How to Grow Poppies in Your Garden

Poppies are beautiful and are very apt given the recent event of Armistice day. They will brighten any garden, and can serve as a year-round reminder of those who fought for our country. They come in a number of varieties, but one thing they all have in common is that they are simple to grow yourself .This article will answer any questions you might have when it comes to growing the different types of these wonderful flowers in your garden.

Which Poppies Grow Well in Moist, Shaded Areas?

The great thing about poppies is their versatility. Certain varieties are able to thrive in even moist, shaded and acidic areas. In fact, blue poppies, such as Meconopsis betonicifolia, actually grow best in such environments. Meconopsis cambrica also grow well in damp and shady areas, if you would prefer a flower that isn’t blue. These flowers will also provide you with joy for a long time: they bloom from early spring right through until the first frosts, waning only when the weather becomes hot and dry. Simply remove the first petals when they have died, and the plant will begin flowering again.

How to Keep Poppies Flowering in Wild Flower Meadows

The problem with the traditional red, remembrance poppies (Papaver rhoeas) is that the annual seed will only germinate in a soil that has been disturbed. This means that you must cultivate the soil in which you sow the seeds in order to see the beautiful flowers. Obviously, it may not be easy to cultivate the entirety of the meadow, so you could simply dedicate a band or small area of the meadow that you will cultivate, and sow poppy seeds here every autumn.

Which Poppies are Good for Adding Interest to Boring Borders?

Californian poppies (elsholtzia), notably Elsholtzia californica are easy to grow in most varieties of soils, and they come in almost any colour you could want (except blue) which means that they are great for adding interest to any part of your garden that is looking a little lack lustre. Provided that you sow their seeds in autumn, they will flower any time between late spring and early summer, beating their competitors when it comes to endurance of the warmer weather. Regularly deadheading the flowers will mean that you can make the most out of them and prolong the flowering period.

Alternatively, you could choose Papaver ruprifragrum and Glaucium flavum which are also brightly coloured varieties of the flower that can inject some brightness into a boring border or plan driveway.

How Do I Prevent Oriental Poppies from Discolouring?

Oriental poppies, such as ‘Pattie’s Plum’ can have the problem of discoloration. In fact, their mesmerising mauve colour can turn a disappointing brown within a matter of hours of being in the sun, losing their petals shortly after. Unfortunately, there is little you can do to prevent this discoloration altogether, but keeping them in a shaded spot will definitely help. If you are worried about having to deal with this discoloration, perhaps opt for the summer poppy, ‘Medallion’ that fades into a pretty dusky pink instead.

One thing is sure: there is such a variety of poppies that there is sure to be one for everyone.