Look for the traditional favourite, Flanders Red, or for more colour variety, try Iceland poppies, which come in yellow, gold, pink, salmon, orange and white. They’re both easy to grow from seed and if you sow them now, you can expect a beautiful show in your garden come spring.
Climate Poppies grow well across most climates. In temperate climates, you can sow the seeds right through the autumn months. In cool and cold climates, sow seeds from summer to early autumn, and in warm tropical and subtropical climates, sow from early autumn to winter.
Aspect Choose a warm, sunny position with protection from strong winds.
Soil These flowers grow best in loose, well-drained soil. For best results, prepare the bed well a few weeks prior to planting by enriching with plenty of well-rotted manure or compost and forking in well.
Planting You can sow poppy seeds directly into a garden bed, or raise them in pots or punnets. Sow seeds thinly, and cover with a light scattering of seed-raising mix. Water with a fine spray and keep the surface moist until seedlings emerge in 10-14 days. Transplant when seedlings are a few centimetres high, spacing plants about 20-30cm apart. Water regularly and lightly mulch around them with compost, keeping it back from the stems.
Water While waiting for seedlings to emerge, ensure the soil doesn’t dry out, but isn’t wet either – simply moisten with a fine spray of water. Continue to water by gently spraying, until plants are established.
Fertiliser When buds begin to appear, feed with a soluble fertiliser such as Yates Thrive Soluble Flower & Fruit. Continue to feed regularly at two-week intervals.
Maintenance For best results, try pinching out early buds until the plants have formed good clumps. Pick flowers regularly for indoor decoration as this also helps prolong flowering – what a bonus!