How to Plant & Grow Poppy Seeds


Poppies are available in a range of colors, from pastels to brighter hues. This cool-season flower is available in annual and perennial varieties, though most of those grown in flower beds are perennial. Even annual varieties, such as the California poppy, readily self-sow themselves, offering the benefits of the perennial flowers. They bloom most profusely in spring and fall, and help add color to spring bulb beds. Planting poppies from seed is simple and allows access to many varieties and colors.

Step 1

Fill peat pots with a moist potting mixture. Use a fine-textured potting medium such as those sold for seed-starting.

Step 2

Sow two to three poppy seeds in each pot, placing them on the surface of the potting mix. Cover with 1/8 inch of moist potting mix.

Step 3

Place the pot in a plastic bag. Set the pots in a warm room to germinate, which takes approximately 7 to 14 days.

Step 4

Remove the bag once seedlings appear. Move the pots to a sunny window sill and water as necessary to keep the soil moist but not soggy.

Step 5

Transplant the poppies to the garden after all frost danger is past in spring. Choose a well-drained garden bed that receives full sunlight.

Step 6

Peel the top rim of the pot off. Dig a small hole with a shovel and plant the poppy and its pot so that the torn rim of the pot sits just beneath the soil surface. Space the poppies 12 inches apart in all directions.

Tips and Warnings

  • Poppies do not tolerate waterlogged soil. Water containers from the bottom to help prevent too much moisture.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat pots
  • Potting mix
  • Plastic bag
  • Shovel


  • Colorado State Extension: Year of the Poppy
  • Texas A&M University Extension: Poppy
Keywords: planting poppy seeds, growing poppies, sowing poppy seeds

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.