Part V |
Growing Papaver Somniferum Poppies
Video PART 5: How to Identify and Harvest Papaver Somniferum Poppy Seed Pods
Poppies will begin to bloom 10 to 12 weeks from the time you plant them. Their petals will drop after about 48 to 72 hours. Then the pods will continue to grow for the next 2 to 4 weeks.
During this period, you can continue to Water & Fertilize them every 4-5 days if you wish for additional blooms to form.
There are theories out there that talk about NOT watering them as much, or other theories about Dead-Heading. However, there’s simply no way to prove which method will result in more Blooms, since every plant is different.
You need to leave the plant in the ground for about a month after it flowers (during which time, you should try to protect them from heavy winds and/or rain).
For Annuals (Breadseed), it’s natural for the lower leaves to begin ‘Browning’– be sure to clear these out from beneath. (for Perennials, do NOT remove the lower leaves)
Once their pods turn brown(ish) – they should rattle with the sound of loose seeds. At this point, you can harvest their seed, but continue to allow seeds to dry indoors in a paper bag, as there may still be presence of moisture.
They will remain Viable for 2-3 years at room temps. Or longer if refrigerated.
Ultimately, they can remain Viable indefinitely if stored in Freezer. But please note, they shall NOT be removed until you are ready to plant them, as the temperature change may cause moisture via condensation, thus rendering them useless.