Papaver somniferum / Opium Poppy / Seeds

(Code: PG_013)
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Papaver somniferum / Opium Poppy / Seeds

The original species of Opium Poppy, with big flowers in scarlet with inner darker markings.   Plants flower throughout the summer from June to August.  As this is an original species there is likely to be some variation in flower colour, with a few paler and darker forms.  This poppy grows about 1m in height and is a good border plant.  The seed pods are very ornamental in winter.  


Opium Poppies grow best in full sun and can cope with all soils except water-logging.  It shows best grown in groups.

Pack of 1g (approx 2000) small seeds.  Sow in autumn or spring directly in the ground.  Autumn sowings flower earlier than spring sowings. Sowing instructions and a colour photo are printed on the packet.

Parts of the plant are considered toxic.

See how your seeds are packed.

Hardiness Hardy annual (RHS Hardiness H5)
Flowers June to August
Height 1m
Spread 20cm
Conditions  Full sun and well drained soil

Sow in spring or autumn directly onto the surface of cultivated soil and rake over lightly.  Sow in patterns, such as a cross or circle, so you can identify and remove weed seedlings. Thin directly sown seedlings to about 15cm apart. Or sow in early spring on the surface of plugs or cells of seed compost and keep at room temperature.  Germination takes 10-30 days.  Plant out into the garden after the last frost, disturbing the roots as little as possible.  


Plants grow, flower and then die in the same year.  Once established, plants need little care and attention.  The plants form attractive seedheads after flowering, which look good on plants overwinter.  Scatter seeds into the garden in autumn/winter if you want plants to self-seed, although they may flower in different colours in subsequent years.   Remove seedheads before they mature in late summer if you do not want plants to self-seed.  Remove plants in autumn/winter and sow again in autumn or spring.