Oriental Poppy Seed Planting


Oriental poppies are some of the most eye-pleasing and desired perennial plants for gardeners to put in their landscaping design. With oriental poppies blooming large, soft flowers twice a year, they can make an attractive addition to nearly any garden. To start plants of your own you'll need to know about Oriental poppy seed planting and take the time to meet the conditions of cool darkness poppy seeds need to germinate successfully.

Step 1

Fill each pot with soil up to 1/4 inch from the top in late winter. Select an area of your home which stays relatively cool, about 55 degrees Fahrenheit, or set your seeds in a cold frame outside.

Step 2

Sprinkle a pinch of seeds into the center of each pot and leave uncovered. Spray a light mist of water over the seeds to moisten the soil under them without drenching the soil.

Step 3

Lay two to three sheets of newspaper over the pots to block out the light without pressing down on the soil. Check on your seeds every couple of days over the following two weeks to look for the seeds that have germinated.

Step 4

Remove the newspaper after you have poppy sprouts coming up from the soil and set your pots at a bright window which gets full sun. If using a cold frame, simply leave the pots where they are, but remove the newspaper.

Step 5

Water the seedlings as needed to keep the soil relatively moist. Don't thin the poppy seedlings, as you would for other plants, but allow them to grow undisturbed until they are ready for planting out.

Step 6

Transplant your seedlings once they are 4 inches tall to a full-sun area outside which drains well and doesn't hold standing water. Keep the root ball of your plants intact as best as possible since too much disturbance can stress your plant.

Step 7

Expect to see blooms in the spring followed by what may appear to be the plant dying back. In the fall, the poppy plants should bloom again as late summer flowers of other types of plants are fading.

Things You'll Need

  • Small seed pots
  • Seed starting mix
  • Cold frame, if available
  • Oriental poppy seeds
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Newspaper


  • "Success with Seeds"; Chris Wheeler and Valerie Wheeler; 2004
  • "Seed Sowing and Saving"; Carole B. Turner; 1998
Keywords: sowing poppy seeds, oriental poppy seeds, planting poppy seeds

About this Author

Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for WidescreenWarrior.com as a contributor and podcast co-host.