Everything you need to know about California Poppy Seeds

California Poppy Seed FAQ

California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) Seeds Questions and Answers:

What month do you plant California poppy seeds?
In Southern Europe with a warm climate, plant your california poppies in autumn after the hottest weather is over  (September-November). In central Europe, plant in either autumn (September-October) before the first frost or early spring (February-March) as the soil warms. For regions with a continental climate, it's best to plant in early spring (March-April) to avoid frost risk.

Can I just scatter California poppy seeds?
Yes! you can absolutely just scatter California poppy seeds to plant them! In fact, scattering is the preferred method and is often considered the easiest and most successful because it mimics natural distribution. Prepare the soil and lightly cover with a thin layer of extra soil over the scattered seeds to keep them in place.

Are California poppies easy to grow from seed?
Absolutely! California poppies are renowned for being incredibly easy to grow from seed. They boast a fast and reliable germination rate, and been easily sown directly outdoors, and are particularly low maintenance when established. They also tolerate a wide range of soil types, light conditions.

Do California poppies like sun or shade?
California poppies love sunny spots, needing at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day to grow and bloom well. While they can handle a bit of shade, especially in very hot places, they might not bloom as much and could grow tall and thin.

Can California poppies grow in pots?
California poppies are well-suited for growing in pots due to their compact size, shallow root system and adaptability. Choose a pot with good drainage holes and a diameter of 20-30cm. Choose a well-draining potting mix suitable for flowers.

How long does it take California poppies to grow from seed?
The time it takes california poppies to reach full bloom depends on the weather and planting time. In warm climates, they will bloom within 50-90 days after sowing and in cooler weather 70-110 days. Seeds sown in fall overwinter and bloom in May-June and seeds sown in early spring bloom later in June-July. 

Can California poppies grow anywhere?
Although California poppies are remarkably adaptable, they can't grow absolutely everywhere. Their ideal conditions are a Mediterranean climate with 6 hours of full sun daily and a well-draining soil. They can tolerate partial shade and will be slower growing in cooler climates and poor soil quality.

How do you germinate California poppy seeds?
Scatter the seeds over well-draining soil, lightly cover them with a thin layer of soil to keep the seeds in place, and water thoroughly. Maintain soil moisture until seedlings emerge.

Are California poppies invasive?
California poppies are not typically considered invasive in Europe. While they may self-seed and naturalize in some areas, they do not typically spread aggressively or outcompete native plant species. You can always check with your specific local authorities or gardening organizations regarding the cultivation of California poppies in your region. In some cases, they may be considered a weed in agricultural settings or protected natural areas.

Do California Poppies need a lot of water?
California poppies are drought-tolerant plants and do not require a lot of water once established. They are well-adapted to dry, arid climates and in fact, overwatering can be detrimental to their growth, leading to root rot and other issues.

California Poppy Questions


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