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A native of elevated lands in western Asia, this perennial is a cold-hardy plant that fares poorly in climates above USDA zone 8. Apply mulch around oriental poppies for winter protection.
One of the easiest to grow, this clump-forming poppy is a great choice for gardeners of all skill levels. Divide the clump every five years or so to avoid overcrowding.
Growing a poppy in a container might not be your first thought, but this easy-to-grow perennial is best grown in a large, deep pot, like the type you might find on a deck or patio. Use a terracotta or other type of container that will let excess moisture evaporate, and give the plant the best chance of success by filling it with quality potting mix.
For maximum bloom, a good fertilizer regimen should include a balanced, slow-release formulation that contains plenty of phosphorus. During the flowering season, water the plants well, but do not overwater, which can lead to root rot.
Most importantly, remember that poppies will die back over the summer, so it is a good idea to design your planting bed around them. Other good companions for the poppy include black-eyed Susan, daylily, catmint and phlox.
The Best Poppies for the Garden
For a colorful addition to your garden, consider planting a poppy in your favourite shade of blue or purple. They make a gorgeous statement with their big, brightly colored flowers and foliage. Depending on the variety, they can grow up to 5 feet tall, so plan accordingly. This herbaceous perennial reseeds readily and makes a great cut flower. It is also a popular choice for landscapers looking for a quick and easy way to add a splash of color to a garden.