Gardening 2014 – California Poppies


Jelly Bean California Poppies

I love poppies of all kinds. There is just something about the papery colorful petals on the flowers and their simple look that really appeals to me. Over the years I’ve had varying levels of success growing California poppies, Eschscholzia californica.

Like many gardeners, I’m always trying to grow plants that aren’t native or suited to my particular region. I have friends in California who think California poppies are like weeds, but to me, they are beautiful flowers.

Copper Pot

Copper Pot

I do know they grow best when sown where they are to remain. They are very hard to transplant, because their drought tolerance comes from the tap root they put down, and moving them from a peat pot or a seed tray often results in damaging the fragile young roots. I read a tip I’m going to try this year- sow them earlier than recommended, about the time you would sow radish seeds in northern climates.  I’ve ordered the two beautiful varieties above and will sow them by the end of March. We’ll see what happens! Keep your fingers crossed.

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