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How to propagate these poppies

Discussion in 'Herbs and Wildflowers' started by Nosivad, Mar 31, 2018.

  1. Nosivad

    Nosivad Apprentice Gardener

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    Made several attempts to grow these from seed saved from the pods but all failed, any tips please? Thankx
     

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  2. ARMANDII

    ARMANDII ADMINISTRATOR Staff Member

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    "Meconopsis
    Meconopsis is a genus of nearly 80 species of often short-lived or monocarpic perennials which flower just once and then die. They are best known as ‘blue poppies’ with large saucer-shaped flowers but many have attractive leaf rosettes.

    [​IMG]

    Quick facts
    Common name Himalayan poppy
    Botanical name Meconopsis
    Group Perennial
    Flowering Summer
    Planting time Spring
    Height and spread 1.2m (4ft) high 50cm (20in) spread
    Aspect Shade
    Hardiness Hardy
    Difficulty Difficult
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    Cultivation notes


    Meconopsis grow best in the cooler and wetter areas of Northern England and Scotland and are a challenge in the South. Even a few days of bright sun in dry conditions will scorch plants in unsuitable sites.

    They require a humus-rich, moist but well-drained, slightly alkaline to slightly acid soil. More important than the pH is that the soil has plenty of organic matter. Site plants in partial shade with shelter from cold, drying winds. They are particularly suited to woodland gardens but also do well in moist, shaded beds.

    Never allow plants to dry out during the summer months. Apply a balanced fertilizer, such as Growmore, at 35g per sq m (10oz per sq yd) in spring and mulch round plants with garden compost or well-rotted manure.



    Propagation


    Plants can either be propagated by division or raised from seed or, in the case of some species, by both. Division is best done in spring at the first signs of growth.

    A suitable sowing medium for seed is two parts multipurpose peat-free compost to one part perlite, passed through a sieve. Meconopsis seed requires light to germinate so either surface sow and cover with a thin layer of vermiculite to anchor seeds and prevent drying out or, alternatively, top off the pot with damp perlite and sow the seed into this.

    Meconopsis seed has short term viability. Late summer and autumn sowing gives best germination in about three weeks but seedlings then need to be overwintered in a cold frame or similar. Sowing in February allows a full growing season for the young plants to develop unchecked but it is important to store the seed overwinter in cool, dry conditions in the bottom of a domestic refrigerator.

    As pot-grown seedlings develop the first pair of true leaves they should be pricked off into containers of a similar medium to that detailed above. Many seedlings are lost when pricking out. To avoid this sow a tiny pinch of 3-5 seeds into each module of a plug tray. Once plants have germinated they can be potted on in a group without any disturbance.

    Seedlings need careful watering as excessive wetness or dry conditions can both be fatal. Transplanted seedlings should be fed with a weak liquid feed every fortnight during the growing season. A covering of horticultural fleecewill reduce transpiration and the possibility of scorch from bright sun and will also protect against frost.

    Pot on regularly as the seedlings develop to avoid a check in their growth and plant out in the autumn or the following spring."
     
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    • Loki

      Loki Super Gardener

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      I've tried to grow these but been unsuccessful :frown: they are difficult to grow, never mind germinate :rolleyespink: I think Armandii summed it up, good luck :dbgrtmb:
       
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      • silu

        silu gardening easy...hmmm

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        Only certain varieties of Meconopsis are suitable to grow from seed. Many varieties are sterile and can only be increased by division. Do you know the variety you have? The easiest I have found from seed is Lingholm but even then I've found sown seed either gives fantastic germination or none at all!
        I always sow in the early Spring after having kept the saved seed in the fridge over winter. If you do get germination I was taught to remove any flower buds the 1st year to allow all the energy of the seedlings to go into growth not flowers.
        If you would like me to send you saved seed in the autumn PM me nearer the time.
        The ones below are about 4 years old grown from seed
        [​IMG]
         
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        • Nosivad

          Nosivad Apprentice Gardener

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          Hi silu. Profound apologies for the delay in responding, had major computer crash, lost all P/W etc. The actually forgot I had joined this forum!!!!! [Age related] Reading about this poppy variety on the RHS web site it states they only flower once then die BUT the one in my garden flowers every year!!!! The RHS also states this [A suitable sowing medium for seed is two parts multipurpose peat-free compost to one part perlite, passed through a sieve. Meconopsis seed requires light to germinate so either surface sow and cover with a thin layer of vermiculite to anchor seeds and prevent drying out or, alternatively, top off the pot with damp perlite and sow the seed into this.] What is VERMICULITE & Perlite? I sure would like to take you up on your offer of sending me some seed when next yours die back as I simply delight in this flower and would love to have a cluster like that shown above. Will persist till I succeed. Regards Dave .
           
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