How to Grow Shirley Poppies in Zone 6b/7 – Growing Notes

Hi Lovelies!

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I’m back again with more growing notes! As always, what works in my garden might be very different from what works in your garden. I’ve finally had success after trying to grow shirley poppies after three growing seasons! Now, I just want to share what I’ve learned! I’d absolutely love to hear about your experiences down in the comments!

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NAME: Shirley Poppy (also known as field poppy, corn poppy, and papaver rhoeas)

Many ornamentals and cut flowers are TOXIC. Always do your research and be responsible any time you add something new to the garden. Be aware of what you’re growing around kids, pets, and everyone you love. Use common sense, always wear gloves, wash hands, don’t touch your eyes, etc.

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HOW: Easy to direct sow. Easy to germinate using the winter sowing method, however, does not seem to transplant well. Prefers cool temperatures.

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WHEN: In my garden, the best results come from seeds that were direct sown in fall (at the end of September). The seeds germinate and seedlings survive the winter. In my climate, I lose some seedlings to the cold, but overall survival is very consistent. I’m sure this will vary depending upon how cold and harsh your winter is. My seedlings survived a few nights down to 8F, with some damage – but were able to recover. They were also briefly covered in snow.  By spring, the plants resumed growing and started to bloom in May.

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Many seed packages seem to suggest planting as soon as soil can be worked in the spring. I’ve personally never had success with this. Plants and resulting flowers were very small.  Since my weather get hot so quickly, my only guess is that the plants don’t have enough time to establish themselves before flowering.

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