nothing came up at all the following spring of 2009. Having another packet of the same seeds, later that summer (2009), I sowed some of the seeds into a flower pot outside and they grew like crazy and I let the seeds ripen and fall into the pot. But nothing has happened with them so far this spring. Maybe it's still too cold yet.

As an experiment on March 7th 2010, I took a few of the remaining leftover seeds (still had some from last years packet) and put them in 4 pellet pots and put them under a grow light in my kitchen. On March 14th, I had sprouts! As of today they are small, but doing fine inside. I'm hoping they will bet big enough (1 set of true leaves) to be able to harden them off and plant them outside in 4-6 weeks.

I had no trouble with the shirley poppies, but the Oriental poppies seem to be fussier about their growing condtions. I hope this helps :))


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