Organic Gwen’s Midnight Plum Poppy
2 to 3′ tall | 50 days to maturity | Papaver somniferum
HEIRLOOM Deep purple, luminescent petals on tall, elegant flower stalks with contrasting silver-green foliage, Gwen’s blooms are longer lasting than many poppies, abundant from July well into fall, even resisting the first heavy freezes. As she flowers, bees love to swim in the small ocean of pollen-laden anthers inside each flower. Our original seed came from Gwen Fellows here in Naples, who has been letting this poppy naturalize in her gorgeous gardens for nearly a decade. It is truly spectacular. Thank you, Gwen! We love you!
Poppies thrive in gardens as well as raised beds and containers, even in partial sun and marginal soil. A gently re-seeding annual, poppies often have a perennial presence in your garden, though establishing poppies from seed is often challenging. Enjoy our Secrets to Establishing Poppies blog!
Poppies seedheads are gorgeous in bouquets as well as their blossoms, though they are far from easy cut flowers. Here the trick: Harvest them just as their bud is about to break and sear the stem with a lighter. The blossom will continue to open and intriguingly, since their access to water has been cut off, the petals will be about 80% as large and the colors will be that much more vivid and concentrated. Cut poppies don’t have the vase-life that zinnias or sunflowers do, but this technique helps them hold their petals many days longer. And like so many vegetables, herbs and flowers, the more you harvest the more your plants will produce!
At Fruition, we sow most organic poppy seeds in soil blocks indoors 2 months before final frost to transplant 1 month before final frost, since they love to establish in cool soils, including fall. For more tips and tutorials like this delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here!
Sow Seeds & Sing Songs,
& the whole Fruition Crew