How to Grow Poppies From Seed in Zone 7


Plants in the Papaveraceae family are commonly known as poppies. Gardeners value these plants for their abundant blooms of brightly colored flowers. The most well-known species of poppies, such as the red poppy, belong to the Papaver genus. Poppies are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 2 through 9, so poppies can easily reseed themselves in USDA zone 7. Gardeners typically grow poppies from seed.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden trowel
  • Limestone
  • Rake
  • Pruning shears
  • Select a planting site in full sun in USDA zone 7; poppies can also tolerate partial shade. Poppies grow best in sandy loam with good drainage, and tolerate other soil types except for heavy clay.

  • Loosen the soil with a garden trowel to a depth of several inches. Amend the soil with limestone, if necessary, to increase the soil pH to between 5.5 to 7.0.

  • Scatter the poppy seeds over the planting area in the spring after the last expected frost. Rake the seeds lightly into the soil to give them a high germination rate.

  • Water the poppy seeds only during prolonged dry periods, as these plants are drought-hardy. Poppy seeds should germinate within three weeks after planting and bloom within eight weeks after that.

  • Remove the weaker poppy plants as they grow to achieve a final spacing of 6 to 12 inches, depending on the cultivar. Prune the flower heads after they bloom to prevent excessive seeding.

Tips & Warnings

  • Purchase poppy seeds from a seed provider to ensure they are hardy in USDA zone 7. Many species of poppies are commercially available, and popular species of poppies frequently have multiple cultivars.

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