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Poppy / Papaver
Poppies have been very popular and old hardy annual, and biennial, flowering plant with gardeners for many years. Bright and showy the poppy can be accommodated in almost any flower garden. Most frequently seen in vivid red varieties the poppy is available in other colours that include white, cream, yellow, orange and pink.
Poppies have been cultivated as ornamental and decorative flowers going back to ancient Mesopotamia 7,000 years ago. Today florists still value the poppy as a a cut flower for floral arrangements.
Cultivation of Poppy Plants
Poppy seeds of biennials should be sown in early summer but must be protected under cloches during the winter. In the spring thin out the seedlings to about 40cm.
Annual poppies seeds should be planted in their permanent flowering positions in mid spring. The young plants should be thinned out to about 30cm apart from each other.
Deadheading will prolong the flowering season and will prevent self-seeding. Poppies do not transplant well.
Popular Varieties of Poppy
The following lists some popular varieties of Poppy.
|Dwarf Poppy ||Short, upright, hairy stems, fragrant |
|Pale Poppy || |
Hairy stem, 50cm tall, pale red petals
|Atlas Poppy ||Perennial, blue foliage, pale orange flowers |
|Western Poppy ||Hairy & hairless stem, orange blooms |
|Svalbard Poppy || |
From Greenland, coarse foliage, white, yellow flowers
|Oriental Poppy ||Attractive hairy, Orange-scarlet and other coloured flowers |
|Arctic Poppy ||Diminutive, yellow flowers |
Poppy Pests and Diseases
Poppies are usually trouble-free however they can be susceptible to mildew on the leaves, manifesting itself as yellow spotting.
|Height 30 - 75cm || |
Poppy - Scientific Classification
|Planting distance: 30 to 45cm ||Kingdom ||Plantae |
|Flowers from early summer to late summer ||Order ||Ranunculales |
|Well-drained soil ||Family ||Papaveraceae |
|Sunny site ||Genus ||Papaver |
|Hardy annual and biennial || || |