Papaver poppies for Fall planting

Tue. Aug. 22, 2017

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Papaver poppies for Fall planting

Plant poppies in the Fall for a pretty display in June.  It’s crazy to think but Fall is around the corner.

There are numerous bulbs to plant in the fall but I saw some lovely poppies on a recent walk.  No phone with me, so no pictures but it made me think I might like to find some room for them.  Once, a couple of decades ago, I had a plant that I lovingly tended to, thinking it was a poppy that had migrated from one end of my garden to another… turns out it was a thistle!  HA!  I promise these poppies aren’t thistles.

Papaver poppy ‘Manhattan’

There are lots of types of poppies, some annuals.  I’m talking about Papaver Poppies.  Plant them in groups in a sunny, well-drained position. Poppies also make attractive cut flowers if you sear the ends of freshly cut stems with a match.  There are many stunning choices.  White Flower Farm offers a huge variety but you can also just google ’em!

What goes well with them are alliums.

Allium ‘Gladiator’

Orientale ‘pinnacle’ is an orange tipped white beauty with that unique poppy center, that, when dried, makes a wonderful addition to dried flower arrangements.


Plant this with purple allium and you have an eyepopping display.  Oh, and so many more combinations.

Papaver Poppies (aka Orientale poppies) are perennials in zones 3 through 8!  They’re not bulbs but bare-root plants. They should be planted with the top of the tap root about 1” to 3” below the soil surface. Follow all directions that come with your bare-root plant.  They’ll bloom in late May and June, normally for the Upper Midwest.

But, as I said, I recently saw them in July.  So, plants will do as they do!  After bloom, their foliage goes dormant, so plant them with the idea that you’ll want to have something in front to hide the fading foliage (which you can cut down) and put annuals or later emerging perennials like blackeyed susans or asters.

Planting and caring for your poppies!