How to Divide and Transplant an Oriental Poppy

Oriental poppies generally don’t respond well to division and transplantation, but that doesn’t mean that it’s an impossible feat to perform.

Dividing poppies should only be done if the clump of poppies or poppy roots is large. If you try to divide them without having a large root clump, you could damage the roots and kill both plants (or the one plant made two). When dividing the whole plant, avoid splitting the main root.

While transplanting can be a tricky process for oriental poppies, you can make it easier on the plant by fertilizing the soil and providing excellent drainage. This doesn’t mean that you should keep the soil dry, but rather, make sure water doesn’t collect and cause root rot or other diseases that can occur. Fungus can attack a diseased poppy, and since they’re so sensitive to fungicides, the best cure is prevention.

Keep your transplanted poppies healthy with plenty of fertilizer. The amount will vary based on the plant’s need and the directions with each container of fertilizer. Also, keep the pH of the soil closer to neutral so that you don’t burn your plants with soil acidity.

Dividing and transplanting your poppies will essentially “clone” your flowers. Similar to propagating, division establishes another plant from a single one. This will lend consistency to the hues of your poppy garden.