Part I

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Growing Papaver Somniferum Poppies

(Part 1 of 5):


Please Post Any Inquiries you have by Commenting Below and I will answer in great Detail within 24 hours MAX- so that others may Benefit from the info.

Part one

  • Week 1

    Planting Poppy Seeds

    Poppies CAN be very easy to grow, and can also grow almost anywhere in the world, and require very little maintenance (once they get going). Generally speaking, growing poppies can be done almost anywhere.

    HOW to plant, simply cast seeds on top of loose, moist soil. No need to bury them – but you can gently press them into the ground, or toss a very thin layer of soil on top. You can mix your Seeds with Sand to Spread them as you cast them, but SALT works best, as it retains Moisture, prevents clumping, AND deters Slugs from eating sprouts. 

    • WHEN to plant will depend on which USDA Zone you are located in, but generally, seeds will sprout whenever Temps rise above Freezing (32, as Poppies prefer cool Temperatures during the Germination and Seedling stages. 
    • Poppy Seeds can be planted in either FALL, early SPRING, or BOTH (depending on how Mild your Winters are.
    • Results of Planting in Fall will provide earlier, and much larger blooms the following Spring, whereas Planting in Spring will still result in a spectacular display of Blooms, but just in early Summer.

  • Week 2-3

    Germination Tips...

    Seeds take roughly 2 weeks to Sprout. Alternatively, you can plant half your seeds in the Fall, and half in the Spring, but if you get a lot of snow in your area, they’ll die.

    They prefer Temperatures to be between º33 and º65 Degrees (F) or º1-º18 Degrees (C) for germination. But can withstand warmer Temps when Mature. YES, they DO need LIGHT to Germinate and HATE Transplanting.

    For Cooler areas, you can plant Iceland Poppies




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  1. ruuoots
    04/02/2017 @ 6:11 pm

    Hello, further to my last comment I can confirm green shoots have appeared in all pots after 10 days! Despite the weather (high temps), on another day the display showed 26 degrees C, if my tool is accurate? I used Ice sheets on a few of the pots this second particularly hot time (as many as I could make) but seedlings emerged even from those without cover.
    I have labelled up 12 pots in all and am trying a number of variables on my first attempt. Just for the hell of it I’ve even tried to plant some in my thick clay soil (not expecting much to come of that after roots break through peat pellet) #brickwall ;). Size of pots, positioning, soils, watering/not watering (after initial saturation of growing media in each), with/without peat pellets, types of fertiliser (heard about tomato feed working well with poppies, found an organic one). Blood, fish & bone (sorry veg/vegans), seaweed and bat guano. Some layered, some worked into potting mix. So among that lot I will hopefully find a winner! lol. Spent an afternoon drilling small holes in plastic cups for maximum aeration (liking your idea on that). Just netting in the first days on some and others with porous garden fabric + small frame inside pot to lift fabric and allow more growing room, hoping that works well. Secured with tight fitting elastic band should keep all pests out.
    Not exactly sure how to avoid cross pollination so decided all pots this year would be sown with the Izmir Afghan seeds. I think your video shows this variety growing well in pots so fingers crossed.
    My main worry now is watering correctly. Some I will continue misting until established, some I will sit in a wheelbarrow to soak up water from below (don’t have soaker hoses available, this time) I could use 50 pots and not exhaust the all the permutations but should get a fairly good indication what works best with trial and error. If you would caution against any of this please let me know, thanks. 🙂


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      04/05/2017 @ 7:43 pm

      Awesome! If you could take any Photo Documentation, that would be of great use. If you have enough, and you feel up to it, I’ll give you your own “Guest Tutorial Page”. Where you can either submit your own Content for us to Put together and Publish for you (and by you).
      Or, I’ll give you Admin access (Limited) where you can write everything and compose it yourself from the backend.
      We don’t take any credit for it. Nor do we alter it (unless u want us to).
      We just enjoy seeing the stories that “Grow” from our Seeds.

      This invitation is always open to anyone who can document their experience and produce Content from it.


      • ruuoots
        04/08/2017 @ 6:33 am

        Hello, thank you for your replies and your offer for me to submit a tutorial page. I didn’t get an email but had ticked to be notified? Kept this page open to see your responses. Wish I’d taken more pictures now! Got a few but should have documented the mixes as they went into pots, oh well. Having said that I did write some notes that correspond to each numbered pot and only recently prepared the small ground plot. So I’ll keep a visual progress on it all from this point, seedlings are still very young so anything could happen yet, hopefully only good things (healthy growth) 🙂 Perhaps by the end of the life cycle there will be a worthy amount of info to share here.
        Been having some unseasonably hot weather again, more like summer for here in the UK! 20ºC+ (found the symbol lol) forecast today. More ice sheets at the ready!
        About the earth:
        I did churn up the clay rich soil pretty well removing large rocks along the way. Left the soil spread out on a large piece of tarpaulin to dry slighty then forked it about in my small trailer till it was a crumbly texture before tipping it back loose in the hole. Used up the rest of a big 100 ltr bag of perlite mixed in too so perhaps it is sufficiently prepared . Forgot to leave some back for the (better than Judge Dredd) Triple Whammy! lol All pots do have some perlite on the surface though.
        The soil in my pots (without naming the company) contains: 20% sphagnum peat moss, 35% garden peat, 10% high quality organic Worm-Humus , 30% perlite. Separately I mixed in organic fertilliser as you have explained. Fairly confident this should see them through with watering and possibly other liquid fertiliser sprays.
        What sort of soil composition do you have in your rows for the great results you achieve and do you replenish nutrients every season or less frequently? Thank you.


        • OrganicalBotanicals
          05/10/2017 @ 5:42 pm

          Sure! No problem. Ya, that invitation is open to anyone who is growing our Seeds, as long as there are at least some Photos and/or Video to go along with the Documentation.
          I thought maybe Pie Pans would make the Perfect Ice Sheets, but I’ve never had the need for them up here in the PNW. Nor have I the means to make them, as I only own a Mini-Fridge.
          I could use a Photo showing the “Ice Sheet method” for our “Late Bloomers” Post. If u would like to share a Photo of your Ice Sheets, perhaps on top of one of your Pots, that would be the missing piece to that Post, and I’d be glad to either Credit you as the Photographer, and/or issue you a Coupon for Store Credit (you would still hold 100% Rights to your Pic(s) though).
          Feel free to upload to any Public Image Host (Imgur, giphy, Flickr, Photobucket), and just paste the Image URL(s) in any Comment.
          But ya, the Soil mix you described sounds like your average Potting Mix, which is perfect.
          However, if u wish to loosen Clay, use a Soil Conditioner (aka: ‘Soil Amendment’), and supplement with ‘Greensand’ and ‘Perlite’.
          There’s a Brand called ‘Black Gold’ that sell Amendment, and ‘Good Earth’ sells ‘Greensand’- it’s a Fertilizer but is only part of the ‘K’ Spectrum (NPK).

          For my rows, in the past, I liked to have total control of the NPK Levels, so I’d find THREE Fertilizers, each only containing either Nitrogen, Phosphorus, or Potash.

          But now I just Re-Plenish with a Mix consisting of a 6-3-3 NPK Levels. I will also grind up all remaining Plant Parts at the end of each Season, and mix back into the soil and allow it to recycle back into the soil.

          But Seasonal Fertilizer replenishment is VITAL, since poppies use up so much nutrients.


  2. Bastien
    04/03/2017 @ 8:25 am

    Hey I have two different kind of organic poppy seed but when I asked they guy if they were washed he looked at me like I was an idiot and said I don’t I’ve never of unwashed poppies so I hope I got some good stuff anyways I want to send you pictures of what I got and let me know if I can grow them or not


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      04/29/2017 @ 5:37 pm

      ANY and ALL “Poppy Seeds” that are Sold at a Store, are in fact “Papaver Somniferum” Seeds. Whether their Viable or not, I can’t say. Nor is there any way of knowing the ‘Variety’ (flower color, pod type, genetics, etc.) of Poppy it is until it blooms.
      But most likely, it will be your Typical Commercial ‘Breadseed Poppy’ (which look just like Tasmanian Poppies).
      Which is why you see sellers all over Amazon and eBay selling them by the pound, and just calling them whatever sounds marketable (“Afghan Purple Tasmanian”) Most of the time, showing just a Photo of a Seed Pile, or Images Stolen off Google Images- these Seed “Re-Sellers”, have never grown a Single Poppy.


  3. Tim Lombardini
    04/13/2017 @ 4:11 pm

    Thank you to the others who also recently leave comments here about their growing experiences. I am new at it with these poppies, but have gardened a wide variety of plants for over twenty years having been raised on ranch here in central CA. Been trying to germinate some seeds and so grow me a few varieties of papaver somniferum for nearly a month with nary a single sprout yet. Have tried peat pots as well as directly sowing on ammended ‘loam’ soil, also some with salt on top to discourage bugs. Weather has been cool at night (40 F) to mild in day (70 F) I have given up trying the peat pots and am down to just a small patch of ground sowen a couple of weeks ago, keeping it moist in hopes of a miracle sprout. No bird problems, the only pests noticed are some earwigs that come out during the night and so I used an organic-type spray to try and defeat them. Fortunately a friend who has a single strain of papaver somniferum established in his yard gave me a few young ones to transplant. They are actually doing ok considering, everything I had read about it was understood to be that transplanting is a difficult thing to accomplish. Go figure.


  4. Lukas
    05/02/2017 @ 9:44 am

    Hi, I want to choose some potent/productive poppy strain, which will be ready in medium-long summer.
    I am living in central Europe, so summer is much shorter in comparision to for example Afghanistan – where some came from.
    So I am looking for something strong/big, but not very slow.


  5. TranscendingWonderland
    05/03/2017 @ 2:07 pm

    I’ve been feeling the need to fertilize my poppy sprouts,yet I am unemployed and cannot afford commercial fertilizers at the moment.. Do you think that poppies would benefit from a home-made fertilizer made from composted coffee grounds and water? It’s high in nitrogen but I’m not sure if the acidity would be good for the sprouts… Please let me know your thoughts on this, or if you have any other suggestions. Thank you SO much!!!


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      05/10/2017 @ 4:33 pm

      Don’t use Coffee grounds in heavy amounts, as the Acidity can kill you sprouts.
      But if mixed with other Compost, it’s ok, just as long as your compost has been completely decomposed.
      But most importantly, you need to Sterilize any “Home made” Compost before adding it, as Poppies are very susceptible to several mold and fungus strains.


      • TranscendingWonderland
        05/12/2017 @ 9:41 am

        Thank you so much for your advice! I ended up making a weak cup of coffee and diluted it in some water. I fed it to my plants two days ago and now there’s tons of new sprouts and a dozen of them are finally in the “cabbage stage”. I’m so happy!!:) Thank you for having such an insightful tutorial!


  6. Russ Lynde
    05/15/2017 @ 11:09 pm

    I haven’t had a successful poppy garden for years. My theory was to sew them anytime and sew a lot of them, no wonder they never came up. I remembered that years ago I would sew them on top of a late snow, or here more likely a late ice, and they grew like crazy. My question is actually geared more towards encounters with law enforcement, DEA, BNDD, or any of the other MANY agencies. Has anyone had to deal with any of these agencies? As I said before, my technique was to sew way too many in hopes some would survive, they didn’t. In the 70’s and 80’s, I would never have thought of, let alone worried about, ordering too many seeds. Since 9/11 everyone is at the very least a “person of interest”. I probably ordered 10oz of Papaver Somniferum seeds the past year. I’m wondering if I should expect a visit or am I being overly paranoid? They’re legal to grow here so long as the pods aren’t scratched. I’m only concerned about the number of seeds I ordered cause none of them germinated.( I’ll fix that problem this fall) I laugh at myself for being so paranoid but then I remember the things I’ve seen the past 20 yrs. Thanks, russ


  7. John Tarantino
    05/23/2017 @ 10:03 am

    Is it possible to grow poppies indoors. I move a lot for work and would like to travel with them as they are so beautiful.


  8. Bill
    05/24/2017 @ 4:58 pm

    I was considering buying a 300 pack. I’m really new at this. I’m wondering, can they be grown indoors? If so, do you have a tutorial on how to? Thanks for the help.


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      05/24/2017 @ 9:37 pm

      Hi Bill, (and John, who also asks the same question) yes they CAN be grown indoors as several of our Users have been successful at.
      I don’t really have a separate tutorial since all the Temp, Light, Nutrient, and Water requirements would remain the same- and all other stuff in regards to “Pests” need not apply.
      I would suggest using LED Lights ONLY, since all others give off too much Radiant Heat.
      Their Flowering mechanism is triggered by “Heat” primarily.
      So I would allow their environment to become a bit warmer (75-85f) after about 2 solid months of growth.
      That should make them begin to Bolt.
      For Nutrients, I suggest an NPK Level of 6-3-5 as they are Nitrogen Lovers throughout all stages.
      I would welcome any Documentation you might record of your Indoor Grow, and offer you a Featured “Guest Post” Spot in the Blog if you wish.
      Keep notes. Take pics, and check in w/ us when you’re done.
      We’ll go from there. (this applies to u too, John, and all users- 1st come/1st serve)
      Glad to help w/ guidence along the way too. Just contact us at our Contact Page.


  9. Tracy Scarpello
    05/28/2017 @ 9:21 am

    I’m not sure this is the right place to ask but this is driving me nuts and I have found no info anywhere I have looked. I planted about 100 of your purple taz seeds last year. They grew beautifully to the cabbage stage and I was so excited to see shoots coming out. Unfortunately, the shoots were simply seeds.

    I figured I’d planted too late so this year, I planted in the fall. Same thing going. Beautiful cabbage stage, each plant throwing up seeds with no flower. How is this possible and is this something you could help me fix?


    • Tracy Scarpello
      06/04/2017 @ 4:40 pm

      Any information on my question ? I’d really appreciate it. Mdo you need a picture?


      • OrganicalBotanicals
        06/04/2017 @ 7:34 pm

        I apologize. I could have sworn that I answered your Question in great detail already, but it must have been lost.
        No need for a Photo, as I am fairly confident that the poppies you’re growing are NOT P. Somniferum.
        They sound more like Papaver nudicaule such as the ‘Champagne Bubbles’ variety.
        Somniferum Poppies NEVER grow in these Colors: ORANGE, PEACH, YELLOW, or BLUE (meaning BLUE blue, not Purple Blue)
        Where did you buy the seeds?
        Anyways, that’s why we sell them. Because is not all that easy to find Somniferum Seeds that are sold with a Full Image.


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      06/04/2017 @ 7:42 pm

      Well we don’t sell “Purple Taz” Seeds since that is not a Proper name.
      What I notice many first time growers do, is they plant Seeds, but have a hard time isolating and identifying their Sprouts (as even as an experienced grower, it takes a trained eye).
      So I’ve heard of situations where a completely different plant (wild to the user’s area) would come up.
      When you say the word “Shoots”, what is a “Shoot”?
      Perhaps you should upload some Pics to Imgur and leave me a Link.
      I think I have some photos of sprouts that include a bunch of Native weeds, and one Poppy that I took. I will look for it and show you to see if you’ve got a Trained enough eye.
      Doesn’t sound like you’re letting the Poppy grow, rather something native.
      ALSO, see MY REPLY to this Comment in Section #2


  10. southofsanity36
    06/02/2017 @ 1:54 pm

    How long will the seeds stay viable for? If I dont plant them this season, will they be alright for next spring?


    • OrganicalBotanicals
      06/04/2017 @ 4:04 pm

      If you store them at room temp in a dry, dark place, for several years.
      If stored in the refrigerator, add another 10 years, but don’t remove them until you’re ready to plant.
      If stored in the freezer, they will last indefinitely, but same rules of removal apply.


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