When to Sow Poppy Seeds

Updated February 21, 2017

All 100 poppy species are colourful additions to the garden. Plant seeds of this easy-to-grow plant directly into the garden. Depending on your climate zone, you can plant poppy seeds in fall or spring.

Fall Planting

If you live in a temperate climate zone, you can scatter poppy seeds in a prepared garden area in fall. Clear the area of weeds and dig in organic compost to give the soil better drainage and nutrients. Cover seeds with no more than ½ inch of soil.

Spring Planting

In colder climates, prepare your garden soil as early in spring as you can work it. Clear all weeds and dig in compost. Scatter seeds over the area and cover them with about ½ inch of soil. If no rain occurs, water the planted area to keep the soil moist.


Whether you plant poppy seeds in the fall or in spring, give them balanced fertiliser when they are 6 inches tall. Poppies should begin to bloom within three months of planting. To increase flowering, choose a low-nitrogen plant food, which you apply as soon as buds form.

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About the Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens" and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to "Big Island Weekly," "Ke Ola" magazine and various websites. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at University of California, Santa Barbara and her Master of Arts from San Jose State University.