How to Grow Poppies in Canada

Grow Poppies in Canada
Grow Poppies in Canada (Image: Courtesy of Photobucket)

Growing poppies is an enjoyable gardening task that produces beautiful poppy flowers. In Canada, it is easy to grow and raise the delicate flowers, as the rich soil and average rainfall provide with a necessary environment and nutrients. The key is planting the poppies in early- to mid-spring season, and keeping the flowers moist but not too wet.

Things You'll Need

  • Poppies
  • Water
  • Garden space
  • Pesticide

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Pick an area in your garden or around your home in Canada that has properly drained soil, half shade and sun, and where the soil an stay moist and rich. Planting poppies on a slanted piece of land is an ideal area for them to grow. If the soil is not very rich in nutrients where you live, use some compost mixed in before planting the poppy seeds.

Use the garden spade to sift the soil in the flower bed to create a loose soil area that is about 3 inches deep. Sprinkle the poppy seeds directly onto the soil, distancing them from each other about 5 to 9 inches.

Sprinkle soil lightly over the poppy seeds, about a quarter of an inch deep, if even that. They do not have to be buried and can be barely covered. Remember to plant the poppy seeds in early to middle spring. They can even be planted in late winter if the snow is melting and the sun is warm.

Water every couple of days after planting. Since there is average rainfall in Canada, your job is to keep the soil moist, but not overly soaked. If you were growing the poppy seeds in the desert, you would be required to water them daily. Fertilizers are not needed while growing poppies in Canada, as there are usually enough nutrients in the Canadian soil. Pesticides are also rarely needed, but use them if pests and bugs start to irritate the poppy plants or eat them.

Watch for the poppy flowers to come up out of the soil. This usually takes about a week and a half to three weeks. If you wish to thin them out, remove every second poppy. Thinning them out will make the remaining poppies fill out more and become larger, but this is not necessary to produce beautiful poppies.

Harvest begins when the petals sprout, then last for about five days or so. Once the petals fall off, the only remaining part of the poppy is the stem and black seed pod at the end. Once these pods grow fat, they will begin to crack open. This is when you cut them off to harvest them. You can save the largest seeds for replanting, and keep the other seeds to use in cooking. The seeds can be added to butters, muffins, salads, sauces and cakes.

Replant the poppy seeds in late fall using the same methods as the first couple of steps. If you wish to wait until spring again you may do so.

Tips & Warnings

  • As poppies can be poisonous and used for drug purposes, check with your local authorities to make sure that they are legal to grow in your area.
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