The Himalayan Blue Poppy (Meconopsis betonicifolia) seeds that I bought at the Ft. Wayne Home & Garden Show are now resting on top of potting soil in peat pots on top of my dryer. I sprinkled them on late last week. The reason they're on top of the dryer is because the utility room (a.k.a. The Plant Room) has a bright south window and when the dryer runs, it provides bottom heat. I know, a heat mat would be better, but this will have to do. I doubt that the Himalayan mountains are bottom-heated either.
When I first saw blue poppies for the first time last year in Wayside Gardens' catalog, I immediately wanted them. I love blue flowers. (I like green ones, too. And purple ones. And red ones. And yellow. Oh, and white.) And then I noticed they are only hardy to zone 6. And they're expensive. So I nixed ordering them and decided they were one of the many things that I wished I could have, but can't.
Then I saw the seed packets at the show. Now, you may remember that I mentioned I have never been able to successfully grow poppies, either by transplanting or by seed. Last year, I planted two different ones by seed and never got a single sprout. The seed was fresh and from a reputable company, too. Guaranteed to grow. Except not in my garden. But here were the Himalayan Blue ones, and though they are supposed to be somewhat 'challenging' to grow (well, duh, they're poppies), I knew I'd regret not giving it my best effort. If I failed, I'd only lose $3.99 and a little bit of horticultural dignity.
They're supposed to take 20-25 days to germinate, so probably the earliest I'll see signs of potential success is April 25th, which is the day that Mom and I are going to the Cincinnati Flower Show. Maybe I'll have good news to share with her when we board the bus that morning.
Of course, germination doesn't mean I'll ever see a flower. Last year, I started several things early inside and while nearly every seed germinated, most of them succumbed to either damping off or I burned them after I put them out in the cold frame and forgot to vent it one particularly sunny day.
The gazanias were tough though, and survived everything I threw at them. I had saved my seed from the summer before and I proudly pointed this out whenever anyone toured my garden. "See these gazanias? I grew them from seed I saved from last year's blooms." And I'd puff my chest out a little bit when I said it. If you want guaranteed success starting seeds early inside, plant gazanias.
If I do manage to get the Himalayan blue poppies to sprout and then eventually bloom, you can bet I'll be posting it here in my blog and there will be a gazillion pictures and all kinds of bragging going on. However, do not ASK me how the poppies are doing if I haven't mentioned them. That would mean that I don't want to talk about it. After all, you haven't heard another word about those other seeds, have you?