Container Growing Your Poppies
Available in both annual and perennial varieties, beautiful poppies are one of the easiest flowers to grow. While many varieties of poppies grow as wildflowers in many areas, they are an excellent choice for adding color to flowerbeds and landscapes. There are even great for use in rock gardens as well. However, they do really well in containers. So, here is a how-to guide on how to grow poppies in containers.
Step 1 - Prepare Your Container
First, take your potting mix soil and fill the container almost all the way to the top. You should leave about 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches of space from the top of the container to the soil level. As you're adding soil to the container, make sure to work in compost with your potting mix soil before adding your poppy seeds. Avoid using common types of garden mix in your potting mix soil. These types of mixes may prevent good drainage and are not good for use with poppies.
Step 2 - Sow the Seeds
Place your poppies seeds directly on top of the soil. Never bury poppy seeds in the soil as this will prevent them from germinating properly. Your poppy seeds will also need a lot of direct sunlight; so, make sure to place your container in an area that gets at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight on most days.
Step 3 - Water the Poppy Seeds
Use just enough water on the poppy seeds to moisten the soil. Make sure not to soak the soil and cause stress to the seeds. Do not apply water with a water hose, but use a watering can or spray bottle instead.
Step 4 - Fertilize the Poppy
Apply an all-purpose fertilizer to your poppy seed and plants about every two weeks during the first growing season. After your poppies are about a year old, you can reduce the times you fertilize the poppy plants to early spring and late fall.
Step 5 - Watering and Maintaining Poppy Plants
Once your poppy plants are mature and well established, you should water the plants of 3 to 4 times a week. The actual number of times that you will need to water your poppy plants will depend upon how the soil absorbs the water. You should allow the soil to dry out between water applications. In most cases, watering every other day will allow for this and promote vigorous growth. If you live in a hot or dry area, you may want to consider adding an inch or two of mulch to help retain moisture in the soil. A good organic mulch will also act as a fertilizer for your poppy plants as it decomposes.
Step 6 - Deadhead the Poppy Plants
To promote new blooms and flower growth, you should deadhead the older, faded blooms of your poppy plants before the flowers fall off by themselves. To deadhead your poppy plants, simply pinch off the old blooms or snip them with a pair of scissors.