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Growing Papaver Nundicaule


These winter flowering beauties are native to Northern Europe and North America. Iceland poppies are treated as annuals, but are actually short lived perennials. 
They form low tufts of light green leaves and bear large satiny, cup-shaped, fragrant
 flowers on hairy stems. Flower colours vary in shades of yellow, orange, pink, red and white. Poppies produce excellent cut flowers and should be picked just as buds start to open. Dip stems in hot but not boiling water to prolong vase life.

An all-time favourite, Iceland poppies are popular when it comes to winter and early spring colour in the garden. They do best in colder conditions and should thus be planted sooner rather than later to ensure an extra-long flowering period. Late autumn around the month of May is a generally good time to start planting out trays whereas seed should be sown in trays during late summer and autumn.
 Avoid planting poppies in windy climates or along pathways and walls which tend to bake in the sun and reflect heat. Prepare your soil well before planting by digging in lots of compost, well-rotted manure and a general fertilizer. Iceland poppie seedlings don’t transplant very well and have a weak tap-root , so handle with care. Remember to water your seedlings prior to transplanting. 
 Prepare a hole large enough for the root ball, and don’t irritate and tease pot bound roots. Place the plant in the hole and refrain from firming the surrounding soil to tight. Always ensure the root ball is entirely submerged and well watered to ensure a healthy plant. Plant seedlings 15 cm apart and at the same soil level as they were in the tray, check up on them regularly and water well until they are established.

Growers tip:

  • Ensure to dead head or harvest blooms regularly as this promotes additional flowering.
  • Force young plants to grow bigger and better flowers by pinching out the first few buds as they appear.
  • For a real spectacular show feed your poppies with a water soluble fertilizer every 14 days.



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