Sunday, January 29, 2012

Oriental poppies

My sister in law grew these huge plants of Oriental poppies in bright orange/red and I fell in love with them.  She told me her daughter had brought them home after visiting the garden of a gardener with her class at school. She offered to give me some but told me that they did not transplant well. Two years ago, I found these in our local gardening center and bought 8 plants in various colors. I carefully planted each plant in bright sunlight in a well drained area. I had planned to mulch them that year because of our harsh prairie winters and because my sister in law had mulched hers. I never got there. Fall arrived and winter set in with a vengeance, we had tons of snow. The next spring, only one plant came up. I went back to the garden center and bought 7 more to replace the ones I had lost. I started again. Once again they were planted in full sun but this time, I mulched all of my plants.  Once planted and mulched, I watered them once a week most of the summer. Last spring, all my oriental poppies survived and continued to thrive well all summer. I bought an organic fertilizer for perennials and used as directed early last spring.  The reason they are hard to move to a new spot in the garden is that they have thick roots that once established are more difficult to reestablish in a different area.  The petals of this beautiful flower look like paper and last quite a long time. The flower bed that these plants have been transplanted to is a mixture of evergreen and cedars with perennials added for color.

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