Shirley Poppy

Shirley Poppy - Garden Basics - Flower - Annual

(Papaver rhoeas)

These annual poppies are among the easiest flowers to grow. These delightfully scented flowers come in brilliant shades of yellow, pink, orange and sometimes red. The two to three inch flowers come in single, semi-double, and double forms. The petals look like crinkled silk.

Poppy seeds are very tiny -- it takes 200,000 to make an ounce. If you plan to broadcast them, they should be sown thinly, and this is sometimes easier if you mix the seeds with sand. In colder zones (3-7) sprinkle the seeds outdoors in late fall. They don't need to be covered. They will germinate in the spring when the ground thaws. Seeds can also be sown in the spring. In warmer zones, seeds will germinate in fall and you'll have blossoms in late winter.

For beds and borders, Shirley poppies should be spaced 8-12 inches apart. They prefer full sun and a light, well-drained soil that is not too fertile.

Shirley Poppies make excellent cut flowers. Cut them just before they open, and sear the bottom of the stems over an open flame.

  • Type
  • Propagation
  • Light
    full sun, full sun
  • Flower Color
    yellow, pink, orange, red
  • Bloom Time
    late winter to summer
  • Height
    1-1/2 to 2-1/2 feet
  • Width
    1 foot
  • Soil Requirements
    most well-drained soils
  • Zones
  • Uses
    cutting bed, border, wildflower meadows

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