How to Grow Poppy Plants


Poppies, a member of the Papaveraceae family, are flowering plants that grow to 18 inches in height and bloom in an array of colors. The flowers are short-lived but add a pop of vibrant color to the garden when in bloom. Poppies are hardy to USDA zones 2 to 10, depending on the species. Sow the seeds outdoors in the fall or winter.

Step 1

Choose a location to plant the poppy seeds. Northern gardeners can plant the seeds in full sun. In warmer, dryer regions, give the poppy some afternoon shade.

Step 2

Add a 3-inch layer of sand to the planting area and use a shovel or gardening fork to mix it to a depth of 8 inches.

Step 3

Scatter poppy seeds on top of the soil; do not cover them. Keep the soil moist, not soggy, until the seeds germinate.

Step 4

Thin the plants to 6 inches apart when they have their third set of leaves. To do this, pull the weakest-looking seedlings from the soil and dispose of them.

Step 5

Water to a depth of 6 inches when the soil dries.

Step 6

Fertilize the poppy plant when it reaches 10 inches in height. Use an all-purpose liquid fertilizer at the rate suggested on the package.

Things You'll Need

  • Sand
  • Fertilizer
  • Scissors


  • University of Idaho Extension: Poppy
  • Wayside Gardens: Planting, Growing and Caring For Poppies
  • ‭"‬California Master Gardener Handbook";‭ ‬Dennis R.‭ ‬Pittenger‭; ‬2002
Keywords: grow poppy plants, growing poppies, plant poppy seeds

About this Author

Victoria Hunter has been a freelance writer since 2005, specializing in gardening-related topics and the real estate industry. She is a former broadcaster and real estate agent who has provided audio and written services to small businesses and large corporations worldwide. She writes for, GardenGuides and ProFlowers, among others. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.