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How to Collect Poppy Seeds

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How to Collect Poppy Seeds

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Overview

Poppies are a bright flower with papery petals, and they come in a variety of colors, from pinks to oranges to reds, and grow to an average height of 3 feet tall. Poppies are a tender perennial flower, and there are times when they don't survive harsh winters and freezing temperatures. To be sure that your poppies will continue to flourish and bloom next year, you may want to collect the seeds from this year's poppy harvest.

Step 1

Let the seed head develop on the flower stalk. Once the poppy blooms and the petals drop off, a seed pod will develop where the center of the flower was. Allow the seed pod to swell, dry and turn brown.

Step 2

Cut the seed pods from the plant, leaving one inch of stem attached to the bottom of the pod.

Step 3

Place the poppy seed pods in a paper bag. Leave the bag open and set it in a warm, dry area. Allow the seeds to remain in the bag to dry for another week after picking them.

Step 4

Close the bag after one week, and vigorously shake the pods. This will empty them of most of the seeds, and will catch the seeds in the paper bag.

Step 5

Take the pods out of the bag, and notice that on top of the pods, right under the crown, there are tiny openings. Shake the pods to see if there are any seeds left in them. If you hear seeds rattling, then turn the pods upside down and shake any remaining seeds out of the pod.

Step 6

Pour the seeds out of the bag and into a coffee filter. Separate any debris from the seeds and put the dry, cleaned seeds into a paper envelope for storage. Store the envelope inside a dry, glass jar, or another air-tight container, in a cool area.

Tips and Warnings

  • If your seeds contain any moisture when they are put into storage, mold and disease can occur.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper bag
  • Paper envelopes
  • Jar or air-tight container
  • Coffee filter

References

  • Herbs2000: Oriental poppy
  • Wintersown: Seed saving FAQs: Poppy

Who Can Help

  • Texas A&M University: Poppy
Keywords: poppy seeds, saving poppy seeds, harvest poppy seeds

About this Author

A freelance writer for more than 12 years, Traci Vandermark has written extensively on health and fitness topics. She is a student of health, fitness and nutrition at the International Institute Of Holistic Healing, certified by the American Association of Nutritional Consultants. Her articles have appeared in Catskill Country Magazine, The Lookout Magazine, Capper's, Birds and Blooms and Country Discoveries, to name a few.