How to Plant a Poppy


Poppies are easy-care plants. They reseed readily and you may find a poppy in your garden, whether you originally planted it or not. However, they are not good candidates for transplanting. Whether you want to plant a "found" poppy or set a seedling, follow a few guidelines for the best results.

Difficulty: Moderately Easy


Things You’ll Need:

  • Gloves
  • Shovel or large trowel
  • Utility knife (if necessary)
  • Mulch
  1. plant-poppy-1.1-120X120 Crowded plants are vulnerable to disease.

    Choose a site with full to partial sun and well-drained soil. Dig a hole at the same depth as the location where the poppy was growing or was set in a container. If you plant multiple poppies, keep planting holes roughly one foot apart or more, based on the poppy’s mature size.

  2. Water the poppy before removing it to reduce shock and to loosen the soil.

  3. Young poppies have not yet grown extensive root systems.

    Choose a container-grown poppy with at least two sets of true leaves. The younger the poppy, the easier it is to plant.

  4. plant-poppy-1.4-120X120 The larger the trowel or shovel, the better the chance of an intact root ball.

    Use the shovel or trowel to dig wide around an established plant. Poppies have extensive root systems and deep taproots. Keep the entire root ball intact, if possible. For a container-grown poppy, gently slide the root ball from the container. Use a utility knife to cut the container, if necessary; never pull on the plant itself. Loosen any bound roots.

  5. Plant the poppy immediately. Firm the soil around the root ball. Water well and add mulch.

Tips & Warnings

  • Mature plants may not survive the transplant process. If possible, save the seed from a mature poppy and plant it in the desired area, rather than moving the plant.

  • Plant on cloudy, cool days or in the late afternoon to avoid drying heat.

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