Monday, May 18, 2015

Saving Poppy Seeds

I love growing poppies!  They are early bloomers for us in Texas.  They're easy to grow as well.  Just toss seeds out in the fall and wait.  They germinate and start sprouting in late January or early February and then take off from there.  I haven't intentionally sown any poppy seeds for the past couple of years, yet I get a bumper crop of volunteers every year, like these in the picture above.

After poppies flower, the petals will die off (or get blown off if my case) and leave the seed pod behind.  I think they look like queens wearing crowns.  As the seed heads dry out, the "crown" lifts up and little windows start showing.  This is where the seeds empty when blown by the wind, knocked down by animals (like the neighbor's cat), or if turned upside down when pulling the plants out. 

I snip off the tops and turn them upside down in a tall container, such as a large yogurt or cottage cheese container.  Twirl the stems to empty all the seeds.  Once harvested, spread them out on a paper plate and allow to dry.  Store in a paper envelope or old medicine bottle until the fall and toss them about your garden to bloom in the spring.

1 comment:

MartiDIY said...

I've never grown poppy, but had a neighbor with scads of them. They were so pretty in her front flower bed. I was going to ask her for seed at the end of one season, but one day I drove by her house and they were all gone. :(