Oriental poppy in bloom.
image by Panterka: Wiki Commons
Oriental poppies originated in Turkey and can be found growing naturally throughout Asia. They are lovely with a variety of multicolor blooms, from orange and purple to white and pink. Oriental poppies are perennial, although the flowers will only bloom for a short amount of time near the beginning of summer, before they die back. However, the short-lived blooms are worth the splash of color they give any home garden. Hardy from zones two to nine, oriental poppies can be grown in a wide variety of climates.
Choose a location with full sun and well-drained, neutral soil to plant your oriental poppies. If your soil is too acidic, add lime to neutralize it. Plant the poppies under 2 to 3 inches of top soil.
Plant the oriental poppies in spring after the last frost. Dig a hole 10 to 12 inches deep and 3 to 4 inches in diameter. Place the oriental poppies in the hole and cover with soil. Pat the soil down firmly. Plant each oriental poppy about 6 to 8 inches apart. Apply compost or manure around the base of each plant.
Water your oriental poppies regularly as they get established. Water once a week for three to five minutes each watering. Water once a month for five minutes each watering when plants are dormant.
Trim back dead stalks in the late winter, after the seed pods are empty. The rest of the plant should remain green, unless it freezes.
Fertilize your oriental poppies in the early spring by applying a layer of compost or manure around the base of the flowers before the grow back.