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Poppy seed head

We have been growing a beautiful peach poppy for over 20 years - we don't know what it is called and haven't been able to track it down online - it may be a very old variety. It didn't come up this year and we were sad to lose what has been a lovelt feature of our border for so long. We were delighted to see it growing in another garden nearby and the owners very kindly plucked the last remaining seed pod and gave us it as we were chatting to them over the fence. It is still green and hasn't dried out and we don't know how to harvest the seeds. Should we dry it like a bunch of herbs i.e. hang somewhere dry or should we scatter "wet"?We are worried it will rot in the damp climate we have here - should we leave the pod on a sunny windowsill or out in the greenhouse which is unheated and when should we split the pod and sew seeds? This may be our last chance to grow this variety and as these neighbours are moving soon we may not get the chance of a seedpod next year! Hope someone can help



  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,544
    Is the poppy the large oriental type or some other one such as the Siberian poppy?

    I'm sorry to say that I think that you have been a bit too hasty. Poppy seed heads need to dry on the plant until the top opens up like a pepper pot and the seeds become dark coloured and fall out of the little holes in the seed head. If you wait for the seed head to dry out I doubt if the seeds will be ripe enough to be viable. A case of wait and see.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • You never know, just because they have not come back yet, they may still. The seeds can lie dormant for a long time. think of the fields of flanders. when you disturb the soil there, some seed may germinate at some point. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you! 

  • fredrobfredrob Posts: 9

    Its the large oriental type. Yes I was about to ask the owner if I could come back and get some seed later in the season, but before I could do anything she had snapped it off and offered me the pod!  Thanks anyway. I'll keep trying to find a supplier - if anyone knows of a specialist grower, I would be grateful.  It was very unusual in that it doesn't have any black on the leaves. I will try to dig out a photo and post this for identification on a few sites. image

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    Place the seed head in a paper bag and hang the bag somewhere dry where the seed head can mature until the seeds are rattling dry. You may be lucky.

    Next year ask the kind people if you can tie a paper bag over the seed head on the plant until the seeds are ripe. Good luck.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,544
    If it's the large oriental one you just need a slip of one of the roots to start a new plant. Like dandelions they grow from any old bit of root left in the ground.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • fredrobfredrob Posts: 9

    Thanks all -  will try the paper bag Welshonion and that fails well maybe we will be lucky next year ThomasW. image

  • bekkie hughesbekkie hughes Posts: 5,294
    I have a peach poppy, its gone over now, i thought it was coral reef, but i think its too pale, would you like me to save the seed for you? image
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,153

    If they are going to move, ask them if you can have a chunk of root of their plant .  The new neighbours will have it still as any bit left in the ground  will form a new plant.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 4,045

    I have Coral Reef as well but it is a pale pink/peachy colour. Loads of seed heads if this is the right one.

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • fredrobfredrob Posts: 9

    Thank you bekkie hughes and hogweed.  If you could save some seed that would be very kind as I can't find pics having trawled through all my garden snaps over 20 years! I may be able to get some root but I don't know the owners and it is possible that some root may still be viable in my own garden but I won't know til next spring at the earliest. I am still mystified as to why these plants died back as the green shoots came up in april / may just as usual and looked healthy then other greenery came up around them again as usual as spring progressed and I didn't notice that the poppy plants had disappeared - no withered plants or remnants, nada....I just wondered if any poppy growers had ever experienced anything like this?

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