I’ve been part of the “Poppy Scene” for close to 20 years now. It makes me laugh when I hear people still talking about the so-called, deadly; “NORMAN STRAIN”. I’m NOT Denying it exists. But it’s NEVER been released to a Single public hand outside the secure facilities of: “Tasmanian ALkaloids“
This is a Strain of Tasmanian Poppy that was developed by a Company called “Tasmanian Alkaloids” in Tasmania, Australia. They are believed to contain High levels of Thebaine (which is one of the THREE MAIN Alkaloids in ALL Poppies), and is used to synthesize Opioids such as Oxycodone, Buprenorphine, Oxymorphone, etc.)
- THE FIRST MIS-CONCEPTION: People read about “Thebaine” on Wiki or wherever, and they see that it’s labeled as the “MOST POISONOUS OPIATE ALKALOID” (since it’s the strongest), but what they’re not understanding, is that Morphine & Codeine are ALSO “Poisons” (as are ALL drugs). If you didn’t know that, please go do some research. One reason why the same isn’t said about Morphine (or other Drugs), is because once it’s Defined as a “Stand-Alone Substance”, such as Morphine or Codeine, rather than a Compound or additive, it then can be Marketed as a “Medicine”, thence allowing for the removal of any “MR. YUCK” Stickers from it’s “Poison” Label. But Thebaine still remains to be a ‘Partial”, in the synthetic process. So, I can only imagine this is where people get these crazy, un-educated, web-Rumors. If there REALLY was a “Poisonous NORMAN Strain”, WHY DON’T YOU HEAR ABOUT PEOPLE GETTING SICK, OR DYING FROM THEBAINE Poppy Tea?? Huh? Anyone? Bueller?
Sure, Thebaine is 10x stronger than Morphine (by weight), but there’s only between 0.2% and 1.5% percent of it in raw opium (compared to the 20% to 40% of Morphine’s Content). Thebaine still binds to Opiate receptors, but unlike Morphine & Codeine, it’s a Stimulant. So as a WORST CASE SCENARIO, your Poppy Tea might feel more like Poppy Coffee. Otherwise, it’s nothing we should even be talking about. WHY? It’s Seed is impossible to obtain.
- THE 2ND MISCONCEPTION: I have PERSONALLY dealt with Tasmanian Alkaloids many times (I used to be part of their Grower’s Co-op back when they still had that program – which is why I’ve continued to breed their Seeds).
And although this “High Thebaine Producer DOES exist, they have NEVER released a single SEEED to the Public (which they announced on their Website a few years back). and if you think about it, it kinda makes sense. WHY would a Company spend several years & Millions of Dollars modifying, and applying Patent after Patent on something, only to release it to the Public? Moreover, their Competition. Such as ‘GlaxoSmithKline‘, (J&J), etc.
- MY EDUCATED GUESS BASED on the FACTS above??
I always like to quote a favorite Judge of mine, Judge Judy, who says: “Most often, the Truth, makes sense. If it doesn’t make sense, it’s probably not the Truth“.
04/16/2017 @ 6:25 am
How to treat gray powdery mold on poppy leaves? I purchased some afghan izmir seeds from OB. I’m located in (zone 7 I believe, South Carolina) planted in Oct’ 16, finally saw some action on Dec and now inApril’ 17 gang busters! These things are growing (still cabbage) but at a height of 2’+. NOW unfortunately I’m starting to see small gray mold on the leaves. Can I cut this away? Can I treat? Thanks for input. Hate to come this far and lose them now.
Thanks in advance,
05/10/2017 @ 4:46 pm
Did you take any Pics? I’ve never lost a Plant to mold or diseases until just now actually.
So I’d be curious to know what it is.
There are several products u can buy at your Local Nursery or hardware store that combat Powdery Mildew.
If you took pics, upload to any public Image Share site (imgur, giphy, photobucket, flickr) and paste Image URL in your Comment.
06/25/2017 @ 1:43 pm
Pardon if this is asked and answered, and if so I would greatly appreciate direction to the post:
Assuming buds have been bagged before opening, how long should pods remain bagged after the pedals have dropped in order to ensure no cross pollination? Must the bags stay on until the pods turn brown or can they be removed soon (days, weeks?) after the pedals have dropped without worry of a hybrid seed?
06/27/2017 @ 10:09 am
Only while the Petals are on, are they at risk of cross-pollination.
As soon as the Petals fall, they should already be self Pollinated.
I use a ‘Timed-Staggering’ Planting Method where each Variety of Poppy is Planted a couple weeks apart from the next.
That way, once they flower, only one type of Poppy is “Flowering” at a time.
06/27/2017 @ 11:48 am
Awesome, thanks! Great tip on staggering the planting.
08/27/2017 @ 7:10 am
FOR “FALL PLANTING”:
You want them to be entering their cabbage stage once the rains return and the grass stops growing.
So, make sure you add your nutrients to your soil before you put them in the ground.
I seem to get better results whenever I plant them outside (even if in Peat Pellets).
Just be sure to get them into deeper soil within days of them sprouting in the Peat pellet (which only serve as a medium to germinate & separate the ones that sprout).
Because if they feel their tap root blocked in any way, they’re done.
If it’s too hot now. Then wait until Early Fall and try planting as the weather cools.
They will continue growing into a cabbage even after the grass stops growing.
If your Winters involve Snow, they’ll die if snow sits on them.
Or if u get one of those cold streaks, where it’s sunny, yet 20 degrees, then be sure to protect them. .
There are several ways. You just need to cover them with a plastic container, or material, and water them with hot water.
Also, fill some plastic bottles up w/ hot water or oil, and lay them down around the base.
Or anything to keep their Cells from freezing solid.
Main priority is to keep it’s soil temp up.
Otherwise, if u have a mild winter such as ones that dont dump a bunch of snow, the only thing to lookout for is those cold streaks.
Try staggering your planting by planting a few each week in the Fall to find out what time is best in your area.
Like I say I the tutorial, “don’t put all your seeds into one basket”
https://OrganicalBotanicals.com/tutorial-how-to-grow-somniferum-poppies/ (try to view Desktop Version – also skim through my answers to the 165+ User Comments/Questions at the bottom of that Page since those replies comprise of much more specific, detailed answers- whereas the Tutorial is more of a “General Composition”)
05/29/2018 @ 10:47 am
I’m waiting now for some PERSIAN BLUE poppy seeds to arrive & they’re labeled as SUB-FREEZE plants, just what exactly does this imply? All of my Wiz of OZ reds & Danish Flag are doing great & I was going to wait until winter to grow the “BLUES”, but, is it necessary to wait?
05/29/2018 @ 7:38 pm
Depends what the Temps are where u live. But u might get them to sprout, but they won’t get very far this late into the Season.
It’s only when they are SPROUTING that they like it so cool. See our TUTORIAL for Planting in WARM Weather in our BLOG
06/03/2018 @ 1:50 am
I planted some seeds of unknown variety that I purchased from the spice isle at the grocery store. I’m by no means a professional at this but I was successful in growing them through flowering. Based on the appearance of the flowers and shape of the pods I am suspecting they are Tasmanian alks. My question is why the resulting seeds are of a different color than the ones planted? Original seeds were a bluish color while the harvested seeds are more white/light brown. These were grown indoors and I’m certain there could not have been any cross pollination. Is it possible my flowers didn’t successfully polinate?
06/08/2018 @ 11:27 pm
Yes, those are Common “Commercial Poppies” grown for Seed by the Spice Industry. (all their flowers will always be white, with a Violet Blotch near Center). Nice Flowers. Terrible Genetics and Chemical makeup) These are the ones that “Fake Growers“ buy in Bulk, then sell on eBay (many of which use stolen Images off Google, and claim to have grown them).
Creating attractive Titles like “Tasmanian Purple” (which isn’t even correct Terminology for the somniferum Poppy.
• But regarding your concern about the Light Colored Seeds, my “Guess” is that you Harvested them way too early. SEEDS aren’t mature until the ENTIRE Plant turns brown after remaining in the Ground for about a month or so after they Bloom, and the Pods Rattle with Loose Seeds (seen at End of Video in Part #5).
If harvested earlier, they will be lighter in Color.
Thant’s because ALL Seeds are WHITE when Born inside the Pod walls. Regardless of what color they are when mature. So if you were to cut a pod in half (while still green), you would find hundreds of tiny white, immature seeds. These would NOT be Viable.
They get darker as the Pod Matures, releasing them from their inner walls.
Hope this answered your Question. Let me know if not.
06/09/2018 @ 4:40 am
Thank you for the detailed reply, this helps a lot. I am finding that there are more than a couple websites out there that are putting out bad info on growing these flowers. I apparently followed some bad advice on when to harvest. I need to hop on a computer and read through your site a bit more, it seems to have a lot of good info I’ve just had trouble navigating it on my smartphone. The store bought seeds were good practice and did actually produce pretty flowers. I have a couple Izmir Afghans coming up now from seeds I ordered from you. They are still small but looking good so far. I’m very excited to see how they turn out.
06/10/2018 @ 8:16 pm
Hey David. Yes, we’re still working on implementing the Mobile Version of our Site.
But if you’re on a Mobile Device, you’ll see a Button at the TOP of the Main Shop that says “Mobile Menu”.
But basically, if you’re using a Mobile Device, you can Access the FULL Navigation ‘Slide-Out’ Menu by clicking on the Mobile Menu Icon (see on the Upper Right of EVERY Page).
LOOKS KINDA Like THIS:
But MAY VARY in Visibility depending on the Background Color (as sometimes it may blend-in if Colors are similar)
You can also add “
/amp“ to the end of any URL to force it to Serve up the Mobile Version of certain Pages/Posts.
Let me know if it helps.
07/07/2018 @ 12:38 pm
I have succesfully gotten my seeds to sprout in zone 9b. I had to use a combination of tips from your website, so thank you for this wonderful resource. I froze/thaw the seeds DAMP but not drenched soil, in refrigerator, approximately 2 weeks (take out and re-freeze every other day); later moving to refrigerator for appx 1 month.
The key was using the ‘ice method’ you recommend for germination. About a week of your ice method, the seeds sprout wonderfully and reliably.
Now, I am having some issues with seedlings shriveling up. I think, but not certain, this is because it’s too dry here. What kind of environment to you recommend (temp wise) for seedlings? How often should I water them – is 2-3x a day too much if its very dry here?
07/07/2018 @ 6:26 pm
Well, it seems as though you missed your Window to Plant (probably during the time you spent futzing around with the Refrigerator (something we NEVER suggest, (nor have we tried it).
In my opinion, it’s just one of those things you hear in Forums & Blogs about poppies. Maybe it helps, but only because Poppies NEED “Cool-ness”, so perhaps it imitates snow on the ground.?¿?
Nevertheless, you DID find success once you used our Ice Method.
Which is great to hear!
Many others have also told me it worked wonders for them.
But like I’ve said a thousand times, in almost EVERY Tutorial we have, Seeds AND Seedlings Require Temps between 35°-70°f to make it to maturity (where they can withstand Temps up to 90°-95°f).
It can be a bit complex to explain, but it has to do with their reproductive Genes sensing whether or not their current environment, is cool enough for them to make it to Maturity (reproduction age) without over-heating.
Any indicator that tells them otherwise, will cause them to do exactly what you are describing.
It’s just programmed in their Genetics.
There aren’t really any other reasons for them to do that.
But there ARE things you can do, to “keep them fooled” long enough until they can make it on their own.
I go over these things in our “Late Bloomers” Tutorial (the one that talks about the Ice Method)
-Using Perlite on top of soil
-The many uses of Shade (during peak daylight)
-Continue to water them with Ice Cubes (the goal is to cool down the SOIL)
I can’t advise u on “How often” to water them, since it depends on too many variables (but u can’t really over-water them)
Keep in mind, that just because they prefer “FULL SUN”, doesn’t mean they need a “FULL DAY” of Sun.
EXAMPLE: You can expose them to the MORNING SUN ONLY (by either planting them on either side of an object like a House, or by moving them out of afternoon sun, if in Pots).
07/08/2018 @ 11:37 am
Gotcha. Thank you for your respsone and this great website.
06/23/2019 @ 6:45 pm
I ordered seeds from you last fall, planted them in the spring, and have the most beautiful, biggest poppies I’ve grown. The problem is, they don’t seem to match the photos on your site. For example, the hens and chicks produced pinkish/red flowers with serrated petals, but also pink and pinkish/purple flowers with plain petals. I also have a lot of scarlet red flowers which I don’t remember ordering. Is this variation within the same strain normal? Also, will pods dried indoors produce viable seeds? With the rain we’ve been getting this year I don’t if they will dry properly in the ground. Thanks for your reply.
07/14/2019 @ 2:59 pm
Perhaps u didn’t see all the Photos in the Listing, But Hens n Chicks Poppies DO Vary in the exact Colors you are describing.
Please see the Listing (link above) to View ALL Photos.
If u have any Pics, upload them to Imgur.com, or to our FB Page if u want.
As far as drying the pods, yes, you CAN let them finish maturing by cutting their stems (keeping as much length as possible), and put their fresh cut stems in a Vase/bucket with Water. Keeping the water fresh by replacing with new water when it starts to look dirty.
As long as they are somewhat developed, they can finish in water.
06/26/2019 @ 5:13 pm
My poppies are in pre-bloom stage and the buds are becoming deformed with black rot starting on the tips stunting the bloom growth. There are many small secondary buds that are malformed with the petals being visible while still in hook stage. These are all Galania poppy’s that were doing great up until about a week ago. I think that this might be some sort of micro-nutrient deficiency like boron or calcium, any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.
I’m hoping that if I can figure out what’s wrong I can save a few of my younger plants before they suffer the same fate, I have a couple of plants In pots that are slowly following suit even though they are in a very different environment. The first half dozen flowers that bloomed looked a little haggard and were all the same light salmon color, one had a pod that was half the size of the others and was missing most of the stamens. Please please help
07/20/2019 @ 3:12 pm
I’ve had that before, but only when I grew in California. I’d use a Fungicide. And/or any Natural Plant detergent. There are Insects and Fungai that commonly attack the plant, introduced especially when weather patterns change.
Depending on species, they attack where the Leaf meets the stem (a small flying insect lays eggs in that little area because the babies get free water which gets trapped there when it rains, and then they feed on newborn, tender foliage) – which is an all out attack on NEW GROWTH.
Eventually, they enter into the inner main Stem (which is naturally hollow) and attach from the inside.)
There is also a Soil dwelling Insect that attacks root systems, then works it’s way up the stem.
If mature enough, your plant can usually fight them off. But u must still kill off this Enemy of Poppies (created by Govt. agencies, and Big pharma)- otherwise they will return each year.
So, once the season is over, you’ll wanna completely destroy all plant parts, treat your soil (etc to end the lifecycle). Depending on which fungai/insect is attacking.
FOR NOW: Try to prevent spreading to other plants (don’t allow leaves to touch ANYTHING- including the Soil, blades of grass, walls, and/or other poppies). Rinse out all areas where water collects at the leaf nodes with a burst of air, or water or Fungi/Pesti-cide- but ONLY treat those particular areas- cuz u can kill your poppy if u spray the whole plant- it’s a bit tricky).
Also, allow everything to dry out for a couple days. You can put a layer of Perlite or weedblock on top of the soil too. I always do this anyways.
When it comes to watering- do so less often, but give a good soaking (maybe adding some water soluble Nitrogen and other nutrients to make a Tea. Somewhere in the NPK range of 6-3-4 (somni’s are Nitrogen lovers THROUGHOUT their entire lifecycle).
This will give them strength to fight off this evil.
Upload Pics on our FB Page, or to Imgur.com (& paste the link here)
03/24/2021 @ 4:29 pm
I know i read it somewhere on your site but can’t seem to find it. I’m plating in a large planter, what type of fertilizer is recommended to add to the potting soil im using and how often. Also which potting soil is best? I want to make sure they have enough nutrients and optimal soil conditions as I live in South Florida so I will definitely be using the ice method for germination but how often should Ice them down and how close should the fabric be to the top of the soil. Thank you for your help
03/27/2021 @ 3:01 pm
As it states in the Tutorial, We have never actually used the “ICE Method”, but many people have used it (in their own way) with much success. It’s just one of many ideas we came up with to help people to get poppies started in warmer weather. I’ve never grown Poppies in your area, but would imagine I’d start them in December if I lived there.
I use 5-Gallon Pots per single Poppy plant.
06/28/2021 @ 1:52 pm
I’ve discovered a large number of poppies sprouting thickly in places I never intended to plant, apparently the results of a small hole in the baggie I had my seeds in. The average size of the blooms was about 3/4” to 1 1/4” in diameter, and right now, immediately after losing their petals, the pods are the size of a pencil eraser.
Will I be able to salvage anything useful from these little guys, like maybe a few seeds? I was just going to pull them but there are so many, it looks kinda cute! I also hate to waste anything, but that includes my time! I do have plenty of seeds, so that’s not an issue. Thanks, Bunny
07/04/2021 @ 5:04 pm
Yes, you should still be able to get normal seeds from those (for next season). Just keep them in the ground and continue to water them until they completely turn brown.
04/21/2022 @ 11:58 pm
What is your technical advice or hope for propagating or cloning papaver somniferum in western nc? It says my county in North Carolina here is in USDA Hardiness Zones 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a and 7b.
Also for indoor what type lighting would you suggest, high pressure sodium?
I’m guessing also hydroponics isn’t a good idea for vegetative state but please confirm?
Is Neem oil good for insect control?
04/30/2022 @ 5:02 pm
They Self Pollinate, and are Annuals, so doesn’t make sense to Clone. However, I’ve always wanted to get into the Pollen Trade.
For Indoors, Lighting would be the last of my worries. But LED or Bust. You MUST keep Temps COOL.
My main Concern would be to make sure you use Sterile Potting Mix bought from Nursery.
They usually Steam the SOil to kill any Bacteria that may Thrive Indoors where there are no Natural Predators or Atmospheric Events which would otherwise kill them off.
So NEVER take soil from the outdoors, and try to grow Indoors with that soil.
Neem oil can be effective. Or Plant Detergents.