Cutting down Poppies

Should I deadhead / cut down Oriental Poppies and Opium Poppies that the petals have fallen off to encourage new growth? I could then presumably dry the seed heads for autumn sprinkling? Or do we just leave them alone?



  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,490

    For oriental poppies, I wait until they have all finished in a particular patch then cut the whole plant including leaves and stems down to the ground.  New leaves soon appear which overwinter.  I don't think oriental poppies will send up more flowering stems in the same season, even if you cut the flowered ones out immediately.

    With opium poppies I snip the heads off and they usually keep forming new buds from the lower leaf joints for a few weeks but eventually they become rather tatty and either die off of I pull them up.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 5,221

    Opium poppies will die following flowering, so i would leave the seed heads, as they look good until the leaves go brown.

    Some oriental poppies may flower again, but even if they dont, the foliage will start to look really tatty, so I would cut them back, right to the ground, as they will then produce more foliage.

    You can of course use the gaps that will be created by cutting back the oriental poppies, for planting some late season colour.

    I've seen the needle and the damage done
    A little part of it in everyone
  • Thank you both!

  • Hi should I pull up opium poppies or just cut back for next year?
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,490

    Liz, opium poppies are annuals so only last one season.  If you wait until the seed head ripens (goes brown) you can collect the seed and sow it where you want them next year.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • CeresCeres Posts: 1,492

    The opium poppy seedheads look great in dried flower arrangements so you can keep them for years and years if you want to.

  • They'll die back come Autumn and I just pull all the dead leaves off and cut off all the flower stalks and pretty hard back.  I don't think you'll kill them no matter what you do to them.    At least, I'm brutal with mine plus where they are in my borders they get covered in snow and encased in ice for a couple of months every year.

  • Thanks that is very helpful..

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