Skip to content


Growing Papaver Somniferum Poppies

(Part 1 of 5):

Go HERE, for DESKTOP Version

Go HERE, for MOBILE Version

Our Collection:

Please Post Any Inquiries you have by Commenting Below and I will answer in great Detail within 24 hours MAX- so that others may Benefit from the info.

When, Where, and How to Grow Somniferum Poppies (1 of 5)

  • Week 1

    Preparation & Germination

      During Germination, & throughout their Seedling Stages, Temperatures MUST be between º33 and º65 Degrees (F) or º1-º18 Degrees (C).

      It can take up to 2 Weeks for germination. Make sure to follow our Tips in the Videos on how to Protect them from Birds & Slugs during those first few weeks.

      YES, they DO need LIGHT to Germinate and they HATE being Transplanted.

    But can withstand warmer Temps when Mature

    Seeds take roughly 2 weeks to Sprout. Alternatively, you can plant half your seeds in the Fall, and half in the Spring, but if you get a lot of snow in your area, they’ll die.

  • Week 2-3

    Planting Poppy Seeds

    Poppies CAN be very easy to grow, and can also grow almost anywhere in the world, and require very little maintenance (once they get going). Generally speaking, growing poppies can be done almost anywhere.

    HOW to plant, simply cast seeds on top of loose, moist soil. No need to bury them – but you can gently press them into the ground, or toss a very thin layer of soil on top. You can mix your Seeds with Sand to Spread them as you cast them, but SALT works best, as it retains Moisture, prevents clumping, AND deters Slugs from eating sprouts. 

    Papapver Somniferum Poppy Seedling Sprout
    1 to 2 Weeks

    • WHEN to plant will depend on which USDA Zone you are located in, but generally, seeds will sprout whenever Temps rise above Freezing (32, as Poppies prefer cool Temperatures during the Germination and Seedling stages. 
    • Poppy Seeds can be planted in either FALL, early SPRING, or BOTH (depending on how Mild your Winters are)

    WATERING: Just keep soil moist at all times during germination, but keep them Well-Ventilated (to avoid mold). Then, cut back as they mature to 2-4 x per week.

    Results of Planting in Fall will provide earlier, and much larger blooms the following Spring, whereas Planting in Spring will still result in a spectacular display of Blooms, but just in early Summer.







(or, CLICK to scroll to Comments)

Click Arrow to Comments


  1. rtillery02
    06/03/2018 @ 5:26 am

    At what point can my sprouts ‘handle’ being put into their permanent growing location?


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      06/08/2018 @ 10:07 pm

      That depends what the conditions are like where you live. That’s why I don’t tell you what Month to plant, I tell you the Temperature & Light Requirements. But preferably, it’s best to START them in their “Permanent” Location since they don’t Transplant (hence, the reason I stress “Protecting” them from Pests such as Birds, slugs, etc.)
      You should read through some of the 175+ User Questions I have answered among this Comment.
      There’s not a question that exists that hasn’t been answered about Growing Poppies.
      Hope this Helps!


  2. Jen
    06/15/2018 @ 1:08 pm


    I watched all your videos and was wondering what kind of setup you suggest if I want to grow entirely inside? Lamp? Pots, etc?




    • OrganicalBotanicals
      06/16/2018 @ 6:30 pm

      Ah yes, you must have missed the Comment Section where I have answered this Plenty of time to other Users, but I know there’s TONS of Comments. so I don’t blame you.
      My suggestion. USE LED’s ONLY since they are Cool enough and efficient enough to make it worth your while.
      Take photos. Document your experience, and share it with us – I’ll give you a Guest Post Spot of your own. That you can Moderate if u want.


  3. David
    07/03/2018 @ 5:29 pm

    I purchased the Izmir Afghan GMO Somniferum Poppy Special Seeds. They were all white seeds which all germinated quickly. About half I planted grew and flowered quickly (60 days) with one pod per plant and very spaced out leaves, no real cabbage leaves at the bottom. These flowers looked like the ones in your pictures with fringed pink ends. The other half took about 3 weeks longer to bloom and had the distinct cabbage greens. They have multiple pods per plant and the flowers are a bit more light pink and do not have the fringed petal ends but are smooth. Just wondering if these are the same variety or possibly cross pollinated with a different variety. Since you grow them I thought I would ask your opinion on what may be going on.


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      07/07/2018 @ 6:59 pm

      There are literally thousands of Variables that would cause this.
      As this happens often when growing poppies.
      1st, just to clarify: ALL somniferum poppies have a “Cabbage Stage”, but can sometimes they can skip it, and go straight into the “Bolting stage”.
      Yep, this means they can go directly into flowering if one, of several Variables, cause them to believe that their “Purpose” is in jeopardy (Purpose: To Reproduce).
      Some of the Variables that can cause this are: Not enough/too much water, a late start, a Heat Wave, Transplanting, Over-Crowding, Not enough/too much Nutrients, Root disturbance, Packed Soil, Pests, etc.
      Basically, ANY so-called “Threat” to their Long Term Life Cycle can cause this.

      Now, I have no clue which of these it is, but hopefully, you’ll be able to solve this now.

      The ones that DID enjoy a Cabbage Stage, grew a big enough stem and root system to support more Blooms.
      The difference in the petals is nothing to be alarmed of. Look at ALL our Photos. We have plenty without the fringed edges.

      In fact, if you read the ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION FROM Izmir Farms (shown as a Screenshot in our Listing), you’ll notice them mentioning that some flowers are ALL WHITE!! (no pink).

      I know that’s not your case, but just so u know that flower petal variance is just nature.

      I hope this helps.
      Please post some pics on our Facebook Page!!
      We’d love to see them!


  4. Violet_the_Silence
    08/26/2018 @ 9:50 am

    Hello I was wondering If you would be able to help with growing issues.
    Right now I have growing indoors:

    -Fast Draining Soil
    -6-3-3 Fertilizer
    -800-1000 Watts of Lighting
    -Organicide 3 in 1 with Fish Oil
    -Fan and Purifier Fan
    -Izmir Afghan
    -A mix of different ones

    I’ve read through the comments, so I’m just wondering any knowledge you could pass from outdoor growth.

    I’m about 2 months~ into the grow
    and they’re only little cabbages about an inch wide all together with 4~ leaves.
    The new sprouts are 2 leaves seedlings in about a month
    and seem to be following the same way as earlier planted ones.

    I have them in sterlite containers and they’re spread apart about 6 inches.
    One isolated in a pot was to test if overcrowding was any sort of issue and it doesn’t seem to be the culprit either.

    However I am skeptical of my watering habits. I’ve tried every 3 days, every 4 days, and daily.
    Currently I’m doing every 3-4 days. With deep watering. Soil dries the next day halfway and the 2nd day is dry.
    The temperature stays at about 60-80 degrees. 70’s.~ for the most part.

    I think thats as much detail as I can think of.
    The growth however is very, very slow for conditions I feel or thought were almost perfect.
    But I don’t feel like I’m having any success growing.
    Any help you could think of would be immensely awesome.


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      08/27/2018 @ 5:54 am

      Sounds like a Temperature thing. It must be NO WARMER THAN 65 DEGREES (f) during its beginning stages, otherwise, they’ll never make it past that stage.


      • Carolyn Long
        02/15/2021 @ 11:18 am

        When referring to temperature are you talking about air or soil temperature?


  5. Phil
    02/04/2019 @ 9:14 pm

    Hello. Your GMO seed…is it possibly resistant to glyphosate (round up weed killer)? Also, if I carefully pick my petals off as soon as they show (for weddings), will this stop the plant from producing healthy pods for harvesting?


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      02/10/2019 @ 6:38 am

      I never tried killing them with roundup, but NO, I highly doubt they’d live.
      Pods will grow no matter what you do to it’s soft tissue outer layers (including petals), YES.


  6. neurotic2k
    04/13/2019 @ 10:12 am

    Hi I’ve been germinating my seeds in peat pellets for a week or two and I’m noticing a white hair like fuzz appearing on the emerging sprouts where they meet the soil. I’m assuming this is mold? Could this be an initial root system trying to anchor the tap root? A few seem to have out grown the problem/fought it off, I’m just wondering if this is mold how dangerous is it to my seedlings? How often do you recommend watering peat pellets/how wet should I keep them during the initial germination period? What exactly do you mean by well ventilated, should I have a fan blowing over them?

    I’ve seen you mention using black gold soil conditioner for clay heavy soils but none of the stores around me seem to carry that specific product. I can’t seem to locate anything labeled “soil conditioner”. Is there a general ratio of peat moss, coco coir, earthworm castings, perlite, etc… you would recommend?

    I’ve added a cubic yard of both perlite and vermiculite and 2 cubic yards of black gold garden soil to a 25 square foot area. While the soil is now loose and not compacted there is a thin hard crust that forms on the surface after it rains. I’m worried that if I direct seed this area the crust will prevent the initial root penetration.


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      04/14/2019 @ 10:10 pm

      NO, THAT IS NOT MOLD!!! Those are hairs that help anchor the seed to the soil.
      I have explained this in a previous Comment, but there are many, I know.

      The soil Conditioner is mostly Peat Moss and Worm castings. To be MIXED with tough, clay soil types in order to loosen up the clay.
      Perlite (which helps drainage) & Vermeculite (which does the opposite, by storing water- If that’s what u want), are mainly for POTTED plants. NOT for direct sowing (except for adding on the surface beneath the plant to help with mold).
      CRUST? Not sure what u mean, but what are you using to protect them from Birds/Slugs? As long as the seeds are in a crevice, hidden away within it, it should be ok.
      – People always under-estimate birds. Thinking they won’t see the seeds. But they do see them. Birds watch us as we plant them. They inspect ANY Soil that has been moved, placed, or displaced.
      Many times, looking for worms. But are PROS at finding every last seed.
      – Or they see no slugs, and they move too slow to be a threat, but then wake up to missing sprouts.
      – If u started yours Indoors, remember to Acclimate them before planting outdoors.


  7. Heiko Muench jr
    02/01/2020 @ 11:42 am

    I would like to grow bread seed poppies. I have the seeds and would like to know the best type of soil and the best way and time to grow them. Your input will be very helpful thank you.


  8. poirotgrl
    10/12/2020 @ 3:08 pm

    What would you advise regarding garden bed dimensions? I’m a novice at this. I’m trying to configure my beds for this spring and have no idea what dimensions I should start with. I have plenty of space. Also, is there a particular type you would recommend? Izmir Afghan’s?


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      12/07/2020 @ 11:30 am

      You’ll want a Minimum of 18″ at your most Narrow part. 24″ would be safest. Yes, Izmir Afghan are obviously some of the best Genetics, but if this is your first time growing, you may just want to get a Mix of some different kinds.


  9. Billee
    02/26/2021 @ 9:37 am

    Hi, I’m growing Papaver Somniferum Afghan Blues. Last year, I noticed my seeds were only sprouting in ashes from brush fires after clearing fields for my gardens. We don’t have a consistent soil type here, I’m in zone 6 in East Tennessee, as it seems to transition from clay to black soft dirt to rocky and sometimes sandy soil all within 1 acre or less. Anyway, the seeds refused to sprout in any other soil than where the ashes were. Is this because of the water retention provided by the ashes during early stages? Also I’ve been planting in early Spring and the ones that do sprout seem to grow extremely slow until after the 3rd or 4th set of leaves and I find that some pods aren’t mature by the time the plant starts to die that Fall. Is planting a large area in late Winter or during Fall a viable solution in Zone 6? Thank you and have a great day.


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      02/27/2021 @ 3:12 am

      It may have had to do with moisture, or perhaps protected from Birds/Slugs. Or maybe nutrients. But as far as getting them to Full size, you may want to start them earlier, or even the previous Fall. They need really Cool Temps at first, but lot’s of Sun.
      They are slow growing for about 2 1/2 months until they Bolt and begin Flowering (which will happen whenever the Temps force them to).


  10. John
    03/09/2021 @ 6:46 am

    If planting in pots what size do you recommend? Also, do you thing Fox Farm Grow Big 6-4-4 liquid fertilizer would work for poppies?


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      03/10/2021 @ 1:53 pm

      5 Gallon pots per plant. Fox farm works for short term. But, you also want some slow non-water soluble nutrients.


  11. Jamie
    04/23/2021 @ 6:30 pm

    HI, I have a simple, quick question. But first I will provide a little info about my growing situation. I started off sprouting about 50 seeds in peat pellets. Then, I thinned down to 5 plants I put into a 36″ long planter. They were growing fast, so I removed 2 of them to leave 3 plants total, with 12″ of spacing between them. The planter is very shallow, though. It’s 4″ deep. So, I am aware that I am not providing sufficient space for the root system to grow, but they are still growing. They are now starting to flower, with the flower head hanging down, and slowly opening.
    I just want to know what it means when the tips of new leaf growth is coming in with the tips very dry, shriveled and crispy. Also, there’s a dark, blueish tint to the crispy portion. This has been happening all throughout the growth cycle. During the cabbage stage, I thought the plant was dying off, so i removed it from the grow lights I had it under and put it under lower intensity light. Now, one of my plants are flowering and I still see some dry, crispy tips to some of the leaves. It’s very weird. I am growing 2 more poppies from seed now, and they are both in very large pots. Although, one of them is way smaller than the other, under exact same conditions and sprouted at the same time. Is this normal? For one seedling to be growing so much faster than the other, or is something maybe wrong?
    Thanks so much for your time and advice with my poppies! I love your website! Also, I am DEF gonna buy some seeds from your company. This is my first time growing papaver somniferum, and I ordered the seeds I just used from a place called “Sheffields Seed Company”. I don’t know exactly what strain they are, though. It didn’t say when I ordered or on the package they came in. Although, on the seed packet it says FF-6-A, FC-5-H12. Does that shed any light on the strain? I guess I could just message Sheffields Seed Company Inc. and ask them. But since you provide strain type and step-by-step growing instructions I want to order some of your seeds. Again, thanks for your time!


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      04/24/2021 @ 8:12 pm

      Hmmm. This is something I’d like to see photos of – But also why I don’t advise growing indoors. Because it provides a perfect environment for some microscopic Pests and Fungai to thrive without any natural predators.
      So it could be ANYTHING.
      Also, I’ve grown poppies in a shallow garden before, they did fine, but they were outdoors.
      Upload some pics to, and leave a Link to them.


  12. killroy brown
    06/03/2021 @ 10:17 am

    hello and thank you for the help. i started some poppies in a cactus mix and they all sprouted fast but growth is crazy slow, i am believing the soil was void of most nutrients and ph off. so i added some organic very light fert and kinda started growing but now it heat season urgh lol So what ph do you use? and any organic fertlizer i am in zone 7b for fall when would you start seeds? Thank you for your time sir


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      07/04/2021 @ 5:01 pm

      Start seeds as soon as the High temp each day doesn’t reach over 65 degrees (f). This is why I never mention What Month to plant etc, because everyone lives in different Zones.
      So I go by Temp.
      They love Nitrogen and lots of organic Nutrients.
      Also SEE THIS POST


  13. Peter
    06/18/2021 @ 7:04 pm

    Hello my poopies are about 5 weeks old and they seem small? I’m not sure if they are supposed to be this small or what but i have them in these biodegradable cardboard cups been having issues with them flopping over as well I know they’re suppose to flop but the stems look a little weak and I’m wondering if they will grow into them? I’m happy to send pictures via email and would greatly appreciate the input. First time growing..


  14. hippy92366
    06/24/2021 @ 9:18 am

    I bought some golden paplaver and they are growing buy they are really not healthy and I have had some beautiful flowers ut the plants themselves seem week and no matter how I try to make them grow without falling over and I have a good fan blowing right on the I don’t really remember wmany ji j*yt


  15. Jennifer
    03/12/2022 @ 12:56 pm

    Hi there!

    I have a p.sonm question. I’m in zone 6b, I threw my seeds out almost two weeks ago and they started sprouting yesterday. The temps dropped significantly this morning while I was asleep, and I awoke to snow on the ground. I debated covering them last night, but I just thought we would just get a frost and figured I would let mother nature run its course, I now fear they are dead. We only got about half an inch of snow, but I went and looked and couldn’t find my precious seedlings. So I went ahead and covered the plot with leaves this morning.

    Should I have just left it alone? Do you think they are dead? What do you think about my situation?
    I’ve always heard people just throw them out and forget about them, but I’m very concerned…if you can’t tell lol.


  16. Isabell
    03/19/2022 @ 3:38 pm

    How long is the seed life of Papaver somniferum to be ab le to germinate and can I prolong the seed life by storing them in my freezer? I already have a tight seed box of vegetable seed. Trying to find the seed life and so far have not found any information on it.


  17. mikie
    03/27/2022 @ 12:11 am

    Last year I purchased Giganteum Papaver Somniferum Poppy Seeds and they sprouted, then fizzled and died! I had enough left over to plant for this year. I have had them growing for about 3 weeks. What I thought were Peduncles turned out to be lettuce. Now that the lettuce is getting fuller, the plants are top heavy and falling over. I have toothpicks holding them up. One of my plants is not doing well and the tips of its lettuce is going brown and wilted. My questions four are:
    1. Is this normal for the plants to get top heavy and fall over?
    2. Should I leave the plants laying in the soil or use the toothpicks to put them upright?
    3. Will the stalks thicken to support their weight in time?
    4. Do I leave the browned shriveled part of the lettuce or cut it off? I only ask because I know some unrelated plants wants it removed while others prefer the wilted brown tips to stay.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.