Growing Poppies Indoors


A variety of poppies are grown in home gardens, including the Iceland and California poppy. The delicate, cup-shaped flowers of the poppy add color to containers, borders and beds in the landscape. Available in both annual and perennial varieties, poppies require full sun and warm weather to bloom profusely. Grow the poppy seeds indoors six to eight weeks before the last spring frost for later transplanting outside. Poppy roots do not tolerate disturbance well, so they must be grown properly to survive transplanting.

Step 1

Fill peat seed pots with a moist potting mix. Use peat pots as they can be planted directly in the garden or container with no disturbance to the poppy's roots.

Step 2

Mix poppy seeds with an equal amount of sand to avoid over-seeding, as poppy seeds are quite small. Sprinkle a pinch of the seed and sand mixture into each pot, then cover with a 1/4-inch layer of vermiculite.

Step 3

Mist the surface of the potting mix with water to moisten. Cover the pot with a plastic bag and place in a 60 to 65 Fahrenheit room to germinate.

Step 4

Remove the bag once seeds have germinated, approximately seven to 14 days after sowing. Move the plants to a sunny windowsill or place them under artificial grow lights for 10 to 12 hours a day. Water as needed to keep the soil moist but not soggy.

Step 5

Thin each pot to one poppy seedling once the plants are 1 inch tall. Pinch off the weaker or smaller seedlings at the soil level and leave the strongest seedling in the pot.

Step 6

Transplant the seedlings outside to the garden bed or to an outdoor or indoor permanent pot after frost danger is past. Tear off the top rim of the peat pot, then dig a hole on the soil to the same depth as the peat pot. Set the pot inside so the poppy plant is planted at the same depth it is in its pot. The peat pot biodegrades in the soil once planted.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat pots
  • Potting mix
  • Vermiculite
  • Sand
  • Plastic bag


  • Colorado State Extension: The Year of the Poppy
  • Michigan State University Extension: Starting Seeds Indoors
Keywords: growing poppies indoors, planting poppy seeds, seed starting

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.