How to Grow a Poppy


Varieties of poppies grow all over the world in many different conditions. In fact, poppies grow as wild flowers in many areas, from California to Asia. Poppy flowers come in a large range of colors, from bright orange, to yellow, red and even bright blue. Since they are so prevalent all over the world, there is a poppy that will grow in nearly any climate conditions. Growing poppies in your garden is simple, as most poppies are somewhat drought resistant and need little fuss.

Step 1

Choose a variety of poppy flower that will grow in your USDA zone. Oriental poppies grow well in zones 2 to 10, while the Himalayan blue poppy needs very specific growing conditions . Choose a poppy that can handle all the weather extremes of your climate and it should grow well.

Step 2

Choose a place to plant your poppy flower. Most poppy flowers need full sun to partial shade and well drained soil.

Step 3

Prepare your soil for the poppy. Add 3 to 4 inches of compost or manure to the soil and work it in to a depth of 4 to 5 inches to improve drainage and the richness of the soil.

Step 4

Dig a hole for the poppy flower as deep as the poppy flower's root ball and 2 times as wide. Place the poppy flower in the hole and fill it with soil. Pat the soil down firmly. Water the poppy flower until the soil is moist.

Step 5

Water the poppy flower only during times of drought, unless it is a variety that needs more water, such as the Himalayan blue poppy. Water the poppy until the soil is moist.

Step 6

Fertilize the poppy once a month with water soluble plant food, such as Miracle Gro.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not deadhead poppy flowers if you want to keep their seedpods or winter interest or harvest their seeds.

Things You'll Need

  • Well drained soil
  • Manure or compost
  • Full sun to partial shade
  • Spade


  • Garden Hobbies: How to Grow Poppies
  • Universtiy of Illinois: The Himalayan Blue Poppy, Meconopsis 'Lingholm'

Who Can Help

  • Gardener's Net: How to Grow Poppy Flower Plants
Keywords: growing poppies, poppy flowers, poppy

About this Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer for many online publications including Garden Guides and eHow. She is also a contributing editor for Brighthub. She has been writing freelance for over a year and her focus' are travel, gardening, sewing, and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Hollan taught English in Japan. She has a B.A. in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.