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Irish Florists > Flowers > Poppy

Poppy / Papaver

Poppy Description

Poppies have been very popular and old hardy annual, and biennial, flowering plant with gardeners for many years. Bright and showy the poppy can be accommodated in almost any flower garden. Most frequently seen in vivid red varieties the poppy is available in other colours that include white, cream, yellow, orange and pink.

Poppies have been cultivated as ornamental and decorative flowers going back to ancient Mesopotamia 7,000 years ago. Today florists still value the poppy as a a cut flower for floral arrangements.

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Cultivation of Poppy Plants

Poppy Blooms

Poppy seeds of biennials should be sown in early summer but must be protected under cloches during the winter. In the spring thin out the seedlings to about 40cm.

Annual poppies seeds should be planted in their permanent flowering positions in mid spring. The young plants should be thinned out to about 30cm apart from each other.

Deadheading will prolong the flowering season and will prevent self-seeding. Poppies do not transplant well.

Popular Varieties of Poppy

The following lists some popular varieties of Poppy.

Dwarf Poppy Short, upright, hairy stems, fragrant
Pale Poppy

Hairy stem, 50cm tall, pale red petals

Atlas Poppy Perennial, blue foliage, pale orange flowers
Western Poppy Hairy & hairless stem, orange blooms
Svalbard Poppy

From Greenland, coarse foliage, white, yellow flowers

Oriental Poppy Attractive hairy, Orange-scarlet and other coloured flowers
Arctic Poppy Diminutive, yellow flowers

Poppy Pests and Diseases

Poppies are usually trouble-free however they can be susceptible to mildew on the leaves, manifesting itself as yellow spotting.

Height 30 - 75cm

Poppy - Scientific Classification

Planting distance: 30 to 45cm Kingdom Plantae
Flowers from early summer to late summer Order Ranunculales
Well-drained soil Family Papaveraceae
Sunny site Genus Papaver
Hardy annual and biennial    
Flowers Index Cornflower Hyacinth Pot Marigold
African Daisy Crocus Lily Primula
Ageratum Daffodil Lily of the Valley Snapdragon
Alstroemeria Dahlia Lobelia Snowdrop
Anemone Daisy Marigold Stock
Babys Breath Delphinium Pansy Sunflower
Begonia Forget-me-Not Pelargonium Sweet Alyssum
Bells of Ireland Freesia Petunia Sweet Pea
Busy Lizzie Gladiolus Phlox Tulip
Chrysanthemum Hollyhock Poppy Wallflower

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