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Blue poppy - Meconopsis

Messages posted to thread:

Joy15-Apr-03 06:24 AM EST 6a   
Susan15-Apr-03 07:36 AM EST 6a   
Joy15-Apr-03 08:23 AM EST 6a   
PatA15-Apr-03 10:48 AM EST 3   
Joy16-Apr-03 06:22 AM EST 6a   
JoanneS16-Apr-03 01:06 PM EST 3a   
DM27-Apr-03 03:53 PM EST 3a   

Subject: Blue poppy - Meconopsis
From: Joy
Zone: 6a
Date: 15-Apr-03 06:24 AM EST

Purchased a package of Fotherfill's 'Blue Meconopsis' - Tibetan poppy at the weekend. Has anyone tried these ? I am not sure how hardy the plants will be, some blue poppies are hardy to my zone, while others are more zone 7. Any information greatly appreciated.

Subject: RE: Blue poppy - Meconopsis
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 15-Apr-03 07:36 AM EST

I have tried growing blue poppies without much sucess. They die out in my summer heat. I believe some species are also of the type that flower, set seed and die. Here's an interesting quote from an on-line garden article; it certainly seems to relect my experience with trying to grow them:

"Few perennials inspire such immediate adoration as the Himalayan blue poppies, but the painful truth is that they are growable only within strict climatic limits. Winter cold is not the problem --many species thrive in Alaska, which makes them hardy to at least USDA Zone 3 or 4. Their true enemies are dryness and especially heat. They must be planted in acidic, humus-rich soil that never, repeat never, dries out entirely, and if summer temperatures, particularly at night, climb much above the low 80s for extended periods, they will go into a decline and eventually die. In practical terms, this means that, in the continental United States, they can be expected to thrive only along the Pacific Coast from the Bay Area northward; along the Maine coast; inland at higher elevations elsewhere in New England; and perhaps in northern New York and Michigan's Upper Peninsula (Meconopsis cambrica and some of the blue-flowered annual species such as M. horridula are a bit more forgiving.) By taking heroic measures to create cool, moist microclimates, gardeners in areas as hot and dry as Southern California have been able to get blue poppies to survive, but unless you are of a quixotic (not to say masochistic) temperament, it is best to admire these beauties from afar if your conditions are not conducive to their survival."

For the complete article, go to:


Subject: RE: Blue poppy - Meconopsis
From: Joy
Zone: 6a
Date: 15-Apr-03 08:23 AM EST

Thank you for all the information Susan, this is exactly what I was looking for. Fortunately, I do have an area in my back garden which would suit, so as long as the seeds germinate, it's worth giving them a go.

Subject: RE: Blue poppy - Meconopsis
From: PatA
Zone: 3
Date: 15-Apr-03 10:48 AM EST

Joy a propagation database I have from many years ago recommends "Sow at 20C, if no germination in 3-4 wks, move to -4C to +4c for 2-4 wks."

I have started seed that came from a friend's plant two years ago (I just never got around to it until now) and after 2 weeks at 20C I am just beginning to see some signs of germination. I also sowed mine on top, no cover of soil so they are exposed to light. Good luck!

Subject: RE: Blue poppy - Meconopsis
From: Joy
Zone: 6a
Date: 16-Apr-03 06:22 AM EST

Thanks Pat, I'll let you know how I get on.

Subject: RE: Blue poppy - Meconopsis
From: JoanneS (jstraayer@specialty.ab.ca)
Zone: 3a
Date: 16-Apr-03 01:06 PM EST

I have had good luck with Meconopsis Grandis. Information from Susan seems to fit with what I have. They are planted in, what I consider, awful soil. Lots of heavy clay. We defnitely have cool nights, even at the height of summer. I have them planted in my front garden, facing south; however, we have very large elms shading our streets, so while not in full shade, they don't get much light.

Having said that, growing them is still hit and miss even here. My neighbour across the road, almost same conditions as me, has no luck growing them.

Subject: RE: Blue poppy - Meconopsis
From: DM
Zone: 3a
Date: 27-Apr-03 03:53 PM EST

I've had seed-grown meconopsis in my alkaline clay soil garden for six years, so they are hardier and, depending on variety, less finicky than sources suggest. It is true, however, that some plants die after blooming, so it's usually necessary, although heart wrenching, to remove the flower stalks during the first year to allow the plant to clump up. The advantage to growing from seed is that you end up with many more plants than you probably would have wanted to pay for at the nursery, and can therefore sacrifice one or two the first year in order to have a flower!

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