How to Grow Blue Poppies

Overview

The Himalayan blue poppy (Meconopsis betonicifolia), native to Tibet, is actually not a poppy at all. The perennial will grow up to 5 feet tall with large, deep blue blooms and hairy leaves. The Himalayan blue poppy thrives in cool, wet climates and will not tolerate temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit for long periods of time. Plant your blue poppies in early spring or late summer to allow the plants to take root before extreme summer or winter temperatures kick in.

Step 1

Choose a partially shady area of your garden to plant your blue poppies. The hotter your climate, the more shade your plants will require during the summer months. An ideal location will have morning sunlight and afternoon shade.

Step 2

Dig the soil to a depth of 12 inches. Incorporate 20 percent compost and 20 percent manure. Blue poppies feed deeply and will benefit from the extra soil nutrients. Add a few shovels of construction sand to your soil if it is dense and waterlogged.

Step 3

Dig a hole in the soil just larger than the root ball of your starter plant. Remove the plant and its entire root ball from its container, and center it in the hole so the top of the root ball is aligned with the surface of the soil. Fill in around the root ball with the removed soil. Blue poppies have shallow roots, so do not plant too deep.

Step 4

Water the soil thoroughly after transplanting. Check the soil during dry spells and water as necessary to keep it as moist as a wrung-out sponge.

Step 5

Place a 1- to 2-inch layer of mulch around the plant, leaving a 2-inch ring around the main stem. Mulching will help to hold moisture in the soil and regulate soil temperatures. Incorporate well-rotted manure into your mulch to keep the soil nutrient rich.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Manure
  • Sand
  • Starter plants
  • Mulch

References

  • The Meconopsis Group: Cultivation, Propagation
  • Poppies International: Himalayan Blue Poppy
Keywords: growing blue poppies, Himalayan blue poppies, planting blue poppies, grow blue poppies, grow Meconopsis betonicifolia

About this Author

Lydia Stephens began writing professionally in 2009. She has written online for Nile Guides, SheKnows.com and various other Web sites and has been published in "Stringing Magazine" and "Xiamen Wave." Stephens played competitive soccer for 19 years, has been weight lifting since 2007 and enjoys running, biking and sailing. She has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of Texas.