We recently saw a video from one of our favorite garden-guru YouTubers, Garden Answer, where she was showing how to direct sow poppies on top of snow. With our recent snow here, it inspired us to try it out. We’ll update you come spring to see if we had any success.
Here we detail the steps to direct sow Poppies.
The Poppy Family, Papaveraceae, includes species that span the globe from the Arctic to the tropics. Quite possibly the most popular wildflower in America, poppies deserve a rightful place in every garden, wildflower meadow and pasture. Offered in a delightfully surprising range of colors and growth habits, poppies grace their locations with great charisma.
Poppies are frost tolerant and germinate best in cool weather and soil. Poppy seeds actually need to be cold stratified to germinate, so early sowing is a must. And, because they do not transplant well, seeds are best sown directly in the flower beds. This can be done any time between late fall and early winter.
How to Direct Sow Poppies
- Select a site in full sun that has soil with good drainage.
- Prepare the area where you want your seeds to grow by raking the area smooth and removing any rocks.
- Sprinkle the seeds directly on the ground. This can even be done with snow on the ground, just sprinkle seeds on top of the snow, and as the snow melts down, the seeds will reach the soil.
- Because poppy seeds are so small, you can mix the seeds with some sand to help you distribute the seeds evenly. The light-colored sand will also act as a marker on the soil surface of where you have planted the poppy seeds and where you haven’t. This is totally optional though. You can sprinkle the seeds without any sand – just make sure to use another kind of marker to indicate where you’re planting.
- Poppies germinate best with some light so do not bury the seeds. Cover them with a very thin layer of fine soil or just press them into the soil.
- Keep the soil moist but not soggy until seeds germinate.
- Once the soil temperature is at least 55 F expect germination in 10-15 days.
Burpee (May 18, 2021). “How to Grow Poppies”. https://www.burpee.com/blog/how-to-grow-poppies_article10780.html
Christine Marmo (Jan. 26, 1986). “HERE’S GARDEN FLOWER THAT CAN BE SOWN IN THE SNOW”. https://www.nytimes.com/1986/01/26/arts/here-s-garden-flower-that-can-be-sown-in-the-snow.html
Eden Brothers. “Planting Guide – Poppy Seeds”. https://www.edenbrothers.com/store/poppy-seeds-planting-guide.html