This particular plant is vigorous and they are often grown in vacant lots and roadsides with no tending. California poppy is a fast growing annual and they are at their peak in the spring, although they can bloom for gardeners in areas with cool summers for a longer period.

This plant cheerful flowers can really spring up overnight, blanketing large areas with bright pink, orange or gold silky petals. You can grow this plant in abundance to fill gaps in your spring flowerbeds, untended wildflower meadows, or containers.

Basic information about California poppy

The common name: The common name is california poppy.
The botanical name: The botanical name is Eschscholzia californica.
The plant type: Annual.
The mature size: The mature size is about 12 inches.
The sun exposure: The plant needs full sun.
The soil type: An average to poor soil.
The soil pH: The soil pH is between 6.6 to 7.5.
The bloom time: The Bloom time is spring.
The flower color: The flower color is yellow, orange, white, pink.
The native area: The plant is native to Western United States.

How to care for California Poppies

California poppies are like most native wildflowers that are easy to care for and maintain. One of the major key is providing them with growing conditions that mimic their native habitat. From my little experience about this plant it is more about what you don't give them than what you do give them. Everything about the plant is less: less soil nutrition, less water, and less warmth. Make sure you don't coddle your California poppies, and you will really have the pleasure of watching them self-sow and pop up in the most unexpected places for many growing seasons to come.

The light requirement

This plant actually requires a day of full sunlight to bloom and to maintain plant vigor. 6 hours of unfiltered sunlight is really essential for the poppy growth, and even more is better. If the plant is grown in shady spots it will look ratty and succumb to fungal diseases.

The soil requirement

Actually the ability of the plant to grow in areas with poor soil gives them an edge on survival. Rocky soils and sandy soils both provide good conditions for California poppies. What does not actually work are heavy clay soils. This plant need great drainage for their tap roots, which means if your soil is clay you can try raised beds or container culture.

The watering of plant

This plant actually requires very little water, and they are good candidates for drought tolerant xeriscapes. Sporadic spring rainfall is actually adequate to irrigate the plants. In areas with hot summers the plants will often go dormant and they need no additional irrigation during this time.

Fertilizer requirement

Actually fertilizer is not really necessary to successfully grow California poppies even in areas with a poor soil. From my little experience the addition of chemical fertilizers will cause excess foliage growth at the expense of blooms.

Pest and disease control

This plant can really suffer from several diseases if they are grown in an environment that experiences excessive rain. Mildew, mold, and stem rot can really occur in plants grown in wet areas. But you can treat the plants with anti-fungal agents. One of the best treatments is prevention by planting in full sun and also in a sharply draining soil to keep the poppies dry.

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