ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Grow Poppies from Seed

Updated on January 18, 2014

Growing your own poppies from seed is something that is not only easy to do, but will fill your garden with the most beautiful flowers year after year. While some poppies are annual and some are perennial, all poppies will happily self-seed and replicate themselves year after year.

Poppies are wonderful flowers that aren't terribly fussy about ground or soil conditions, and which will grow and grow with minimal care.

Many annual poppies will happily self-seed to give you a continued display year in year out.

Poppies make great cut flowers for the house, but they are also such happy little flowers they will brighten up your garden no end.

There is nothing nicer than looking out from your window and seeing a patch of poppies happily growing away, bringing color into your garden, and lightness, even on a dull day.

growing poppies
growing poppies
100 Organic White Afghan Poppy Seeds Papaver Somniferum
100 Organic White Afghan Poppy Seeds Papaver Somniferum

White Afghan Poppy Seeds Papaver somniferum


Grow Poppies

One of the great things about growing poppies, is that they really aren't fussy about soil conditions. So if your soil is acidic or alkaline, boggy or free-draining, it really doesn't matter, poppies will still grow.

They grow well in wetlands and can survive droughts, and they always pop their little flower heads out, brightening up a dull day.

Poppies do like to grow in a sunny location, or in an area that catches the most sunlightin countries that don't see much of the sun, but they will tolerate partial shade.

The only thing the poppy doesn't like is being exposed to strong winds.

Even in the traditional cornfields where poppies grow wild, poppies seek the shelter of the corn which towers over them and protects from the wind.

poppy seeds are tiny
poppy seeds are tiny

Poppy Seeds

Poppy seeds are tiny. Each poppy seed head contains thousands if not millions of seed, which when left to nature, feeds birds and small mammals through the winter.

The rest are carried away by the wind to re-grow wherever they settle.

Birds spread a lot of poppy seeds far and wide from where the original poppy flower was grown. This can make poppies grow like weeds in some areas.

Buy Papaver Somniferum seeds at Amazon

Sowing Poppy Seeds

When growing your poppies from seed, choose a dry, windless day, preferably a day after rain has fallen.

This will mean the ground is nice and damp. Poppy seeds, like every other seed, like to be watered in, but poppy seeds are so tiny they are likely to get washed away!

if you sow the seeds when the ground is already damp, your seeds will stand a much better chance of surviving.

Sow your poppy seeds in the spring once all risk of frost has passed.

You can also sow them in the autumn to imitate nature, but the danger comes from a late warm spell which may signal the seeds to germinate, and the seedling may then be killed off by a cold winter.

If, however, after sowing them in the autumn the weather continues too cool, the seeds will lie there dormant until the spring, when as the weather heats up you will notice tiny poppy seedlings growing. You can then add some form of protection in case of a late frost.

A cloche, or even straw, for example, would be perfect for protecting those little poppies.

poppy flowers
poppy flowers

Poppy Seedlings

If your poppy seedling are too close together, you may want to thin them out to allow each plant the space to reach its full potential.

Too many plants crowded together will result in weak, spindly growth.

Try to leave 6 - 12" between your plants.

If you carefully dig the seedlings up rather than just pull them out by the roots, you may be able to transplant them to another part of the garden.

When growing poppies from seed, it is worth giving your poppy plants a bit of space.

poppy seed bagel
poppy seed bagel

Poppy Seeds Uses

Poppies are beautiful flowers.

Apart from brightening up your garden year after year, they make excellent cut flowers for a few days (the flowers never last very long anyway).

You can also save the seed for use in the kitchen.

Poppy Seeds in Food

Poppy seeds are commonly used commercially in seeded bagels, and are sold dried for cooking. Poppy seeds can be added to many dishes. They are typically used in the making of curries, for their pleasant, nutty flavor. In Europe, poppy seeds are commonly ground down to make a paste which is the basis for many cookies and candies.

Poppy Seed Oil

Poppy seed oil is also widely used in pharmaceutical industry. It is also used in the making of soaps, paints and varnishes and in the kitchen in many culinary dishes. It is high in vitamin E and has no narcotic properties. It lasts longer than other plant oils and has a pleasant, mild taste. Poppy seed oil is commonly used as a salad dressing.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Vicky Chappell 

      3 years ago

      I sowed seeds and got only one plant, but I will keep trying

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from UK

      You won't regret it, they are lovely :)

    • NotTooTall profile image


      7 years ago from The Land of Pleasant Living

      I really enjoyed reading your Hub! Super-informative. Thank you for sharing. I like growing flowers from seed, I'm going to sow Poppies this spring!

      N T T

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from UK

      Thanks Brian! You have reminded me I haven't used my Amazon UK link so I'll put it in now :)

    • BRIAN SLATER profile image

      Brian Slater 

      8 years ago from England

      Izzy -useful hub, learnt somethings I didn't know. I may order some of these, the white Afghan organic seeds are attractive as they seem a bit different from the standard red. Bookmarked and voted up.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)