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Oriental poppies - yes or no?

Anna33Anna33 Posts: 316
Are they worth it? Do they do better in anyone else's garden?

I've got a couple of them in the garden (Royal Wedding) because I love the huge, opulent looking flowers - for the short time they last, anyway.

This year, though, I've realised that the plants have bulked out massively, crowding out other nearby plants, and the flowers just don't last very long. Now the foliage has bullied its way into claiming loads of space, it's going to start dying back in a few weeks and leaving a gap. And all I seem to be doing with the flowers is providing gourmet slug and snail food! I get one day of the flower looking gorgeous before it is slimed over and munched overnight. Gah!

What is everyone's thoughts about Oriental Poppies - has anyone else given up growing them? Worth it or not? Are they slug & snail fodder for anyone else?


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,569
    I love them. Maybe have something in a pot to pop amongst them once they die back?
  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 6,910
    edited June 2018
    I love them. They are a bit hit and miss, for sure. The same variety in one location may thrive and nearby will be really weedy and get eaten. But I find if they are happy and growing strongly, the slugs can't make much of a dent.
    I have a group of 'Patty's Plum'. I like them now, when the buds are not yet breaking but standing up like a bunch of giant drumsticks. I just hope we don't get a storm (as we did last year) which makes them all go wonky.
    This was last year, just before the storm in early June, as they were just beginning to come out, working rather well with the (then newly planted) bearded iris as a colour hit, I think

    “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 53,989
    I don't grow them now [much as I like them] for the reasons you give. They eventually crowd out others, so you have a lot of 'dead' space. Anything that's slug/snail fodder I try to avoid - keeping them to a minimum. Weather would probably annihilate them here too.
    The seed heads are beautiful, but unless you have room to devote to them, and the time to faff about [I don't ] with slug/snail removal etc, it's a plant I avoid. There are other plants I like more, and spend what time I have fussing with them to keep enemies at bay!   :D
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • PurplerainPurplerain Posts: 1,053
    I love them today, but I know soon that they will flop over and look a mess. I tend to cut them back when that happens but I wouldn't be without them.
    SW Scotland
  • JellyfireJellyfire Posts: 1,139
    I’ve just put two new royal wedding in yesterday as the one I had has done so well this year (it’s 3rd year) 5 good flowers already, that lasted a decent while, and lots more buds on it, really pleased with it. I’ll cut it back and other stuff will overgrow it when it’s done though 
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,276
    I have one in the middle of the lavender bed I cant get rid of. It was originally in a pot that was stood there. The roots had gone through the bottom of the pot.   I dug it up and moved it. Now it is in two locations. Strangely the slugs seem to ignore it because the leaves are really hairy. I chop them down once they are flowered and plant cosmos next to them to cover the gap.  The one in the lavender bed gets sliced off at floor level as soon as the flowers are over.
  • Anna33Anna33 Posts: 316
    Hmm, your Patty's Plum looks a bit more elegant and well behaved than my Royal Wedding, so maybe I'll try with that variety next year... How long do the flowers last on that one?

    And if the flowers on that still get ravaged by slimy molluscs, then it's Fairygirl's approach - I'll whip them out and just admire them in everyone else's gardens. Shame, as I do love their opulence.
  • GWRSGWRS Posts: 8,327
    Definitely worth growing , I have some beauties in a bed at bottom of garden , just started to come out , if it wasn’t raining I would post a picture  :)
  • chickychicky Posts: 10,396
    I love them too - the slugs ignore them here (too busy decimating everything else  😡). I find the longer they are in the better they get.  I have a couple planted about 10 years ago that are full of flowers now.  I chop them back - foliage and all - when the flowers  are over and then you just get a neat mound of foliage regrow for the rest of the year.  

  • LynLyn Posts: 22,876
    I have them, they’ve gone silly this year, as has everything, but I do as Chicky and cut the whole lot down. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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