Organic Ziar’s Breadseed Poppy
HEIRLOOM Oh, this poppy! Originally from Slovakia, large pastel petals of lavender and coral float on 2-3’ stalks as huge seedheads fill of thousands of rich, delicious poppy seeds. As she flowers, bees love to swim in the small ocean of pollen-laden anthers inside each flower. 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 Growing Poppies blog!). We were given this variety selected by Will Bonsall, director of the Scatterseed Project in Maine and have swooned every year since.
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!
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