How to Winterize Celandine Poppy
image by Brian (aka treehugger_007)/Flickr.com
Celandine poppy--also called wood poppy or Stylophorum diphyllum--is a perennial that grows to 18 inches in height, has basal leaves and a stem with clusters of flowers on the end. The stem is hairy and has two opposite leaves that are 6 inches long. The flowers bloom in partial to full shade, repeatedly from late winter through the summer. While celandine poppy may not need as much attention as other perennials, it will still benefit from winterization.
Buy mulch such as leaves, hay or straw from a garden store, farm or nursery. Hay includes leaves and grasses whereas straw is comprised of the stems of oat and wheat plants.
Apply mulch late in the fall. It's best to allow the ground to get cold first, so aim for early to mid-November before covering celandine poppy.
Wait until there is an inch or two of frost on the ground before mulching, if possible. Adding mulch will protect the crowns of the poppy from the alternate freezing and thawing that is common very late in the autumn and early in the spring.
Spread out the mulch across the planting bed so there is a 4- to 6-inch layer around all the plants. Concentrate even more around the crowns of the perennials, if desired.
Keep Celandine poppy well watered until the ground freezes. It needs a good amount of moisture. Feel the soil and if it is dry an inch or two below the surface, give the garden a thorough soaking.