Poppies are a showy flower, noted for their bright paper like petals. If the blooms are allowed to fade and drop from the plant naturally, a seed pod will form and eventually be filled with poppy seeds. Poppy seeds are harvested and saved for many reasons, from using them in baking and culinary dishes, to sharing the plant seeds with friends or spreading your poppy flowers into other areas of your yard next year. Whatever your reason, saving poppy seeds is a way to reap more from your plants than their beauty.
Leave the poppy flower on the stalk until it has finished blooming and the flower fades. After the petals drop off, where the flower once was you will see a seed pod developing.
Allow the seed pods to dry out and turn brown. At the top of the pod will be a round cap that is referred to as a crown. Just under this crown, and above the round pod, you will see small openings develop. The pod should remain on the stem until the openings develop around the crown.
Snip the dried pods off the stem about 1 inch down from the base of the pod, and drop the pods into a paper bag as you harvest them.
Lay out a paper plate on a counter top in a warm, dry area. Set the seed pods on the paper plate and allow them to dry for another week.
Pick up the pods, turn them upside down, and shake them over top of the paper plate. The seeds will fall out of the opening like salt from a shaker.
Place the seeds in a paper envelope, and store the envelope in a cool, dry area.