Sunday, December 28, 2014

Propagating an oriental poppy. 12.29.14

P. orientale root divisions.  12.27.14
 I don't know if these will grow or die.  My intent was to dig up and move an entire clump of Papaver orientale, intact.  I ort of remember my grandfather growing them, but those may have been Papaver somniferum - an entirely different species.  P. somniferum is opium poppy, I think it's not a good idea to grow that one. 

Back to the oriental poppy, P. orientale, these were raised by seeds planted 13 years ago.   They became a big clump.  I wanted to move it to the Battleground border.  When I dug it up, it separated into big roots, like horse radish.  This has been a mild winter.  They have soem green leaves even now.

They are already dug up.  I separated and planted each root section.  If they grow, they grow.  If not, I know this doesn't work.

I did read that oriental poppies can be propagated via root cuttings.  Image is this poppy clump, Ma 22, 2013.


  1. I used to grow the oriental in PA, which was absolutely delightful. Seeing yours make me want to grow it again. I've been switching to the somniferum because of the Iranian lady grew it at the community garden. It grew so well that we attracted a drug addict who hop the fence and ate all the poppy pods. So that was the end of that but it was a sight to see a wide big bed of tall beautiful poppies. I grew it one yr at my front yard. see
    pink ones close up of black poppy
    manzenilla, the fry-egg
    red double
    Love them all!

  2. Lance, your black poppies were really beautiful. I like the others, but the black one was really amazing.

    I just don't want legal issues. Even though it's legal for seed suppliers to sell the seeds, I have read that they can arrest you for growing them. Which is strange. The oriental poppies are an excellent alternative- really beautiful, rich colors, and ephemeral, die down in summer allowing other plants to shine.

    I hope my transplants survive. it will surprise me if they do. I still have 2 other clusters I raised from seeds, 14 years ago.

  3. I have a red single ones, and also a purplish pink one. I've some psycho gardener who called the cops on the Iranian lady but nothing come of it luckily. The ones commonly grown doesn't have enough of the active ingredient to make drugs. The real poppies are in Afghanistan. In fact its open pollinated some of my seeds aren't true to parents. The pure red ones start to have black inner petal color crossing with the black one. The different color blooms at slightly different times so its natures' way of keeping them still true to color. I like the way the buds open up with the covering like a little hat and also when they make seed heads and the seed heads are sold in florist for bouquets. Bees go crazy on a poppy in full blooms. Magic.