How to Grow Golden Poppies in California


Growing golden poppies (Eschscholzia californica) in California is a bit like taking a sandwich to a banquet. The golden poppy, or California poppy, is the state flower and grows like a weed, especially in the Antelope Valley area. Golden poppy plants grow 2 to 24 inches tall and flower from February through September. On cloudy days and in the evening, the golden poppy’s flower closes. Drought and neglect tolerant, the golden poppy is one of the easiest plants to grow in a California garden.

Step 1

Rake the planting area in early spring, clearing it of weeds and debris.

Step 2

Scatter the poppy seeds over the soil.

Step 3

Water the area with a fine mist from a garden hose so that the seeds won’t wash away. Keep the area moist until the seeds germinate, usually within one week.

Step 4

Provide the poppies with water only during extreme drought conditions. Water the top 4 inches of soil and allow it to dry.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake
  • Hose


  • California State University Pomona: The Genus Eschscholzia
  • Texas A&M University: Poppy
  • University of California Cooperative Extension: The California Poppy
Keywords: grow golden poppies, grow California poppies, poppies in California

About this Author

Victoria Hunter has been a freelance writer since 2005, providing writing services to small businesses and large corporations worldwide. She writes for, GardenGuides and ProFlowers, among others. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English.