How to propagate Poppies

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How to propagate Poppies

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Poppies comes is a variety of different types. Their scientific name is Papaveraceae, ranging from the golden California poppy to the more common Oriental poppies in red, orange, pink and white with papery petals emerging from large hairy pods. Plant all types of poppies where they get at least six hours of sun per day or where they will have light shade midday in hot climates.


Step One

Starting Seeds Indoors - Seeds need light and at least 55 degree Fahrenheit temperatures to germinate in 10 to 15 days. Poppies dislike being disturbed, so use pots that go directly in the ground and dissolve. Start seeds six to eight weeks before the season's last frost. Fill pots with potting soil and moisten. Seeds are very tiny and hard to see and handle. To make it easier, mix a handful of horticultural sand with them and put the mixture on a piece of white paper that is creased down the middle. The seeds are dark colored and easy to see. Sprinkle pots with several seeds, sprinkle a light layer of soil over the top and mist with water in a spray bottle. Cover the pot with a plastic bag and seal, but remove when seeds sprout. Put pots in a sunny window or under grow lights. Keep them moist and thin to one seedling per pot once seedlings grow an inch high. Water by placing the whole pot in a saucer of water.


Step Two

Starting Seeds Outdoors - Seeds grow from direct seeding in the garden. In cold regions, prepare soil as soon as it is unfrozen enough to work. In warm climates, sow seed outdoors in prepared beds during the fall. Poppies will start to grow in spring. Dig several inches of compost into the well-drained area prior to planting. Mix seeds in 3 parts sand to 1 part seed to make them easy to see. Scatter seeds on the soil and cover with a thin coating of fine soil. Sprinkle with water, being careful not to wash away the seed. Once they sprout, thin them 6 to 10 inches apart, recommends Colorado State University.


Step Three

Division- Poppies don't like to be transplanted. They tend to wilt and might not bloom if divided in the spring. They usually come back the following year, however. It is better to divide in the fall so the plant revives over the winter. Carefully dig up a clump and separate roots by pulling apart. Transplant 6 to 10 inches apart and water well for a few weeks.


Step Four

Root Cuttings - Take a cutting of poppy roots and separate into 2-inch pieces. Fill pots with 1 part soil and 3 parts sand. Place one end of a cutting into the soil in the pot or lay the cutting on its side horizontally, then push it into the soil. Cover with plastic and keep the cuttings moist until growth is observed. Remove the plastic and let the cuttings grow until they can be safely planted in the garden.


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