California Poppies, Finally


After a, no joke, 7 year ongoing effort to get a california poppy to flower in Los Alamos, NM. I win. The key for this one is that it was a seed that did NOT flower from a planting last year. I have tried planting in the late fall before unsuccessfully. But maybe this was close enough to the house to winter without getting too cold? Not sure. A woman down the block has them growing like weeds in her yard, she actually has to weed them out of other beds, why is she so blessed? Probably as she is right with the god. I am so not right with god, in my defense though, it said nothing about that on the back of the seed packet. I will further investigate as seasons progress. She also graciously will allow me to collect seeds from her known producers. We tried transplanting her unloved poppies to my yard, but california poppies resist transplanting and seem to even resist starting them indoors in compostable pots and then just plain old planting the whole pot in the ground.

So the new plan is to monitor the poppies planted this year to see if any succeed, and then to sow seeds in october or november this year.


Julia Posey said...

Hooray! She's a beauty, Tarik.

Mr. Lentini said...


lemmiwinks said...

I am a hopeless brown thumb, though I have the best intentions and high aspirations. It's often a mystery to my why plants cease to proceed, but I have read that soil PH levels can be very important, so maybe that's something to do with it?

Test kits are to be had from gardening type places. Maybe you could see what the other yard's PH is and then compare and contrast with yours.

Big Dummy Daddy said...

Congrats on your persistence. We've had the same problem here in Denver. Tons of California poppies at the old house across town, but have yet to have success in the past 6 years at the present house, only a few miles away.

Chrysanthemama said...

I've had lots of success growing CA poppies in little LA by scattering lots of seeds and watching them come up. I've also grown teeny tiny nordic poppies, beautiful, colorful corn poppies, and we've had excellent success growing your average from the nursery BIG poppies. Haven't tried growing the opium ones, though...but I have seen them in town occasionally! I think the key is just to scatter, scatter, scatter and hope for the best.