Growing Tips: Shirly Poppy

Quick Reference:

Annual, a plant that completes it’s life cycle in one season. Germinates in approximately 10 to 15 days with an optimum soil temperature of 55 to 60 degrees F. Space the seed 1 to 2 inches apart on the soil surface and DO NOT cover with soil. Seed is stimulated to germinate by light. Ideal plant spacing in the garden is 8 to 10 inches. Plant height: 16 to 24 inches.

When and where to plant:

In Alaska this variety blooms by mid-summer when the seed is planted directly in the garden and can be planted as soon as the soil can be prepared and has warmed in the spring. Plant seed where the poppies will grow all summer, they have tender roots and when transplanted must be transplanted with care. Select a sunny garden location with moderate to good, well-drained soil, enrich with plant food, sprinkle seed on the soil surface, DO NOT Cover and water well for good seed-soil contact. Keep soil moist until seedlings emerge. May be started 5-6 weeks before the last frost in individual plastic pots. Thin seedlings so there are 2 plants per pot. Carefully transplant seedlings to avoid disturbing roots, after the last frost.

Care:

Poppies require little care. Water plants only as necessary. Makes excellent cut flowers. To pick, cut stems just before buds open and immediately sear stem end with a flame.