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About Perennial Poppies: Every perennial gardener knows that absolutely nothing makes the spectacle of bloom that is made every year by the big perennial poppies. With crepe-like flowers up to 8 or even 10" across, "oriental poppies" make the biggest show of the year in perennial gardens everywhere. The basic common one is always orange, but today, hybrids of all kinds of shades are available.
Growing Poppies: First of all, there are only a few types of poppies of interest to gardeners and the types are sometimes confused. Here they are:
"Oriental Poppies" These are the Perennial Poppies shown on this page. They're called "oriental" since the botanical name is "Papaver orientale" Papaver is the name for the poppy genus, and this species---the garden perennial, is Papaver orientale.
"Red Poppies" are the much smaller bright red and pink annuals, a very famous wildflower in Europe and the Middle East. The Latin name is Papaver rhoeas. We sell seed for that easy-to-grow poppy in our Wildflower Seed Encyclopedia on this website. In fact, Red Poppy is always our No. 1 best-selling wildflower seed.
"Opium Poppies" These are the famous ones from which opium, heroin, and other drugs are made. They are also the poppies that produce the seeds used in baking--your next "poppy seed bun" will feature them! The opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) is an annual, and has flowers as large as the perennial. They are rarely grown in the US, for obvious reasons.
For Perennial Gardens: Back to the poppies at hand--the beautiful perennial versions. They all grow about 2 to 3 ft. tall, bloom in late spring, feature bristly foliage, and die down after blooming. During their spectacular bloom, they produce huge 4-petaled flowers which open wide, mostly with dramatic black centers. Best of all, once once established, Perennial Poppies or Oriental Poppies are some of the longest-lasting, hardiest perennials you can grow. In fact, I have seen old abandoned gardens totally overgrown by weeds and grasses, and there in the middle of it all, the only flower plant usually left is an oriental poppy still blooming beautifully. They are tough enough to ward off almost anything once they're growing well.
The roots are fleshy, somewhat like a daylily's, and once they're planted, they don't like to be moved. So choose your spots well. They like full sun, and make wonderful show-pieces for the front of your border.
One thing to remember. Unlike other perennials, after their fabulous bloom, the whole plant dies down, sort of like a tulip or daffodil. This means you're going to have open spaces during midsummer in those spots in your garden. A great way to fill in the spaces once your poppies are gone is to have some annuals waiting to pop in. Move in petunias or marigolds, or any other sunloving annual, and it'll fill the spaces, and add color for you the rest of the season. The following spring, your poppy plants will be back up stronger than ever, with big leaves and fat buds just waiting to open into your favorite flowers.
|Common Name||Oriental Poppy|
|Botanical Name||Papaver orientale|
|Zones||3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9|
|Light Requirements||Full Sun|
|Flower Color||Orange, White|
|Mature Height||24-30" tall|
|Estimated Mature Spread||12-24" wide|
|Bloom Time||Late spring to mid summer|
|Planting Depth||Plant so that the top of the root is 1" below the soil line.|
|Ships As||Bare Root|
|Soil Type||Loamy Soil, Drought/Dry Soil|
|Soil Moisture||Dry, Average, Well Draining|
|Advantages||Deer Resistant, Cut Flowers|
|Ships to Canada||No|
Shipping begins in September based on ground temperatures, coldest zones first.
As soon as your order is placed you will receive a confirmation email. You will receive a second email the day your order ships telling you how it has been sent. Fall bulbs are shipped at the proper planting time for your hardiness zone. Perennial orders may arrive separately from bulbs and seeds. If your order requires more than one shipment, there is no additional shipping charge. See our shipping information page for approximate ship dates and more detailed information. If you need express shipping or have any questions, please call Customer Service toll-free at (877) 309-7333 or contact us by email.View Shipping Rate Chart
To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.
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