Growing Tips: Iceland Poppy

Quick Reference:

A perennial that will flower the first season and lives and flowers for multiple seasons thereafter. Germinates in approximately 14 days with an optimum soil temperature of 70 degrees F. DO NOT cover seed with soil but likes darkness to germinate. Seed spacing ½ to ¾ inches apart. Space between plants in the garden, 10 to 12 inches. Plant height: 1 to 2 feet.

Where to plant:

Iceland poppies like full sun, prefer Alaska's cool weather, will grow in any sandy, well drained garden soil and like their seed planted where the plants will remain permanently, they must be transplanted with care.

Planting Instructions:

In Alaska it is recommended that when perennial seed is planted directly in the garden, it not be planted until mid June to allow the soil to warm. It is preferred that the seed be started indoors in containers because the environment is easier to control. Fill individual plastic pots that have drainage holes with a sterilized potting soil, sprinkle a few seeds on soil surface and water well for good seed soil contact, the seeds are very small. Seed likes darkness to germinate. Cover pots with black plastic to reduce evaporation and keep moist until seedlings emerge. Remove plastic from the pots as soon as the seedlings begin to sprout. When seedlings show their first green leaves water with a liquid solution of plant food , repeat every two weeks and place pots in full sun. When the seedlings are 1 to 1 ½ inches tall thin by clipping off all but the two largest plants and after the last frost move pots outdoors until the plants become well established, 2 to 3 inches tall. When planting to their permanent location, clip off the weakest seedling leaving only one plant, make a hole in the garden for the young plant, fill it with water, carefully slide the moist root ball out of the plastic pot, transplant it in the hole making sure the roots are not injured and carefully press the soil around the root ball. Immediately water well to help reduce transplant shock.

Care:

Remove faded blossoms to prolong flowering. Feed lightly every 6-8 weeks.