Meconopsis (Himalayan Blue Poppy)

I have rather rashly bought three plants of meconopsis, proposing to plant them in ericaceous soil  in a cultivation station by Potty Innovations which is a plastic raised bed with compartments in about 12" deep by roughly 8½" square but now, having seen how high they grow am having doubts.  Does anyone know whether this would be enough space for them to grow, please?



  • backyardeebackyardee Posts: 132

    I had 4 plants in a similar space in a shady border, but sadly last year had to dig them up as couch grass had invaded the root balls. They don't like disturbance and i lost the lot. I have now replaced with seeds I grew myself a couple of years ago. The only problem will be that they like a little moisture but not be soggy. They like to be shaded and not too exposed. And for a success rate, don't let them flower in their first year.

  • jaci20jaci20 Posts: 3

    To Backyardee. 

    Thank you very much for your reply and advice, you have given me the confidence tol now go ahead and plant my meconopsis plants and hope for the best.  I am sorry to hear you lost yours and hope we both have luck this time.

  • backyardeebackyardee Posts: 132

    I am often losing them due to the couch grass that invades the borders, that is the problem with turning a paddock into a garden. and not wanting to re turf the whole lot. but i always propagate from collected seed. so i am never without.

  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    Backyardee, you are aware that meconopsis baleyi (or betonicifolia) is monocarpic? In other words, they flower once and then die. You're not losing them, they're behaving normally.

  • backyardeebackyardee Posts: 132

    MMMMMM. ok.image

    That's why they are listed as perennials, they flower every year from the same crown. They don't always produce flowers in the first year. But as they 'mature' they produce more flower heads per stem.

    baleyi is reference to Capt. Bailey plant finder early 1900's.

    betonicifolia   reference to betony like leaves.

    But you can treat them as annuals if you like............................image

  • Annie5Annie5 Posts: 16

    I have had a  mecanopsis for 6 years now.  It had very large flowers at first but after moving it in 2010 it has flowered this year with smaller flowers and is not as tall.  There was around 7 buds on the plant and it is still a lovely blue colour.

  • LisaJLisaJ GlasgowPosts: 46

    I've tried growing them from seed a couple of times with no success.  I'll try again next year - third time lucky perhaps.

  • backyardeebackyardee Posts: 132

    Lisa j, Next time you try to grow them from seed, Try the fridge treatment. 1 month in, 1 month out.

    Alinaw. Thankyou for your link. I was interested to see that they can be annual, biennial or perennial. But I can assure you the ones I have are perennial and flower from year 2 and usually continue for several years. Increasing the number of blooms as they mature. But then I have collected my own seed for years. So before the introduction of new varieties that produced shorter living plants, they were termed as difficult perennials. I am interested in the trials they are now doing on the Meconopsis as Harlow Carr and await with slightly baited breath at the results in 2013. 

  • Alina WAlina W Posts: 1,445

    Backyardee, it's interesting that you have collected your own seeds - presumably you were lucky enough to get one of the true perennials. There was an attempt to improve the strain recently by collecting fresh seeds from the wild, and this seems to have produced shorter-lived plants. The best way around it is to buy the sheldonii hybrids, which are usually true perennials - I have a beauty that has been flowering for many years.

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