There are many different species within the genus, Papaver, however, the two most commonly found in the home landscape are the Icelandic poppy (Papaver nudicale) and the oriental poppy (Papaver orientale).

Poppies tend to be bright colors and paper-like petals. Often the center of the flowers, the stamens and pistils can be quite impressive. Of course, the drug opium is made from a certain species of poppy, Papaver somniferum.

They prefer a location with full sun and well drained soil.

No special requirements. Plant the same as any other herbaceous perennial. The Icelandic poppies tend to be short-lived and will readily self-seed in the garden.

Deadhead the flowers as they fade.

Aphids seem to be the most common insect problem and a bacterial blight disease causes translucent rings on the plant.

In addition to standard plant division, poppies may often be reproduced by root cuttings.

Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.

 

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