Like other perennials, poppies must be divided in order to maintain optimal health. Divide your poppies once every 5 years, as leaving them alone longer will result in poor foliage growth, fewer blossoms and undeveloped shoots.
When to Divide Poppies
Divide poppies in late summer, once the plant has completely finished blooming. If you attempt to divide any earlier, you may kill the plant as poppies have sensitive root systems during growth. After blooming, the poppies rest before going into dormancy for winter.
The day before division, water your poppies well to keep the soil intact.
How to Divide Poppies
Use your shovel to dig around the entire plant, using care to gently lift the plant without displacing too much soil. Wearing gloves, use your sharp knife to cut the rhizomes of the poppies and separate them into separate plants.
How to Plant Divided Poppies
Poppies are very particular about their roots, so plant as soon as possible after being divided. Plant the new divisions in deep holes that are at least 15 feet apart from each other.