California Poppy

Growing Tips: California Poppy

Quick Reference:

Annual, a plant that completes it’s life cycle in one season. Cover seed with 1/8 inch fine soil spaced 2 to 3 inches apart. Germination 10-12 days when the soil temperature is a cool 55-60 degrees F. Ideal plant spacing in the garden is 6 to 8 inches. Plant height: 12 to 16 inches.

When and where to plant:

In Alaska, California poppy blooms mid-summer when the seed is planted directly in the garden. Plant poppy seed where plants will remain all summer, they have tender roots and when transplanted must be transplanted with care. The seed can be planted as soon as the soil can be prepared and has warmed in the spring. Select a sunny location with a sandy, well-drained soil, cultivate, the plants will benefit from plant food when the soil is very sandy, smooth soil, sprinkle seed on the soil surface, cover with fine soil, water well for good seed-soil contact and keep soil relatively moist until seedlings emerge. Plants do well in hot, dry areas and in poor soil. May self-seed in the warmer areas of Alaska.


Requires little care. Water only when necessary. For cut flowers, cut just before flowers open and immediately sear stem end with a flame. Pick faded flowers to prolong the blooming season.