My Garden Nemesis | How to Grow Poppies

This might not mean much to you.
It is just one flower, kind of a dinky flower with only a few petals.
Of normal coloring, shape and diminutive size, you could just brush it off as a wildflower.
But to me, this tiny little flower, the common perennial poppy in its first year...this is a blazing sign of success.

You see, along with ranunculus, the poppy has been that one flower that remained determined not to grow for me.
All the books just rubbed it in by talking about how easy it it to grow happy they are to grow anywhere...
"Just scatter the seeds on the snow in winter and they'll grow so well, you'll have TOO many poppies!"

I tried over and over and over again.  On the snow, in pots, in the ground, in piles of peat.
California Poppies, Oriental Poppies, yes even Opium Poppies.  
White Linen, Lauren's Grape, Breadseed, Common Flanders Poppies and Cheap Mixes of raucous colors.
...and if you know me at all you know buying a mix of raucous colors means I'm at my most desperate...

Year after year I tried and nada.  
Finally, after a combination of three sowings in the same bed in soil and in piles of peat....I have poppies!  
...and not just the furry stemmed kind above...I have this kind below as well!    I HAVE POPPIES!

Now if only I could grow ranunculus...

So what is your garden nemesis?


Well, your poppy looks great! Maybe it's just the seed thing - I always buy the wildflowers mix and never get anything like what the picture shows!
Victoria said…
Love it that you have finally been able to grow poppies. I'll never give up either, so maybe by next year. I even see them growing in a crack by the curb across the street.
Victoria said…
I love your poppies. I'll never give up. So, next year I'll try again. I even see them grow in a crack in the curb across the street.
Quilter422 said…
it looks great! i haven't tried them yet. my nemesis is the simple gerber daisy. i buy them with buds and a few open flowers, plant, and once the buds and existing flowers are done they never flower again. the leaves flourish, but nary a flower. i've tried carefully prepped beds, planter boxes, and individual pots to no joy.
If it makes you feel better I have trouble growing poppies as well. My Mom has hoards of them. I consider myself a decent gardener but those poppies elude me.

My garden nemesis is the sweet pea. They are another common flower that most people have no trouble growing. I however, have no luck with them :(

It seems that the simplest of flowers are the hardest for me to grow ;D
sweet peas and gerber daisies join the ranks, eh?? I haven't had problems with middle kiddo picks out a gerber daisy every mothers day...same salmon pink every year (weird I KNOW!), so now I have 3 :) Sweet peas I grow from seed...try is the "original" sweet pea and handles the heat much better than newer varieties... but now Im just annoying y'all by saying how easy they are, right?? I'm with you...the easiest plants are so the hardest...
Red Rose said…
I didn't have any problems planting poppies...guess it's a seed thing...or a soil thing...keep up the great work and congrats on the wonderful garden
Tabby Bear said…
I just want to ask if poppies can change it color just by watering them with colored water? Because I just read a blog about that. Is that really possible?