Highlights of the garden from late spring to early summer, Oriental Poppies (Papaver orientale) are truly eye-catching perennials with their huge, silky-satin flowers in shades of red, orange, white or pink. Planted in small groups, their bold blossoms will give a colorful punch to your borders and draw the attention!
- Growing in clumps up to 3 feet tall and wide (90 cm), the flowers are generally 4-6 inches wide (10-15 cm) with purple-black centers atop stems clad with thistle-like, silvery-green leaves that fade soon after blooming.
- Prefers full sun to very light shade and enjoys rich, fertile, medium moisture, well-drained soils. Average garden soils are acceptable as long as drainage is good. These plants do not respond well to high summer heat and humidity. Mulch in winter until well established.
- Easy to grow, long-lived and virtually care-free, these poppies are deer and rabbit resistant!
- Perfect for borders and beds, rock gardens, cottage gardens. These plants go dormant after flowering. Combine them with Baby's Breath (Gypsophila paniculata), Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia), Shasta Daisy (Chrysanthemum x superbum) or Boltonia as a superb way of filling the gaps left by the dormant poppies.
- The seedpods that follow the fading flowers are also quite attractive and can be used in dried flower arrangements, or left in the garden for the visual interest they bring.
- Oriental Poppies may be grown from seed, and tend to self-seed in the garden.
- The best time to plant poppies is in the fall. Container-grown plants can be planted in spring.