Plant, Develop, and Look after Breadseed Poppies

Have you ever ever noticed a patch of poppies after a summer time rain and thought they appeared too impeccable to be true? When water droplets linger on their papery petals and the solar hits them good, I’ll swear somebody has changed my homegrown poppies with completely plastic ones as a substitute, unsure how one thing so stunning can exist in nature. 

On this article, I’ll share rising suggestions for stunning breadseed poppies, stunning decorative flowers that produce the poppy seeds utilized in baking.

Our Favorites

Black Swan

Lauren’s Grape

Lauren’s Grape Poppy Seeds

Hungarian Blue

Hungarian Blue Poppy Seeds

Breadseed Poppies Overview 

Graceful, slender stems uphold bread seed poppies, their vibrant petals shifting from deep purples to vivid pinks. A blurred background of foliage accentuates their delicate structure, standing tall in a display of nature's artistic beauty.

Botanical Identify 

Papaver somniferum

Plant Kind 

Annual flower, primarily grown for its seed and pods

Particular Traits

Florists adore the decorative seed pods, the seeds are utilized in breadmaking.

Native Space 

Japanese Mediterranean, Asia Minor, Central Asia


Full solar to partial shade

Watering Necessities 

No less than as soon as every week when establishing 

Soil Kind 

Wealthy, fertile, and moist most well-liked


Aphids, flea beetles, poppy root weevil


Leaf blight, downy mildew, root rot

Hardiness Zones

3-9, thriving in 6-8

Bloom Time

Late spring, early summer time 

What Is It?

Poppy seeds used within the culinary world come from breadseed poppies, therefore the title. The botanical title comes from the which means of somniferous, which is “tending to induce sleep”.

Breadseed poppies are additionally referred to as opium poppies as a result of numerous components of the plant are used to make narcotics, akin to morphine, codeine, heroin, and oxycodone. They’re additionally known as florist poppies due to the showy blooms and decorative pods which can be generally utilized in bouquets. The pods kind after the flower blooms have light within the fall. 


A close-up of a deep purple poppy flower showcasing delicate petals in rich hues. A fuzzy bumblebee rests at the center, its fuzzy body contrasting against the flower's velvety surface, amid a lush, blurred backdrop of greenery.
Breadseed poppies develop 2-3 toes tall, boasting massive, colourful cup-shaped flowers.

The plant grows to be two to a few toes tall and produces massive, vibrant-colored, delicate, and papery-looking flowers which can be about two inches in diameter and kind a cup form. Flowers characteristic 4 to 6 petals every and a middle stuffed with stamens, attracting a slew of pollinators. Colours are normally pink, purple, or pink, with a horny darkish middle. The leaves are scalloped and barely grey. 

Seed pods vary in measurement from about ½ to a few inches. Poppy seeds are simply 1mm in measurement and are sometimes grey, white, black, or blue. In comparison with different poppy sorts, breadseed poppies have a lot bigger flowers. 

A delicate white poppy, its petals gently unfurled, soaks in the golden sunlight. Behind it, a verdant landscape bathes in the same warm glow, creating a serene backdrop for the solitary flower's elegant beauty.
The manufacturing of opium is strictly regulated to stop unlawful drug commerce.

It’s authorized to develop breadseed poppies in the US. It’s unlawful to make use of them to provide opium.

For house gardeners, rising poppies for his or her seeds could appear to be a complicated endeavor. However worry not. In case your intentions are pure and also you’re rising a couple of poppy crops for his or her magnificence, pods, and culinary use of seeds, I don’t suppose the DEA goes to return knocking. Some seed corporations provide poppy varieties bred in Germany that comprise decrease, secure ranges of morphine to ease anxieties. The cultivar ‘Sujata’ doesn’t produce any of the possibly harmful latex.

Immediately, the expansion of poppies for drug corporations is very regulated to watch and observe the top product, opium. That is to make sure it doesn’t enter the unlawful drug commerce and find yourself within the incorrect arms. 

It was found way back that the sap of the opium poppy may function a pure painkiller and anesthetic. Early surgical procedures have been carried out after giving sufferers massive doses to induce unconsciousness. 

Native Space

Vibrant orange poppies, their dark centers a stark contrast, proudly bloom in a garden. Surrounding them, green poppy seed pods and leaves add depth and texture to the scene, creating a lively, colorful composition.
Breadseed poppy seeds have been launched to the US for baking.

Native to Japanese Mediterranean, Asia Minor, and Central Asia, breadseed poppy seeds have been dropped at the US from Europe primarily for inclusion in baked items. Heirloom seeds nonetheless exist in the present day, and rising them will keep on the legacy of a few of the households who bred them a whole bunch of years in the past. 


As soon as established, breadseed poppy crops are pretty low-maintenance.


A close-up of a white poppy flower highlighted by purple hues, soaking in the warm sunlight. Surrounding it are green poppy seed pods and additional white blossoms set against a serene blue sky adorned with fluffy clouds.
Optimum daylight fosters bigger, vibrant bread seed poppy flowers whereas lowering fungal dangers.

Breadseed poppies carry out finest in areas of full solar. This permits them to provide their largest and showiest flowers and in addition helps hold the danger of fungal illnesses down. 


A close-up of a translucent lavender petal of a poppy flower, adorned with water droplets. The soft focus background unveils a tapestry of verdant greenery, a gentle contrast to the vividness of the petal's hues.
Newly germinated or transplanted crops want frequent watering initially.

Watering newly transplanted crops and seedlings is essential, particularly in hotter areas. As soon as established, make sure to water about as soon as every week, however total, their wants are low. 


Two weathered hands, streaked with dirt, tenderly cradle a rich, damp soil, fingers embracing the earth. In the background, the ground is layered with dark, nutrient-laden soil, hinting at the promise of growth and life within its depths.
Optimize soil with compost, good drainage, and moisture to stop root rot.

Make sure the soil is wealthy in compost. Maintain it well-draining, finely textured, and moist. In case your soil isn’t draining, enhance the extent of natural matter. This can assist it maintain in moisture, enable it to empty, and encourage wholesome microbiological exercise.

Root rot is triggered when the roots suffocate attributable to extreme moisture within the soil, and never sufficient oxygen is acquired. This leaves roots open to fungal infections, and decay pathogens have an optimum surroundings for feeding.


Amidst the wooden chips, hands delve in, highlighting the contrast between human skin and natural matter. The chips, arranged in a mound, await their purpose, poised to protect and nourish plants in a garden or landscape setting.
Mulch helps hold the soil moist and funky, including fertility because it breaks down.

Management weeds, retain moisture, hold the soil moist, and reduce surrounding soil temperature by including a layer of wooden chips or natural straw. As these break down, they’ll add fertility to the soil and additional assist your poppies.

Temperature and Humidity 

Two pristine white poppies, their delicate petals unfurling under the warm sunlight, stand amidst lush, verdant foliage. The blurred backdrop unveils a tapestry of verdant grasses, providing a tranquil setting for the ethereal beauty of the white poppies.
Breadseed poppies want cooler temperatures under 70°F (21°C) and average humidity.

These poppies thrive in cooler climate and produce their largest blooms in areas the place temperatures don’t get a lot above 70° (21°C). Humidity ranges ought to stay low to medium for the healthiest crops and a decreased danger of fungal illness. 


A blue trowel rests on a dark table, its curved blade holding a generous heap of pristine white fertilizer granules, ready for gardening tasks. Surrounding the trowel, the table is adorned with scattered granules.
Optimum poppy development requires cautious nitrogen administration to stop extreme foliage.

Most poppies do finest with additional calcium, however monitor the extent of nitrogen carefully. An excessive amount of could cause the plant to deal with the vegetation, rising an abundance of foliage and never blooms. Including phosphorus encourages blooming. 

Pruning and Harvesting

A dedicated gardener in a blue shirt and gloves stands amidst captivating poppy flowers. With precision, he grips blue pruning shears, ready to delicately trim the slender stem of a striking orange poppy.
Common deadheading all through the rising season promotes steady blooming.

Deadheading all through the rising season encourages steady bud formation and blooming. Pinching again is just not essential. Nonetheless, after the primary flush of blooms, slicing them again to the bottom could stimulate a second flush. 

To be used in bouquets, minimize your flowers when the buds start to point out coloration however earlier than they’ve expanded and pollination has occurred. Utilizing clear, sharp shears, clip stems as low to the bottom of the plant as doable at a forty five° angle. A milky sap will doubtless ooze out. Some growers cauterize the ends by burning them to seal the sap inside, giving the flowers an extended vase life

Bloom Time

A serene field unfolds with a sea of purple poppy flowers, their delicate petals swaying gracefully on slender green stems. Above, a soft blue sky sets the perfect backdrop, casting a tranquil ambiance over the vibrant floral tapestry below.
Flowers produce seeds for the following era.

Vegetation will bloom in early to late spring and early summer time, relying in your area. After a bloom cycle, the crops will shift energies into forming the seed pods and seeds for the following era

Floral Design Makes use of

An outdoor table displays neatly stacked plates ready for a feast, alongside a clear vase holding red poppy flowers, their petals in full bloom. In the backdrop, a brick wall adorned with green plants creates a serene, natural atmosphere.
Florists want poppy seed pods for bouquets attributable to their longevity.

These poppies are adored by florists because the dried pods function a singular filler to a recent or dried bouquet. Whereas the blooms are beautiful, they final just some days as soon as minimize, which is especially why florists extra usually search eternal seed pods. 

Drying Seeds to Save

A close-up showcasing two dried poppy seed pods against a blurred brown backdrop. One pod, split open elegantly, reveals a cluster of vibrant blue seeds nestled within its delicate, weathered shell.
Harvest and dry ventless pods for preservation, making certain full dryness earlier than storage or planting.

A few years in the past, when European households relied on these seeds for his or her baked items or gross sales, they’d to determine a option to hold them in place. Because of this, some poppies have been bred to kind ventless seed pods that hold the seeds safely within the pod.

If that is so for the variability you’re rising, you’ll be able to go away them on the plant to dry. If there are vents within the sides and also you discover seeds slipping out the edges, merely harvest the seed pods and hold them in a vented brown bag to dry. Don’t go away them on the plant too lengthy, or they’ll crack, spilling out the seeds. 

Nonetheless you dry your seeds, guarantee no moisture stays earlier than storing them in an hermetic container. Sow them subsequent 12 months for a brand new crop. 


Poppies kind a robust taproot as soon as established, so though it’s not normally really helpful to transplant them, many growers have had success doing so. Rising them in containers is just not really helpful.

Rising from Seed

A hand in a white glove gently places tiny seeds onto a rectangular wooden box filled with dark soil, fostering growth. Behind, a blurred backdrop reveals grass and a red hand rake, its wooden handle poised for gardening tasks.
Put together backyard beds by sowing seeds early, marking the world, and avoiding disturbance.

Sow seeds straight right into a ready backyard mattress as quickly because the soil could be labored, round 4 to 6 weeks earlier than your final frost date. Some mild is required for germination, so simply sprinkle seeds within the soil of the prepped mattress. Mark the area nicely in case you obtain snow after sowing so you’ll be able to keep away from raking over the world. 

Begin in small cell trays, burying them simply barely. Sprinkling a little bit vermiculite or perlite excessive of the seeds retains moisture and retains seeds in place. Some mild is required for germination, so hold seed trays in a cool, dry place the place they will entry mild. 

Relying in your area and time of 12 months, seeds ought to germinate inside 14 days in perfect situations.

Permit Vegetation to Self-Seed

A close-up of a split brown poppy head displays its interior filled with rich, dark poppy seeds, clustered within. The blurred backdrop, a gentle wash of muted greens, serves as a soft contrast.
Handle breadseed poppies by amassing and clearing dropped seeds to stop overwhelming self-seeding.

Breadseed poppies will readily self-seed. Take away some seed pods and clear up a few of the dropped seeds so the world isn’t overwhelmed with germinating seeds within the spring. Mulch over prime of them within the fall to maintain them in place. They’ll go dormant for the winter and sprout within the spring. 

Winter Sowing

In the foreground, a hand delicately cradles a clear plastic bottle, offering a glimpse inside at the rich, dark soil housing tender poppy seedlings. Behind this intricate scene, a lush carpet of green grass forms the tranquil backdrop.
Sow breadseed poppies in winter for sturdy, cold-hardy seeds with excessive germination charges.

All poppies love cool climate, and bread seed poppies aren’t any exception. They’re chilly hardy, and have excessive germination charges even when spring temperatures are cool. To winter sow your poppies, sprinkle seeds out in ready beds to overwinter or in early spring as soon as the soil could be labored. Alternatively, sow indoors in peat pots as early as late January. 

When utilizing the milk-jug approach, begin the seeds a bit later, in February or early March, to keep away from a robust taproot and be cautious when transplanting. Winter-sown poppies needs to be stronger, extra resilient, and higher-yielding than their spring-sown counterparts. 


Breadseed poppies are available a spread of daring pinks and purples, making them excellent for mass plantings. They’re additionally pretty alongside backyard and pathway borders.


In vibrant daylight, a striking purple poppy blooms beside a green poppy pod, bathed in golden sunlight. The blurred backdrop unveils a multitude of similarly enchanting purple poppies.
When sowing seeds, unfold thinly, rake calmly, then cowl with soil.

If direct sowing seeds right into a prepped backyard mattress, unfold them thinly. Rake them in and simply barely cowl with about ⅛” of soil. Then skinny them to eight to 10 inches as soon as they’ve germinated, eradicating any weak seedlings. 

Design Concepts 

A purple poppy flower stands gracefully amid lush green poppy pods on slender stems. The intricate details of the petals and pods create a stunning contrast against the backdrop of a metal mesh fence.
Improve backyard aesthetics by combining various colours and sizes alongside fences.
  • Add a mixture of colours and sizes alongside a privateness fence or surrounding your mailbox.
  • Plant them in mass in a standalone backyard plot. 
  • Use contrasting colours to make your perennials pop, like a daring pink poppy with a shiny purple iris or lupine. 
  • Sprinkle them round hostas or behind lower-laying perennials. 

These are just some wonderful breadseed poppy choices. 

‘Lauren’s Grape’

A close-up of a magenta Lauren's grape poppy flower, its delicate petals unfurling gracefully. The blurred backdrop reveals lush green foliage, illuminated by the gentle rays of the sun, creating a harmonious natural canvas.
A novel darkish purple selection, Lauren’s Grape was found by backyard author Lauren Springer.

This beautiful darkish purple selection most definitely provides a singular aptitude to your backyard. Whereas that includes the traditional crepe-paper look, the petals overlap a bit greater than others and develop upright, virtually like a cup. The middle is full and fascinating. It’s believed that backyard author Lauren Springer found this selection after sowing seeds from a bagel. 

‘Hungarian Blue’

A vibrant purple Hungarian blue flower stretches toward the sunlight, its delicate petals unfurling in a graceful dance of color. Behind it, a soft blur reveals a verdant backdrop of lush foliage, adorned by bursts of vibrant orange blooms.
A plant reaching as much as three toes, Hungarian blue produces coveted blue seeds and lavender petals.

This whimsical selection gives lavender petals and the ever-sought-after blue seeds when mature. Seeds ought to germinate in about two weeks after sowing, and the plant can rise up to a few toes tall. Save the seeds after having fun with the blooms in your summer time backyard. 

‘Black Swan’

A close-up of a black swan poppy with striking, purple petals marked by delicate ripples and folds, forming a velvety texture. The deep hue and soft, satin-like surface create an intriguing contrast against the green center.
This selection has a showstopping, pink wine-colored flower with a pom-pom-like look.

Should you’re searching for a showstopper to plant in mass, look no additional. This distinctive and larger-than-life pink wine-colored flower seems to be like a backyard pom-pom and has swan neck curved stems, therefore the title. 

Frequent Issues

There aren’t any critical pest or illness issues, however pests growers ought to look out for are aphids, flea beetles, and poppy root weevils. Illnesses embody leaf blight, downy mildew, and root rot. 


A vibrant orange poppy stands alone, its delicate petals unfurling gracefully amid a sea of tall grasses swaying in the gentle breeze. However, the serenity is disrupted as menacing black aphids converge on the unsuspecting flower.
Aphids and flea beetles can devastate poppy patches, requiring early intervention with water blasts.
  • Aphids: Aphids don’t trigger an excessive amount of hassle if populations are small, however in case you let an infestation get uncontrolled, they might break your poppy patch and transfer on to the remainder of your backyard. Differing kinds overwinter in case you allow them to, and populations then spike within the spring. They produce many generations per season. Use a robust blast of water to take away them out of your crops early within the day to allow them to dry within the solar. Insecticidal cleaning soap and neem oil are additionally nice remedy choices. In case your backyard is susceptible to aphids, strive releasing lacewing eggs as organic management. Present them with habitat by planting ammi and yarrow to maintain them in your backyard.
  • Flea beetles: Flea beetles are normally simply an annoyance, however they will do some critical harm to younger poppy crops. They’re the tiny metallic bugs that rapidly hop from plant to plant. After sucking juices from the foliage, crops are stuffed with irregularly formed and sized holes which can be generally unmarketable. Take away plant particles to restrict their winter hibernation areas, management weeds close by, and shield crops with insect netting as they set up to manage them.
  • Poppy root weevil: This pest got here to us from Europe, Africa, and Asia. Its emergence within the spring traces up with new poppy seedling germination. After feeding for every week or so, it mates, and the feminine lays eggs on the decrease leaves. Organic management contains focusing on the larvae and pupae which can be about to emerge under the soil floor by releasing nematodes. It is best to deal with your backyard in temperate occasions with two remedies utilized two weeks aside.

Breadseed poppies are deer-resistant, and bees love them.


A leaf's close-up reveals intricate veins amidst mottled discoloration, a telltale sign of gummy stem blight. The once-vibrant green now bears patches of brown and yellow, showcasing the disease's impact on the leaf's vitality.
Frequent illnesses in bread seed poppies embody bacterial blight, downy mildew, and root rot.
  • Leaf blight: Should you discover spots with a translucent ring on the leaves, stems, buds, flowers, or seed pods that look like moist and black, your crops could have bacterial blight. Ultimately, the plant will absolutely collapse and die. Any remaining diseased tissue needs to be eliminated out of your backyard. Guarantee your seeds are handled and clear. Water deeply and comply with a correct crop rotation plan to lower the danger of bacterial blight. 
  • Downy mildew: You might even see this if leaves stay moist throughout extended intervals of chilly, cloudy climate, particularly when humidity is excessive. Keep away from overwatering throughout these occasions. Downy mildew occurring in poppies is brought on by Peronospora arborescens. To lower the danger, present correct airflow, follow deep watering methods, and area crops appropriately. Fungicides could be utilized if caught early. Observe all directions and warnings earlier than software.

    Signs embody: 

    • Yellowing on tops of leaves 
    • Distorted development 
    • Purpling and brown powder on the undersides of leaves 
    • The an infection begins low and strikes upwards
  • Root rot: This may be brought on by numerous fungal infections or when the soil is over-saturated, and the roots merely can’t breathe. They lose the flexibility to correctly develop, obtain oxygen, and search vitamins. That is when the fungal pathogen that causes root rot strikes in. The plant will ultimately die. Get your soil fertility and quantity of natural matter proper earlier than planting something to keep away from root rot. 

Remaining Ideas

Should you’ve grown poppies earlier than however not breadseed poppies, I hope you’ll give them a shot! Total, they’re low upkeep, as long as you present full solar, fertile and well-draining soil, and shield them from pests. 

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles