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.
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.
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.
Scatter poppy seeds on top of the soil; do not cover them. Keep the soil moist, not soggy, until the seeds germinate.
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.
Water to a depth of 6 inches when the soil dries.
Fertilize the poppy plant when it reaches 10 inches in height. Use an all-purpose liquid fertilizer at the rate suggested on the package.