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Propagating Oriental Poppies

By Jennifer Loucks ; Updated September 21, 2017

The Oriental poppy is a perennial flowering plant that produces an orange-red colored bloom that measures five to nine inches across. The plant blooms during May and June and reaches a height of two to four feet. Seed pods are produced once the flowering period is complete and can be easily gathered for use in propagating new plants. The poppy foliage has a fuzzy texture and will die away after flowering.

Gather poppy seeds immediately after the pods have ripened and before they open. Cut the pods off the plants, open the pod and spread the seeds on a flat surface to dry fully. Store the seeds in a paper envelope until ready to sow.

Sow the poppy seeds outdoors in a cold frame either in the fall or in late winter before the spring warming. The seeds propagate with the assistance of the spring frost.

Apply a thin layer of soil to lightly cover the seeds. Water the seeds lightly once the weather begins to warm up. Keep the soil moist, but not wet.

Transplant the plants once the seeds begin to grow spouts. Plant the spouts in three-inch pots and continue growing the plants outdoors. Water the shoots to keep the soil moist but not wet.

Transplant the poppy plants into the flower bed once they reach a minimum height of 4 inches. Plant the poppies in a location that has full sun conditions and a nutrient rich soil that is well draining.

Place mulch around the poppy plant making sure to leave a one-inch gap between the mulch and stem.


Things You Will Need

  • Poppy seeds
  • Hand clipper
  • Cold frame
  • 3 inch pots
  • Water
  • Shovel
  • Mulch


  • Seed pods are ripe when the pod turns papery in texture and brown in color.
  • Sow poppy seeds indoor in individual pots at least seven to eight weeks prior to the preferred outside planting date.
  • Do not remove spent blooms if you want to collect seeds for propagation.

About the Author


Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.