Oriental poppies (Papaver orientale) are extremely hardy plants that grow as perennials in USDA plant zones 1 to 6 and as annuals in warmer zones. Oriental poppies grow to be 3 feet in height and have flowers that are about 6 inches wide, which bloom in the spring or early summer. Oriental poppies need full sun--or about eight hours of sunlight--and are easiest planted from container plants in the spring after the last frost and the ground is workable.
Turn over the top 12 to 15 inches of soil and incorporate about 2 inches of composted manure, garden compost, peat or another organic material. This gives the soil better drainage, which oriental poppies require.
Dig holes that are the same depth as the plant's container, but twice as wide. Space plants about 2 to 3 feet apart.
Take the plants out of their containers and set the plants in the holes. Fill back the holes with soil and pack it down to help eliminate air pockets.
Water the oriental poppies with about 3 to 4 inches of water after planting. Oriental poppy roots can be 12 inches long, which is a long way for water to reach. Water only as fast as the soil absorbs it.