Poppy, Oriental –
Large, frost tolerant plants have showy, crinkly, crepe-like silky petals that grow on long, hairy stems. The colors vary from the deepest crimson, lilac, violet, to bright yellow and orange to soft pink and white.
Oriental: large, hairy basal coarse leaves with upward facing flowers 4-6” across on tall, upright stems. Blooms in late spring.
This is a taller selection of oriental poppy, featuring huge scarlet-red petals with fringed edges, surrounding a maroon black eye. Excellent for cutting, when picked just as the buds open. Deer and rabbit resistant.
Winchester Gardens generally stocks this item.
Plant in spring, spacing plants 2 to 3 feet apart, depending on the variety. Prepare the garden bed by using a garden fork or tiller to loosen the soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches, then mix in a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the pot the plant is in. Carefully remove the plant from its container and place it in the hole so the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Carefully fill in around the root ball and firm the soil gently. Water thoroughly.
Apply a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by a 2-inch layer of mulch to retain moisture and control weeds. During the summer months, when plants are dormant, watering is needed only during periods of drought. In autumn, poppies will resume foliage growth until frost, and these green leaves will remain over winter. After soil has frozen, apply a 4- to 6-inch layer of protective mulch to prevent heaving during periods of temperature fluctuation. When the weather warms up in spring, gradually remove the winter mulch. Plants can be divided in early spring or summer.
Switchgrass – The erect 4-foot-tall metallic-blue gray stems and leaves of ‘Heavy Metal’ switchgrass make a striking contrast to the mounds of Oriental poppies. They enjoy similar situations.
Shasta daisy – The sparkling white single daisies of ‘Alaska’ Shasta daisy echo the flower shape of poppies while providing a contrast in color and foliage – especially with strong-color poppies.
Veronica – With erect spikes of bright blue flowers, veronica works well against Iceland poppies, providing a vertical accent and color contrast.
Salvia – The upright deep purple-blue spikes of small flowers on sturdy stems make fine companions for Oriental or Iceland poppies.