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  1. OrganicalBotanicals
    03/02/2016 @ 2:09 pm

    Toward Maturity, don’t panic if the Lower most leaves begin to turn brown. You can Prune some that u think may be trapping too much moisture in (u wanna keep the base where the Stem meet the soil clear of EVERYTHING),
    But don’t pull too many because they also act as a natural Weed block.
    It’s a Poppy’s way of Hogging Nutrients.
    Let them be Hogs and your stems will be Logs.
    Give a Poppy Room, and it will surprise you more blooms (as long as it gets enough direct sunlight).
    Also, another thing u may notice are “DRUG BUGS” on the bottom side of some of the lower leaves.
    Little black bugs – Don’t know their name, but let them be. They have a drug problem so don’t try to fight that battle. You’ll never win.

    Poppies suck up a LOT of Nutrients from the Soil – so if you’re planting in the same place 2 years in a row, be sure to replenish the Soil’s Nutrients.
    Poppies use more Nitrogen than ANY other Nutrient during ALL Phases of Growth. So a Nitrogen Rich Organic Fertilizer will work.
    In my garden, nothing goes to waste. I’ve found that stripping the dried up leaves from from the end of your Current Season’s Poppies, and crumble them up into your Soil mix works great. There’s no better nutrient for a plant, then another decomposing Plant of it’s kind (we’re just not used to doing that in the Human world).
    Or, if you plant to Over-Winter, use a layer of your Crushed Leaf Powder to sprinkle on top of your new seeds.
    This will function in a multitude of ways.
    It will protect your seeds from birds, Frost, etc. While at the same time, holding in heat & moisture just enough to encourage a higher rate of growth.
    Lastly, by the time next Spring rolls around, they will begin to give back all that Vital Nitrogen.
    You can even use the stems if you can chop them up fine enough.

    Photos Of the BROWNING LEAVES


  2. poppy615
    05/02/2016 @ 9:04 pm

    Hello, I have ventured into my first time growing these beautiful flowers.
    I am absolutely grateful for such a well put together tutorial.

    I live in TN area, and had some general questions about my set up.

    Firstly I started off my seeds in Peat pots in the fridge. I left them in the dirt in the fridge lightly watered for 24 hrs. I then took them out to sit on the window. Within 48 hrs after sowing the seeds I am already seeing them sprout(germinate with white tails)! I couldn’t believe it!

    So my questions are:
    1: have you ever seen this happen before? I am growing Hungarian blues.

    Next question:
    I am starting them off inside because I was afraid they wouldn’t sprout because it’s already getting up to 80 F.
    So if I start them inside and then transplant them to pots outside after they have sprouted,
    2:how long do I need to wait? Like how many weeks after germinating?

    I don’t wanna keep them inside but I don’t wanna move them outside if they will absolutey stunt. I geuss my question is,

    3:if I started them inside, is there a point when they are still young I can move em outside and they won’t stunt?

    They will be in pots whether outside or inside.

    I’m going to use your drainage system for my pots, and am thinking about using ceramic instead of plastic.

    4:How long should I leave the netting over it? Should I use copper tape or sluggo?

    5:How will they do in 80-90 F when adults?

    I was afraid I started them too late, so that’s why I’m starting them inside where I can control the temps for sprouting and immature plants. It seems the fridge really helped with germination. I was extremely pleased.

    I numbered my questions 1-5 to break it down so you know what to answer. I would love to get your opinions as an experienced grower.
    If my question set up is too confusing, let me know and I’ll fix it up.
    Thank you so much! I look forward to corresponding with you.


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      05/06/2016 @ 2:10 pm

      1); Yes, I have seen this. This is normal. Those white strands are like little fingers reaching out to grab a hold of their foundation.

      2); This is a really long thing to explain. They won’t stunt if your temps are high already. The above tutorial was made back when we had regular temps in Spring. Please refer to our New Blog Post: PLANTING PAPAVER SOMNIFERUM POPPIES IN LATE SEASON OR IN HOT WEATHER

      3): Just keep them outside using the methods explained in the Pics above, as well as in other Comments I’ve answered below regarding crushed ice. No more inside.

      4); The netting is just for birds, but the net needs to be at least 4″ to 5″ above. Birds have special abilities- AND beaks! I wouldn’t worry about slugs when temps are 80+ (f).

      5): They can withstand 90(f) MAX when adults. 95 and they flop over and die. Try to place them somewhere that provides shade during peak Sunlight hours. They don’t need to be in the sun ALL DAY. They can do just fine with even a half day’s sun,as long as it’s consistent (for example, my neighbor has poppies growing on the side of her house, and they only receive morning sun. They’re doing fine. Since you are using Pots, you can move them, but don’t confuse them. Find a place and leave them (only move them if a really hot day comes along. Move them inside if you want – they won’t die without sunlight, if it’s just for one day)

      Hope this helps,


  3. Kathleen
    05/02/2016 @ 11:53 pm

    I apologize in advance for the length of this commentary, I really need your advice. I have watched your tutorial over and over again, trying to get it right because I think I mentioned to you on Facebook that this is my third year trying to grow this plant and up until now I have not been successful. The Oriental variety seems to be a lot easier to grow for some reason. I dug them all up even though they are perennials because I did not want anything to compete with my somniferums.

    Are all somniferums annuals? Or is there a perennial variety? This would be great if you got a plant going and didn’t have to go through this process every year. I hate to complain, but it seems like this is a finnicky variety, though they are beautiful and useful. I admire plants that are both beautiful and useful because I live in an area that is full of gorgeous indigenous plants that need to be pulled up and destroyed to make way for ornamental plants at the cost of wildlife habitat.

    I was upset and frustrated today because I used plastic cups to create mini greenhouses for my tiny seedlings that were the only ones in my greenhouse that had sprouted. I planted them in a compost and potting soil mix in toilet paper rolls as instructed on another website devoted to sominiferum planting and care. I was so happy to see that some of the many seeds I’d planted had sprouted that I wanted to ensure they were planted in a place with ideal growing conditions. I chose an area that I had prepared for planting that measured approximately 3.5 feet by six feet. I dug up this area about six inches deep, lined it with double thick black garden fabric (just to be sure no weeds grew through), mixed the soil with compost and topsoil, and picked out as many stones, pieces of wood and roots that had grown from the old cedar stump (the tree was cut down in 1997) that was at one end of the growing area. I soaked the area well the night before. I dug holes for the seedlings that were still in the toilet paper rolls, so that the roll was completely surrounded by soil and extended up from the soil by about 1/4″. I watered the seedlings in their rolls and they were quite wet when planted. I did this before thinning them, because I wanted to make sure I chose the best seedling, waiting until their second set of leaves came in. I took 10 oz clear plastic cups (Solo brand) and cut two adjacent holes in each with a paper punch at the bottom of each cup so that they were at the very top of each cup when placed over the seedlings. I weighed each cup down with a smooth river rock. In the afternoon of the following day, I found that the sun had cooked each of the seedlings in their plastic cup greenhouse. Granted, yesterday was the hottest May Day on record for Western Washington, but I don’t think that using the plastic cups in early May was a very good idea for my particular situation. The tutorial says its to protect the plant from outdoor temperatures, slugs and birds. I do have a problem with huge slugs here, and the birds pick at any fruit that grows, like pyracantha, strawberries and huckleberries. Also, the black weed cloth seems to make the hot sun even warmer and I noticed that even my artichoke plants had fried in the sun. I chose this place to plant because it gets almost full sun. In the late afternoon it does get some shade, but it gets full sun in the morning and up until 2 or 3 pm in the afternoon. I know these poppies need full sun, and this piece of land is the very warmest part of my yard. Please tell me what I should do. I got your message saying that the reason my poppies plants are dying after they reach a height of one and 1/2 inches is because of the warmth. Should I buy a portable fridge to cool my seedlings? Is so how long should I use this to cool my plants? I could put a battery powered lantern in the fridge, but it seems like an awful lot of trouble to go through just to get a seedling to get past the early stage. However, I am willing to try it if there is no other way. I probably waited too long to plant, but the rain was very heavy here up until mid April. Living in Western Washington I’m sure you know the drill. Summer is not a gradual thing here, it happens very suddenly, one day it is cold and rainy and the next day it is hot and humid. I’m sure we will have more rain here before the summer actually starts. Last summer was the hottest on record. BTW, the variety that sprouted was the Black Swan. I have seeds on order from your company. I chose the variety mix thinking that it would give me the best chance of success if I tried several varieties at once. Maybe I should concentrate on the faster growing seeds since it is now so late in the season. In all these years of trying, I have never gotten past the two leaf seedling stage (about 1 1/2″ high),.

    I have Black Swan, Lauren’s Grape, Hungarian Blue, and Black Paeoniflorum seeds planted in peat pellets and toilet paper rolls filled with organic compost and soil. I also sowed some of the Black Swan variety in the area that I mentioned above. I have two Conservatory Flower Houses with misters and grow lights installed. I’m only growing a few kitchen herbs and roses in the green houses now. besides the poppy starts I mentioned. There are some plants that stunted and never got past the “start” stage-now I can’t identify them, but I think they are most likely beets because they are reddish green. I’m reserving the rest of the room to start poppies. I bought the materials to build a “grow box” with aluminum coated styrofoam and a small light that takes a CFC bulb, I was going to cover the outside of the box with black garden fabric to concentrate the heat, I could leave this off and use the ice cube method that you mentioned, what do you think about this?

    I noticed in your tutorial that you have some poppies doing well next to a building. Would it be a good idea for me to plant next to my house? Since I have a crawl space under the house I was worried about water accumulating there and breeding mosquitoes.

    If I plant oriental poppies as well, will they cross pollinate?
    What would be the best place to plant the seeds that I have on order?

    Thank you!


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      05/06/2016 @ 1:40 pm

      Sorry for the delayed answer. I shot a video for you, but have not had time to edit. So please see these photos instead.

      – Planting Papaver Somniferum Poppies Late Season or Hot weather #1

      – Planting Papaver Somniferum Poppies Late Season or Hot weather #2

      Hope this helps for now.


      • Kathleen
        05/07/2016 @ 2:50 am

        Thanks, great ideas, especially with the sheets of ice that I can easily do with stuff I have on hand. I will see if the cats don’t tear the netting down-they like to push my buttons, especially when I’m paying attention to something other than them. I shall have to take photos of all the seedlings that have just emerged in their peat pellets. They really germinate well when I put them in the greenhouse, I hope they will like being outside in the sun as much.


        • OrganicalBotanicals
          05/07/2016 @ 2:11 pm

          The greenhouse will overheat them. My cat is the same way (as all are). But once his whiskers felt the resistance of the net, het backed off.
          I had to really make that net Firmly taut as Birds would find ways to stretch their beaks in. But if you’ve got sprouts already, then I wouldn’t worry about birds. They mostly just look for worms from the newly disturbed soil.
          And I have not had any slugs this year since the weather isn’t moist or cool enough.
          But ya, you need to get the out of their temp pots, since they won’t last long in them (water retention, and tap root).
          Now you’ll need to continue to thin them every few days.
          I’ve thinned out some as large as a dinner salad before. It killed me to do it, but it’s worth it.
          You give them the room, they’ll fill it (I prefer 18″ between each, 12″ minimum)


  4. Kathleen
    05/02/2016 @ 11:57 pm

    Also, I have 4 cats that like to do their business in freshly turned earth where I plant seedlings. Other than disturbing the seeds, is this harmful to plants? Will it make the soil to acidic? My cats don’t seem to mind any of the sprays I use to deter them, so it is hopeless trying to get them to do their business elsewhere.


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      05/06/2016 @ 1:51 pm

      My cat does the same. I used netting this year down my garden rows supported by a Cord that was tied to stakes in the ground at each end, with garden staples holding the net into the ground (creating a triangle shape down the entire row). This kept out bids (and cats), allowing Light and rain in, without heating things up..


  5. Nick
    05/26/2017 @ 5:24 pm

    Hello everyone in the forum:

    I just had a few experiences to share from my first attempt at growing Papaver Somniferum in Florida.

    I decided to use pots as my grow space was limited, and the FL weather can dump too much rain too quickly, which, according to everything I read, is extremely unwanted come time to harvest your seeds.

    First off, the sprouts came up too clumpy, and had to be thinned several times. I didn’t quite do this at the right time.

    Also, the general heat in Florida was mid-80s from the time I sowed in March, until May 16th when they started flowering. Another thing to watch out for is that the pots are black, so duh, they raised the soil temperature, stunting some growth in poppies that were sown in April, which is basically too late in Florida, trust me it’ll be too hot for rapid growth that I got in the ideal temperatures (45 night / high 70s day).

    About the time the plants started really producing large pods, the bottom leaves started yellowing…bad. We had one day of hard rain, followed by temperatures in the low 70s, the upper leaves started looking brown and yellow as well. The pods stopped swelling and began to turn down again.

    A day later. All five of my large plants were almost flopped over, with huge black spots all over the pods, and crinkled leaves as brittle as paper.

    Long story short, I believe a combination of things, clearly outlined here in these comments were to blame, as well as a freak strike of what is most likely Downey Mildew.

    The hard part to figure is when to plant in Florida. The temperatures tend to rocket in early April. So plan accordingly. My crop of 6 Full beautiful plants got utterly trashed in 48 hours. Make sure they are spaced exactly as told. All told, the healthiest poppies I almost got to harvest seeds from was 60 days. But the first crop were Tassies, and they don’t get huge, but do grow fast. The first time is a huge learning experience, and until you actually experiment, just reading tutorials.


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      05/27/2017 @ 6:32 pm

      Thanks for the info Nick!! I hope you find the tips in this Tutorial helpful for next year. Such as applying Perlite to the TOP layer (reducing the Heat that the dark soil attracts, reflecting back to the plant, AND retaining moisture).

      But if you have them in Pots, it’s ok to move them to a shady area for the hottest part of the day (even indoors). Yellowing leaves at the bottom during flowering is TOTALLY NORMAL.
      The only time I’ve seen a Plant FLOP OVER in a day, is from TEMPERATURE. If you had a day on the 90’s or so. Or if there’s a Heatwave predicted in the Forecast, take them indoors, put them in a shady spot. etc.

      They have a MUCH better chance of living with NO LIGHT AT ALL (even TOTAL DARKNESS) for a couple days, than they do in ONE HOT DAY.

      If planting in the ground, you can always provide shade for plants with movable OBJECTS placed in front.

      If Florida, I’d Plant in December if I were you.

      Be sure to read THESE POSTS HERE:



  6. Mark E Cacic
    06/22/2017 @ 10:23 am

    Can I grow poppies in Florida and plant them in july?


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      06/27/2017 @ 10:15 am

      Not sure. We have never lived there, much less grown poppies there.
      But let us know how it goes.


  7. Taylor
    05/06/2018 @ 7:24 am

    I live in Zone 7 B. Even at summer solstice, we will only receive 14-something hours of light. Will this be enough to initiate flowering?


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      05/07/2018 @ 12:28 am

      Yes. Flowering isn’t so much initiated by “Light Cycles” as it is by “TEMPERATURE”, and their Age.
      No need to worry about Light Hours.


  8. ArdisJuicy
    07/24/2018 @ 4:36 pm

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    But did you know that there is a tool that allows
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    • OrganicalBotanicals
      07/26/2018 @ 5:47 am

      COOL!! – That’s a pretty cool Website!! , i actually spend most my time replying to Comments. Which I like to do anyways.


  9. PH
    06/10/2021 @ 10:04 pm

    Hello, first of all, thank you for writing such a nice guide!

    I have some questions (of which the first two may be a bit stupid):

    1. I see you are using buckets and not pots in this tutorial – why do you then call them pots? (English is not my first language).

    2. Is it because you drill a hole in the bottom of the buckets? Basically, should I drill a hole in the bucket to let the water run through – or is the stones/perlite sufficient as a ground? And how big should the hole be? (Yes, sorry, stupid question).

    3. I have acquired a few 5-gallon buckets and peat pellets and I am thinking I should plant them in the soil when germinated/sprouted following your example. However, in your video/pictures I see LOADS of small plants, why is that? Did you not get rid of the weak ones yet?

    4. Which leads me to; How many plants should there be in one 5-gallon bucket? Can I plant as many as possible as long as there is around 4 inch of distance between them, or should I aim for only ONE big plant in the middle of the bucket/pot?

    Thank you so much for your time and patience!

    PS. I am also wondering if you ship seeds to EU?

    Best regards


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      06/10/2021 @ 11:48 pm

      I just cut four fair-sized vent holes at the bottom corners of the buckets, the same way plastic Pots are designed.I would advise against Drilling holes, as those may clog.
      In the photos that shows loads of spouts, that will eventually be thinned down to just a single plant per 5-gallon bucket.
      I have tried it both ways, and trust me, it’s much better to have one big plant, with a strong stem, which will offer u many more blooms, than many, thin, single pod stems that will blow over and die on the first windy day of the summer.
      Just be sure to continue watering and giving them nutrients as they are flowering and they will keep making new bloom shoots.
      No, we don’t currently ship to the E.U.
      Look up Farmer Dodds (Nigel Dodds).
      His seeds all originated from our Genetics, and he’s in the UK.
      Also look up “MegaTheCandyMan” (his old YouTube name) – same thing with him too.


      • PH
        06/28/2021 @ 1:53 am

        Thank you very kindly for your reply! I actually looked again and it is obvious you do indeed cut holes in the buckets, silly me!

        This is my first time ever trying to cultivate some Papaver somniferum, so everything is a learning experience. I will gladly post here again in a few months again when I see my results.
        I live in Scandinavia by the way, and although we have a very cold climate, we DO indeed have warm summers.
        Basically, I am trying to cultivate my poppies in hot weather, therefore my results and findings may be of interest to you others. That being said since I am rather poor at the moment and I mainly do this for fun and learning more about the plants, most of my somniferum seeds originate from spice jars found in my local grocery store.
        So even though they do sprout and some of them are even growing very nicely, I don’t expect any amazing results this year. I plan on using your seeds next season. But thank you again, not only for your kind sharing of insights, but also for making me *grow* an interest for Botany in general.

        Peace from Scandinavia.


  10. Brigitte
    08/25/2021 @ 11:49 am

    I would like to grow breadseed poppies to add to my new baking business. ( focusing on all home grown)
    I have s huge high tunnel greenhouse, that i can heat and add grow lights to. But i missed my wondow ( i’ve grown them before) . Wondering if anyone has tried growing them in august?


  11. Zenithnadir
    03/23/2022 @ 9:39 am

    For all of you Florida growers out there who don’t know when to plant. My best results have been seeds started around Halloween to mid- November. Start early, some seeds take longer to germinate and you do not want a bunch of seedlings when it is January. Unless there is a hard freeze the plants can tolerate minor frosts so don’t worry about the cold, poppies love and grow the best in colder temperatures. Forget about spring planting, you will waste your seeds and effort. When the temps hit the nineties in May or June all your plants will wilt and die.
    The one thing I have learned is DO NOT OVER WATER!
    If your plants start getting brown spots on the lower leaves, back off on your watering. If you don’t, the stems will get soft and the new leave’s tips will turn black. Water and nutrients will not be able to travel from the roots up the stem. When a plant is in this condition it won’t recover so pull it up. Other than this condition, don’t give up on your poppies. My blue poppies will get white spots on their leaves which I thought was a fungal infection but it is just part of their growth cycle and the spots go away as the plant matures.


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