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Growing Oriental Poppies

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 858 Posts
May 8, 2006
Closeup of red poppies.

Botanical Name:

Papaver orientale

Life Cycle:

annual or perennial

Planting Time:

spring or summer

Height:

up to 3'

Exposure:

full sun
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Soil:

average to rich, evenly moist, well-drained soil

Hardiness:

zones 2-8

Bloom Time:

late summer to fall

Flower:

orange to pink with dark brown to black centers; petals like crinkled paper

Foliage:

green

Propagation:

seeds

Suggested Use:

beds, fillers, borders and mass plantings

Growing Hints:

To be certain you get the color you prefer, unlike other poppies, it's best to buy Oriental poppies from nurseries. Plants will spread some, but prefer not to be disturbed. Divide them in the fall every 4 to 5 years if necessary. Dig deep to get as many of the roots as possible and discard the less vigorous parts of the clumps.

Interesting Facts:

Over the years, Oriental poppies have grown in popularity due in part to Georgia O' Keefe's 1928 painting entitled, "Oriental Poppies," in which she painted the flowers large and outside of the normal perspective with the hopes that people would view them with fresh eyes.'
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June 26, 2009

These poppies are the biggest I have ever seen. The blossoms are 6 inches across. I don't know why they are so big this year.

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They have always been a normal size. The weather has been colder than usual, so maybe it has something to do with that.

Red Poppies

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July 5, 2011

Of all the poppies in my gardens, these salmon-colored ones are my favorite. The seeds were given to me many years ago, by an elderly friend who is no longer living.

Pretty pink poppy in a garden

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