Single Packet of 3,000 Seeds
Grow a garden filled with the unusual, yet beautiful, Hens and Chicks Poppy, from freshly harvested Papaver somniferum seeds. With thin crimson petals, these spectacular flowers have dark purple spots in their centers that will stand out spectacularly in the sun. This tender perennial somniferum poppy has a single large seedhead, with smaller heads clustered around the base, deriving the name, "Hens and Chicks." Due to the large amount of seed that it produces, gardeners love the Hens and Chicks somniferum for uses in baking and cultivating their oils.
Growing 24 to 36 inches tall, and 1 foot wide, these flowers possess thick stalks and broad lettuce like leaves. The colors range from deep red to light pink and are accented by purple hues. Hens and Chicks develop large, single petalled blooms, which make it a great addition to your insectary or butterfly garden. The plants will attract all sorts of beneficial insects, such as butterflies, bumblebees, honeybees and hummingbirds as well. Hens and Chicks enjoy being in a part of your garden that is deep, provides adequate drainage, and has a full view of the sun. They can pretty much grow anywhere normal plants cannot. Plant them in sandy soils, or a medium that has a bit of gravel, these beauties aren't very picky at all. The neat thing about them is, you can control the color by controlling how much sun light they get.
Before the blooms appear, these one of kind poppies develop large flower heads that curl downwards for a number of days longer than other poppy species. The pods, better known as the "chicks" are in their development stage. Not long after that, they will force open their "caps" over the flowers, causing them to crack. The stems will straighten and the flowers will open, showing their beauty in the spring.
Hens and Chicks can be grown directly outdoors in the flower garden or in raised beds. They make a perfect border plant along fences and walkways, and even go great in larger pots and containers. The plants do not transplant well, so once they are sown, you should plan on keeping them in their permanent location through the season. Somniferums are generous self seeders and will produce many seeds for the following growing seasons. Enjoy these beauties and reap the benefits of a colorful and butterfly filled garden!
- Type: Flower
- Color: Salmon
- Height: 24" to 36" Tall
- Width: 10" to 12" Spread
- Season: Annual
- Zones: 3 to 9
- Environment: Full Sun
Sowing The Seed
Papaver somniferum seeds grow best with a period of stratification, 4 weeks prior to sowing. Somniferum Poppy seeds are also best sown directly outdoors, when the weather is warm and all danger of frost has passed. The root system of these popular flowers is pretty weak until they are matured, so transplanting is out of the question. Remove all unwanted plant life from your sowing area, turning the dirt, or replacing it with fresh soil. Sprinkle the seeds to the surface of the soil, on a calm day, making sure that no high winds can blow the tiny seeds away. Do not cover your Poppy seeds as they require light to germinate properly. Pat down the soil to keep the seeds in place.
Somniferum Poppy will enjoy an area of full sunlight in cool regions and partial shade in warmer regions. They thrive in temperatures of around 70F and don't like the heat of summer. The soil should be well drained and can be average to rich, although it prefers sandy soils most. Areas that consist of hard, compact soil will retain too much moisture, so mixing a light compost is recommended for improved drainage. Water daily, with a mist setting, allowing the seeds to receive an adequate amount of moisture, without drowning the seeds.
Germination & Growth
Your Somniferum Poppy seeds will begin to germinate within roughly 7 to 21 days after sowing. The plants will reach a mature height of 24 to 36 inches tall, and can be spaced about 6 inches apart. Somniferum Poppy plants are best established by the masses. Sowing a large sum of seeds within a small area will result in a beautiful sea of red, pink & purple blooms. Allow the seed pods to dry out during the late summer / early fall to establish new plants the following season, from seeds that will fall to the bare ground beneath.