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Growing Opium Poppy

This article will describe the process for growing opium poppies. As most poppies are somniferum in variety, most regular poppy farms are actually growing opium poppies.

P. somniferum, P. paeoniflorum, P. giganteum aka the poppy is a resilient annual that can grow almost anywhere. Of all the different species, Papaverus Somniferum or the sleep poppy is the most popular due to both its beauty and its seeds which are used for everything from making muffins to baking bread. When the flowers have died, the stems and pods are often used for flower arrangements. Papaver Somniferum has also been used medicinally for centuries; as a painkiller, muscle relaxant, diarrhea remedy, and intoxicant. growing opium poppies is currently illegal in the US and recently it has become more and more dangerous to have a patch of them growing in your back yard. Most people who have used p. Somniferum pods for tea, purchased them from companies growing their pods for this purpose, in specific regions, under specific conditions using the highest yield varieties and the right kind of fertilizers. Although our p. Somniferum pods are extremely high yield and grown in these specific regions: due to current legislation, we only sell our pods for decorative uses. If you would like to order our Papaver Somniferum dried poppy pods visit our Products & Ordering, which also sells poppy seeds.

Against what some people may say, growing opium poppies can be rather difficult to do right. However following some simple farming lessons can avoid problems that range from poppy seeds being eaten by birds, to stunted growth by to short a season or too little nutrients. How to grow opium poppy garden? Generally speaking growing opium poppies can be done anywhere. As poppy seeds are very small it can take anywhere from four days to three weeks from the time you plant them until the first sprouts start coming out of the soil.

The best type of soil to use in growing opium poppies is a slightly acidic seed starter mix. Alternately you can use an all purpose potting soil or cactus soil mixed fifty with seed started. In all cases make sure the soil is not packed to tight so that the seeds have room to sprout.

The poppy seed can be sown several ways, including broadcast (tossed by hand or special shaker); and dropped by hand into small shallow holes dug with a special "dibble" stick. Prior to planting the seeds it is important to till the ground using a tiller, hoe, shovel or rake. If you have not fertilized the soil with last years crop it is probably a good idea to do so using cow, horse or 1 year old chicken manure. To sow one acre of land it will take about one pound of poppy seed. If you live in a dry climate, be sure to water on a regular basis. Although seeds come in many colors, the color of the seed does not specifically relate to the color of the flower or pod. Beans, cabbages, cotton, parsley, spinach, squash and tobacco are crops that can typically be planted with the poppy. Because the seeds are so tiny some farmers use fine sand to mix in with the seeds so as to space out the seeds a little more. The best time to start growing opium poppies and plant the seeds is right after the last snow melts or in the first part or march, whichever comes first. Alternately you can plant half the seeds in the late fall and save half of the seeds for planting in the early spring. Although the optimal germination temperature is about 14 Celsius or just below 60 Fahrenheit, the seeds will germinate at temperatures both lower and higher.

After the growing opium poppies are first seen and the sprouts begin to grow, the best time to water is in the afternoon or morning. Due to their roots being very small and weak, it is wise to use either a professional spray watering system or a spray bottle to water the sprouts and soil. Keep the soil moist but not too wet. Simply put poppies like as much sun as possible. Put them in an open field where they will get a lot of sun.

The growing opium poppies prefer their soil to stay slightly on the acidic side. For fertilizer a good miracle grow 30-10-10 mix once every two weeks will work well. When the plants are ten inches tall start to fertilize with a liquid fertilizer. Alaskan fish fertilizer works well if you are doing things organically. When the flowers are about to bloom you can try a standard 10-30-20 fertilizer or a special blooming enhancement fertilizer for extra vivid colors.

Once the poppies are blooming, the flowers last from three to eight days, then the flower petals will drop off. During this period you simply need to remember to water occasionally. The remaining energy of the plant will be used to grow and open the pod spilling the seeds and reproducing the plant. At this point you can cut the pods and extract the seeds for planting next year.

growing opium poppies are beautiful plants and are a show piece for any garden. However, they do contain alkaloids that are a narcotic. They are illegal to grow in the US and can easily be seen growing in a yard from other people or law enforcement looking over a fence. All in all, although you may be able to get away with growing a small patch of poppies in your back yard, it would probably be much easier (and less risky to buy them from us).

The instructions above are only for growing opium poppies. If you purchase opium poppy seeds or the seeds you are using are somniferum in variety, it is illegal to grow the seeds in most countries and we do not recommend it. Cultivating opium poppies and growing opium poppies in a filed of any size in the USA with the intent to extract opium, will get you put you in jail. We do not recommend doing it.

Additional Articles on Poppies

Afghani Poppies

The war on terror against countries the United States deems the .Axis of Evil. has impacted the war on opium. In Afghanistan, a major grower of poppies and trafficker of opium, the war on opium has all but ceased due to military activity in the Middle Eastern country. Actions including spraying the poppy fields with chemicals to kill the flowers are proposed measures as the war on opium advances again. This chemical spraying is be conducted from the air and hope to stop the opium trade at its source.the poppy fields. The State Department has requested a $750 million for an Afghanistan counter-narcotics program that is expected to be granted. An estimated $152 million of that aid is expected to be spent on the aerial poppy eradication program.

California Poppies

California.s Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is truly one of the Golden State.s most unique state parks. Located in the western Antelope Valley, the Poppy Reserve is dedicated to preserving the state.s famed species of poppy.the California poppy. The state flower of California grows unrestrained in 1745 acre state park. The park does not water the poppies or provide any other maintenance to ensure the field is totally natural. Sheep used to graze amidst the poppies, however in the early 1970s the park relocated the flock, since the California poppy prefers to grow in an undisturbed environment. The only proactive means the Poppy Reserve has taken is performing prescribed burns. This action is performed in hopes to prevent devastating wild fires.

Dried Poppies

On March 6, 1996, just before 7:00p.m., Jim Hogshire, the author of Opium for the Masses was inside his apartment when over a dozen members of the Seattle Police Department Narcotics Unit burst in with a search warrant authorizing a search of the apartment for...

Growing Opium Poppies

If you are interested in growing your own crop of opium poppies (Papaver somniferum), the seeds are available for sale online. The sites that sell these seeds make it a special point to say the seeds are not for growing. However, it can be assumed the majority of customers aren.t wishing to shell out that kind of money to buy poppy seeds for baking purposes.

Growing Opium Poppy

This article will describe the process for growing opium poppies. As most poppies are somniferum in variety, most regular poppy farms are actually growing opium poppies.

History of Poppies

The poppy plant, Paper somniferum.s history begins with the ancient Sumerians. The ancient Sumerians referred to the flower as .hul gil. or plant of joy. The Sumerians passed their knowledge of the plant to the Assyrians. The Assyrians gave their knowledge of poppy cultivation to the Babylonians who passed their understanding to the Egyptians. inThe opium trade flourished during the reign of the Egyptian Pharaohs. The Egyptian civilization promoted use of opium as a sleep aid. Even Egyptian Pharaohs were buried with opium artifacts.

How to grow Papaver Somniferum

Opium poppies are annuals, which means they grow, flower, and fruit in one season, then die. They generally like cool weather best. Barely cover the papaver somniferum seeds, and sow sparsely so you will have less to thin.

In Flanders Fields the Poppies Blow

John McCrae's "In Flanders Fields the poppies grow" remains to this day one of the most memorable war poems ever written. It is a lasting legacy of the terrible battle in the Ypres salient in the spring of 1915.

Lemon and Poppy Seed Cookies

Start making poppy seed cookies in a medium mixing bowl by beating butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, poppy seed, and baking soda; beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.

Opium and the Hmong

The earliest opium production can be traced back to the Tang Dynasty in the provinces of Yunnan, Szechwan and Kansu. During the Ch'ing Dynasty ( AD>1645-1911), poppy planting was reported to have spread to Kwichow and Fukein. By 1836, it was grown extensively in Kwangtung, Fukien, Eastern Chekiang and Yunnan.

Opium Effects

Numerous archeological finds point to the fact that opium has been the drug of choice for many civilizations, beginning with some of the oldest ones we are familiar with.

Opium Poppy Boom

The opium poppy, Papaver somniferum is grown in many countries around the world, especially Afghanistan. This simple flower produces one of the most potent drugs in the world. Usually, there are incredible efforts in place to combat the cultivation of Papaver somniferum and the United States takes an active role in the attempt to curb opium production.

Opium Poppy Cultivation

Smack, china white, horse, black tar . . . all slang names for heroin. We are often told what happens to our bodies and our minds if we use this drug made from opium poppy, but less commonly discussed is how the byproduct of a simple flower is converted into one of the most addictive drugs known to man. Also, not discussed much is how this drug makes its way from far-off growing opium poppy fields to the United States.

Opium Poppy

Opium has caused war, tragedy, suffering, addiction, and ruin wherever the drug touched on its voyage around the world. The plant responsible for this scourge is a simple flower. Papaver somniferum is more commonly known as the opium poppy and is actually a herb. The opium poppy is commonly found growing naturally in Southwestern Europe and Western Asia.

Oriental Poppies

There are Poppies and oriental poppy, old-fashioned ones and new varieties, and it would almost seem that they grow more dazzling and more gorgeous each year. Perhaps they are grown in a greater number of gardens and we see their brilliant colors everywhere during the early Summer months, or perhaps, we too have learned the secret of growing these delicate silken flowers which constantly command attention.

Papaver Somniferum

Poppies are beautifully colored vibrant flowers that are native to many parts of the world. By far, the most infamous type of poppy is the Papaver somniferum, more commonly known as the opium poppy.


Poppies are lovely wildflowers that compliment many types of gardens. There are over 400 species of poppies, most of which are herbaceous plants, although a few are shrubs. These varieties of poppies grow in many different climates all over the world. The most infamous variety of poppy by far is the Papaver somniferous.

Poppy Pods

Poppy Pods are the seed pods of Papaver or Poppy plant. Used for centuries as a sleep aid and painkiller, poppies have always been a popular plant due to their aesthetic value and medicinal properties.


The poppy is a lovely annual flower with vividly bright leaves. Types of poppies grow in various places all over the world, but one specific poppy produces this potent drug. The opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, grows naturally in an arid climate.specifically a 4,500 stretch of land from Turkey to Laos in Southern Asia. This mountainous terrain proves to be an excellent growing environment for the plant, with warm temperatures, high altitudes, and dry soil.

The Poppy

Only a handful of common garden flowers, all once so valued in medicine are to be found in drugstores today. Among them the poppy is one of the most important. They are few people who get through life without being grateful at one time or another for the freedom from pain that the medicine made from the poppy can bring. Morphine and Codeine are two familiar drugs made from the poppy.

The Red Poppy

The red poppy is most recognizable symbol for disabled veterans of many countries. This symbolic flower has been around for thousands of years, however the tradition of associating the poppy with disabled veterans stems from World War I. John McCrae.s famous poem .In Flanders Field. placed the simple flower in history.

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