Tips on how to care for Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas)



This plant called Corn poppies (Papaver rhoeas), is also known as Flanders poppies, Shirley poppies or field poppies. These plants are hardy annuals with vividly colored, papery red, pink or white blooms that rise above lacy foliage. Corn poppies (Papaver rhoeas) fuzzy stems can reach a height of about two feet and more at maturity. Corn poppies (Papaver rhoeas) is easily grown by seed, they are often planted by state highway departments for spectacular displays of color along roadsides across the nation. This particular plant is beautiful as cut flowers and the dried seed pops add interest to dry floral arrangements.


Basic facts about the plant

The common name: The common name is Corn Poppy.

The scientific name: The scientific name is Papaver rhoeas.

The plant type: is an annual.

Water requirement: Moderate moisture required.

The soil pH: Is between 5.0 to 5.8.

The flower color: Papery red, pink or white.

USDA hardiness zones: USDA hardiness zones 3 through 10.

The plant height at maturity: The mature height of this plant is about 12" to 30".

The sun requirement: It should be grown in full sun.


Steps on how to care for Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas)

      1. You can plant the corn poppy seeds directly on top of the cultivated soil. In mild climates make sure you plant the seeds in late fall or early spring when the soil temperatures are between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This plant really thrives in full sunlight and also in a rich well-drained soil. If the soil is poor you can incorporate two to three inches of compost or manure prior to planting.

     2. Make sure you water the plant when the top of the soil feels dry. Ensure you saturate the root zone thoroughly because shallow waterings really promote a shallow root system. To get the best results you can water by hand with a hose or use a drip system to keep the foliage as dry as possible. If you are using a sprinkler make sure you water early in the day so that the foliage will has time to dry before evening. Don’t forget that soggy soil and damp foliage can place the plant at risk of rot and fungal diseases.

     3. You can spread one to two inches of mulch around the plants in the spring. From my little experience an organic mulch such as shredded leaves or dry grass clippings can keep the roots cool, also conserves moisture and also prevents the growth of weeds.

     4. Also you can apply a balanced liquid or granular fertilizer if newly emerging foliage has a yellowish appearance. Make sure you use the fertilizer in accordance with the label recommendations. Under normal condition poppies really require no supplemental fertilization if granular fertilizer or compost are incorporated into the soil at planting time.

     5. Make sure you pinch off flowers as soon as they begin to fade. This method is called deadheading, doing this actually prevents the plants from setting seed too early. Make sure you remove the bloom, also along with the stem, then down to the next leaf.

     6. You can remove all the seedpods at the end of the season if you don't actually want the poppy to self-seed. If you actually want the poppies next spring you can allow a few pods to remain on the plants.


Some of the things you will need

-         - You need compost or manure.

-         - You need garden hose or drip irrigation system.

-         - You need mulch.

-         - You need a balanced liquid or granular fertilizer.

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