Fields of poppies bloom across California each spring and summer, making the landscape colorful and interesting. As the state flower, the California poppy grows in both cold and hot climates. The brightly colored flowers close at night and on cloudy days, only opening when they see the sun.
In warm summer areas, California poppies bloom in the spring and early summer, from March through June. Along the coast, poppies often bloom all summer due to the cooler air and plentiful moisture. Enjoy the blooms outside, as picking poppies for a bouquet causes the petals to fall off within hours.
Sow poppy seeds in a fully sunny area in the fall or early spring in mild climate areas on the west side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The seeds germinate once fall rains start. In colder areas, plant the seeds in the spring once soil temperatures get warmer.
Poppies reseed themselves, so once you plant them, they will keep coming back year after year. Some poppy plants resprout each fall in mild climates. In cold areas of the state, the plants grow as annuals, growing from seeds that fell the previous year.