Growing California Poppies

Category Flowers
These drought tolerant poppies grow well in poor soil and should be watered only moderately. This page is about growing California poppies.
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February 15, 2006

Botanical Name:

Eschscholizia californica

Life Cycle:

annual (self-sowing perennial)

Planting Time:

sow seeds in early spring several weeks before your last frost date or in late summer in warmer climates for fall and early spring color

Height:

1' to 3'

Exposure:

full sun

Soil:

average to rich, well-drained soil

Hardiness:

zones 6 to 10

Bloom Time:

late spring to early summer

Flower:

yellow, gold, scarlet, red, bright orange, white and cream; singe, semi-double and double flowers also available

Foliage:

green,

Propagation:

seeds, self-sowing

Suggested Use:

beds, wild flower meadows

Growing Hints:

Sow seeds directly in soil 1" apart and barely cover them with soil (1/8"). Keep them evenly moist until sprouts appear. In general, poppies do not transplant well and do not like to be disturbed once planted. Once they spread, divide them every five years or so. Dig them up (getting as many roots as possible) in late summer or early fall (just as new leaves appear). Replant only the most vigorous roots.
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Interesting Facts:

California Poppies grow well in poor soil. Too much fertilizer will result in poor flowering. They are drought tolerant and should be watered only moderately unless grown in arid climates. Encourage re-seeding by leaving spent flowers and dying foliage in the garden for several weeks.
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