Available in annual and perennial varieties, beautiful poppies are one of the easiest flowers to grow. Many poppy varieties grow like wildflowers. They are also an excellent choice for adding color to flowerbeds and landscapes. They are even perfect for use in rock gardens and do very well in containers. By following these steps, you can grow poppies in a container.
Step 1 – Prepare your container
First, take your potting soil and fill the container almost to the top. You should leave about 1 inch to 1½ inches of space between the top of the container and the ground level. When you add soil to the container, be sure to mix the potting mix with your compost before adding your poppy seeds. Avoid using common types of garden mixes in your potting soil. These types of mixtures can prevent good drainage and are not suitable for poppies.
Step 2 – Sow the seeds
Place your poppy seeds directly on the floor. Never bury the poppy seeds in the soil, this would prevent them from germinating properly. Your poppy seeds will also need a lot of direct sunlight; then, be sure to place your container in a direct sunlight area for at least six to eight hours most days.
Step 3 – Water the poppy seeds
Use just enough water on the poppy seeds to moisten the soil. Be careful not to soak the soil and not to stress the seeds. Do not apply water with a water hose, use a watering can or spray bottle instead.
Step 4 – Fertilize the poppy
Apply an all-purpose fertilizer to your poppy seeds and plants about every two weeks during the first growing season. Once your poppies are about a year old, you can reduce the number of times you fertilize poppy plants until early spring and late fall.
Step 5 – Water and maintain poppy plants
Once your poppy plants are mature and well established, you should water them three to four times a week. The actual number of times you will need to water your poppy plants will depend on how the soil absorbs the water. You must let the soil dry between water applications. In most cases, watering every other day will allow this and promote vigorous growth. If you live in a hot or dry area, you can consider adding an inch or two of mulch to help retain moisture in the soil. A good organic mulch will also serve as a fertilizer for your poppy plants when it breaks down.
Step 6 – The poppy heads
To promote new flowers and flower growth, you must stop the older, faded flowers of your poppy plants before the flowers fall off their own. To neutralize your poppy plants, simply pinch the old flowers or cut them with a pair of scissors.