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Part V |


Growing Papaver Somniferum Poppies

(Part 5):

Video PART 5: How to Identify and Harvest Papaver Somniferum Poppy Seed Pods

Pre-Bloom | 9 to 10 weeks
Pre-Bloom | 9 to 10 weeks
Pre-Bloom | 10 to 11 weeks
Pre-Bloom | 10 to 11 weeks

Pre-Bloom | 11 to 12 weeks

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.

Bloom | 12-13 Weeks
Bloom | 12-13 Weeks
Bloom | After 24 Hours
Bloom | After 24 Hours
Post Bloom 13 to 14 Weeks
Post Bloom 13 to 14 Weeks
Pods Ready for Seed Harvest
Pods Ready for Seed Harvest
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  1. Joshua
    04/05/2017 @ 2:53 pm

    I planted my poppies at the beginning of February and here it is the beginning of April and it seems my plants are stalled out despite plenty of liquid 10-10-10. They did get some spider mites for about a week, and the spray i used to kill the mites burned the tips of the leaves. I’m hoping that didn’t effect the whole plant.

    Here is a link to a pic of them at 8-9 weeks, let me know what you think.


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      04/05/2017 @ 6:23 pm

      If they were small black bugs on the bottom side of the lower leaves, they don’t harm your plant. they’re just “Drug Bugs”.

      The only thing to worry about at this stage, with how close together they are (too bad u didn’t thin them down just a little more, because they have potential) is Stem Rot at the base where the stem meets the earth. Don’t let too much moisture build up down there.

      SO if there are ever any wet, floppy dead leaves down at the bottom, clear them out.
      I have no experience with chemicals, otherwise I’d be able to help.
      Poppies are basically considered to be poison to all pests including deer.

      That doesn’t mean they won’t come take small bites at the base of each leaf node, just to see if it’s edible (thereby killing every plant, leaving all the leaves laying on the ground)

      Which has happened to half my crop already this year.
      Can’t tell if it’s a Mole or a bird or what.


    • JJ
      08/31/2017 @ 10:48 pm

      do the pods grow back after you cut them off?


      • OrganicalBotanicals
        09/27/2017 @ 8:18 pm

        Not the same ones. You mean once they’re brown? They’re done. Over. Finished.
        Begin from seed again next cycle.
        That’s an Annual for ya. LOL.


          02/18/2019 @ 4:37 am

          Though they won’t grow back the exact same ones, similar to the Green stuff, if you cut off or “top” the first stem/pre-bloom it breaks the apical dominance (genetic tendency to focus all metabolism on a single main bloom) and signals to the plant to produce more blooms. It is basically destroying its reproductive organ, causing it to panic and produce more reproductive organs in an attempt to secure its genetics are passed down for another generation. I have been growing some out indoors both to gather floral arrangements for my great grand mother (whom had several varieties always in bloom in her yard while I was growing up), and to find fine genetic stock to bring out different colors and sizes in blooms for a breeding project with her garden’s offerings. I will be documenting the next run and send you the information, as there is practically 0 information regarding the indoor needs of these plants.


          • OrganicalBotanicals
            02/21/2019 @ 3:01 am

            Thanks for your input. However, it’s scientifically IMPOSSIBLE to prove the theory of “Topping-Off” (since there’s no way to know either way, whether or not you’d end up with more, or less blooms) as there are never two Identical Plants in identical Conditions to test such theory.
            Although, you can produce an “On Average” test result in a sterile lab environment, by performing several tests among two identical plants.
            I’ve tried it a few times, and I have also grown “the green stuff”.
            You must have missed the comment I left where I talk about how Growing Poppies are like the exact OPPOSITE of growing Cannabis.
            ALL Plants (and living things) have the Genetic disposition to reproduce already hard-coded into their Cells.
            They don’t need to be snipped to do so.
            I found that there are other ways to stimulate that same instinct, without having to damage them.
            Which I talk about in the comments (probably on Part 1).
            But, I don’t wish to discount your comment. So please do share your discoveries with us. I will be happy to allow for a “Guest Post” if you wish to document indoor growth as well.
            (the reason we have not, is because we haven’t the space indoors- and, until the recent discovery of LED Lighting, it simply hasn’t been worth it economically- to keep the Temps low enough, especially since you usually need a minimum of 30 plants to make it worth your while).
            Then there’s the labor. Tired just thinking of it. LOL


  2. Kween Frostine
    11/03/2017 @ 12:32 am

    Great site!

    This might sound weird/gross/lame, but can diluted human urine really be used as fertilizer for poppies & other crops? I read that you can “enrich” the soil with urine (1 cup in 8 cups of water) prior to planting your seeds & it will give them a good balance of nitrogen, potassium & phosphorus for their whole lifespan. Urine also supposedly has the benefit of scaring off some predators like coyotes & the like.

    Would this be a worthwhile avenue for someone with no access to store-bought soil or fertilizer? I’m putting everything straight in the ground this Feb/Mar & trying to be discreet about my grow, hence the “no access to soil or ferts” thing. Wish me luck! :)


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      11/19/2017 @ 3:04 am

      Not right away. The urine would be harmful at first, but after about 3 Years, it breaks down to Usable Nutrients. Or, you could always Sterilize/Pasturize it. But there are better Fertilizers.
      Some Predators it will deter, others, it may Attract. So that part’s a Draw.
      NO NEED FOR “STORE BOUGHT” Soil at all!!
      That’s for POTS ONLY.
      It’s BEST to Plant into the Earth’s Own Dirt.


  3. Eve's Leaves
    01/05/2018 @ 10:26 pm

    Hi! Great site. Really helpful.

    Just wondering if strong winds (30-70 mph) and thunderstorms will kill large poppies once the flowering stem has gone up? We get some WILD weather here in the Spring but the Winters are too icy & cold to plant in the Fall. Tornadoes are common, but even when they don’t strike in my yard the winds they bring can be intense. I don’t have anything with which to cover poppies where I’ll be planting them. They’ll just be out in the open behind a row of cedars. (I’m also growing one poppy in a pot so I can move it if necessary, but it’d suck to get the others to the adult stage only to watch them bend & break in a storm). This is a low budget grow & has to be stealthy as well so I don’t have the luxury of using nets, fencing, etc that would draw attention to them.

    Thank you!


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      01/15/2018 @ 1:13 pm

      As long as you stayed true to what is explained in THIS TUTORIAL, and you gave it plenty of room to grow a thick stalk – they should be ok, but I always run a Support Line down my rows as I show in the Video within THIS PAGE.
      Hope this helps.


  4. Overseer
    05/18/2018 @ 1:52 am

    Hi, thank you for all the information you have posted. Would you be willing to look at the plant I’ve managed to grow? It’s been about 9-10 weeks since germination and there is no sign of it growing a flower stalk. This is the only one that has survived our slug/snail issue as it was potted. It’s recently attracted what you called drug bugs and aphids. any advice there as well? Thank you


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      05/22/2018 @ 4:52 am

      That appears to be perfectly healthy. unless you see BLACK Foliage in the Center (in which case, spray Neem Oil or a Plant Detergent to rid plant of bugs), Otherwise, it should begin it’s “Rapid Growth” Stage soon (Bolting).
      A stem will shoot up from the Center. Just make sure it gets a good watering every 2-3 days all the way up until the Pods have dried


  5. Visa
    02/19/2020 @ 8:15 pm

    I have a papaver somniferum that seems to be at the stage where the nod is poking out. But it is not goosenecking. Is that normal?


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      02/20/2020 @ 6:24 pm

      It straightens up just before bloom. Depends on the size of the stem/head etc. Upload a pic to Imgur, and share link for more help


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