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problem with oriental poppy grown from seed

I planted oriental poppy seeds in small pots beginning of March
Then read that I could not plant out until July and they would not flower till next year.  I would not have used them if I had known
They have never been particularly healthy.  They were growing in clumps because I used too many seeds to a pot so I tried to separate a few as good as I can.  They always looked droopy and I thought they were dry so I watered them. then thought they looked worse so let them dry out but they looked flat and droopy again.  Not sure what they really want.
Have planted 5 clumps out in garden, 2 look ok but 3 just look collapsed and I think they are dead
I have just put one in a pot outside to see if it does any better than in garden but still have many more to plant out even though I have given a load away
Have looked online and some sites say sunny spot and dry, another site says shade and water well
Have almost given up on them.  I do not know exact type of flower they are.  Seed packet said oriental poppies and I thought they were just an ordinary poppy but maybe a bit fancier.
Have almost resigned myself to not seeing these doing anything but if anyone does have any advice for me I would be delighted as it would be lovely to see them flower next year especially all the trouble I have taken over them so far


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 8,096
    Hello Susan,
    It's possible that they're suffering from "transplant shock" , especially with these extreme temperatures at the moment. Normally l would plant them out in the Autumn. 
    Mine, when l had them, grew in full sun with a few in semi shade, and they all seemed happy enough. 
    It may well be that when things cool down a bit at the weekend they will begin to perk up.
    Any chance of a couple of photos, of the ones in the ground, the ones still to be planted out, and maybe the seed packet as well please, if you still have it  :)
  • susananwmssusananwms Posts: 152
    Thanks for that AnniD, just goes to show that you cannot always rely on what seed packet says.  I will take pics best I can, sometimes this works sometime it do,nt
    Think I have managed it, hope I've not sent too many
    One in ground that looks OK
    One in ground that looks like it is dying
    Ones waiting to be planted out
    One just been planted in pot but not watered yet
    Not the most healthiest of specimens  but I suppose there is hope
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 18,003
    I don’t think those plants are poppies at all. Could be wrong, usually am. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • susananwmssusananwms Posts: 152
    It would not suprise me.  I had flowers growing in a long pot I reserved for herbs. They came from herb seeds
  • BiljeBilje Posts: 606
    I looked up the seeds on the Wilko web sites and it states, if they’re the same ones,  they are perennial poppies ie grow year after year. Yours won’t flower until next year at the earliest. The seeds are very small and as you said you probably sowed them too close together..we’ve all done it.
    The plants in the garden should grow ok if well watered but if they are a clump of seedlings I’d try and thin them out. 
    The ones still in temporary homes can be gently separated and potted into individual small pots and grown on until they are a bit more robust. Honestly you don’t need dozens of them. 
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 570
    Agree with @Lyn - whilst the photo of the flowers are oriental poppies, none of the potted seedlings resemble them. 
  • susananwmssusananwms Posts: 152
    Thanks Billie will try and separate a few more and make sure they are not to clumped together
    I di hope I get some flowers next year but will wait and see, am not that too optimistic to be honest
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 10,925
    Poppies hate root disturbance, so you may do better by planting out small clumps and leaving them to fight it out - the strongest will win.  The general advice is to sow poppies direct to avoid the inevitable root disurbance if sown in trays etc.  I had a couple of clumps of them for several years but they do get very large and need about a square metre of ground, plus some extra for untidily flopping on.  I eventually removed them as they grew too big for the position.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 18,003
    All good advise but Philippa and I say they are not poppies,  did you muddle your labels? 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 10,925
    edited 21 July
    Do the leaves have hairs on?  I can't quite remember what the seedlings looked like, but oriental poppies have hairy single long leaves, all from the ground, so lack of any hairs at all would certainly indicate that those seedlings aren't right.  If the leaf stems are hairy, then I'd say there's a good chance they are oriental poppy seedlings.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
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