Poppy, Papaver, cute spring flowers

Poppy flower

Papaver poppy, also simply called poppy, is a wildflower that blooms in spring and summer.

Papaver poppy facts

Type – perennial, annual

Height – 12 to 16 inches (30 to 40 cm)
Exposure – full sun

Soil: ordinary or rather rich  –  Flowering: whole summer

Planting papaver poppy

Growing perennial papaver poppy

For perennial poppies, plant in spring in garden soil amended with soil mix, and keep about 8 inches (20 cm) between two neighboring plants.

If you wish to sow perennial papaver, the ideal season is summer.

  • Poppy plantingBroadcast sow in a mix of soil mix and sand, or in special seedling soil mix.
  • Cover the seeds with soil mix and sprinkle water in a fine mist.
  • Keep substrate a little moist.
  • Thin to about 4 inches (10 cm) as soon as the first leaves appear.
  • Transplant to their final growing bed when the plants are well formed, generally at the beginning of fall.

Propagating poppies

Growing annual papaver poppy

To sow annual papaver poppies, proceed to sow directly in the plot from April to June and then water regularly but not too much.

  • In mild climates, you can even start sowing as early as February-March, but provide a cold frame.
  • When the first sprouts appear, thin to about 4 inches (10 cm) and transfer to the ground in spring.

Caring for papaver poppy

Poppy carePapaver poppy is a very easy plant to care for, it requires practically no care at all.

In summer, after the blooming, it is recommended to cut back the papaver to only an inch (a couple centimeters) or so from the ground, this will lead it to produce beautiful leaves.

As for diseases and parasites, papaver poppy is very resilient and only very few enemies are known…

However, if ever you uncover a few squadrons of aphids, follow the link to read how to get rid of aphids.

Learn more about papaver poppies

Poppy species in a fieldOne of the species of papaver is the common poppy. It is typical in that it hosts tall solitary flowers, often very colorful and unfolding 4 thin red wrinkled petals.

Other notable species are the oriental poppy, a perennial that blooms year after year, and the Papaver somniferum, an annual that must be sown in spring every year. This last poppy is the one from which the opium drug is derived, and medical morphine is extracted from it, too.

Poppies are often found in the wild, in fields and pastures, and in gardens they tend to make a garden look more natural.

Papaver poppy bears large, tall solitary flowers, and a nice thinly drawn leafage.

The meaning of poppy flowers

Poppy flower meaningThe poppy is worn to commemorate war heroes and soldiers who have died at battle.

Poppy flowers are indeed connected to World War I. In the trenches of France and Belgium, near Ypres, a saddened solder wrote an ode to a fallen friend.
In the poem, he said poppies were like memories of the soldiers buried beneath them. 🥀
In the US, poppies are worn on May 26th on National Poppy day. In the UK and other countries, Remembrance day is on November 11th.

Smart tip about papaver poppies

Take care, because papaver poppies spread quickly and they might be tough to keep under control!
It is best to cut the flowers as soon as the seed pod starts forming.

Transplant young poppy plants quickly or they’ll die, they don’t like being moved when older!

Images: Pixabay: kie-ker, Kim Dae Jeung, こうこう きちでん, tuku, Walter Sturn