Oh, those poppies. They just confuse me. First, I can't grow them. Secondly, I can't grow them. And thirdly, I can grow them. Sort of. You're confused now, too, right? Well, if you follow this blog closely, you know that I have a love/hate relationship with poppies. I love them - they hate me.
But I did have some measure of success this year, when two different ones that I planted last year survived the winter and went on to bloom this spring!
Oriental poppy 'Carnaeum' bloomed in May, as did 'Queen Alexandra.' They were exactly the same color and the only way I could tell them apart was by their centers. Both poppies now have seed pods that are close to spewing their tiny granules, which I'll welcome, so that eventually I'll have more poppies.
I also grew 'Lauren's Grape' last year, which is an annual poppy (Papaver somniferum), from seed and all I got were a few puny plants with equally puny blooms about an inch across. I pretty much ignored them since they were so insignificant and let them go to seed. Imagine my surprise when I got one beautifully large plant this spring with the most gorgeous grape blooms on it!
So what did I do differently? For the perennial oriental poppy, I provided better drainage than I had before. I mixed orchid mix into the soil when I planted them and I set them higher than the surrounding ground. I will say this method didn't work for 'Harlem.' I lost that one.
I planted several other annual poppies this spring, but I'm only getting those puny things from those. I'll let them go to seed and perhaps I'll get beautiful poppies next year from those, too!