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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. The papaver somniferum seeds will germinate in 10-21 days and do best when the soil temperature is coolish, 60-65 degrees F (or air temperature of 55 degrees F). They will not grow if it is too warm. I have gotten the papaver somniferum seeds to germinate at 80 degrees F., although they obviously don't like it. What works better if it's warm is to plant them in peat pellets as usual and then put them in the refrigerator for a week. They will not germinate in there, but when you take them out, they will germinate en masse. This is a great way to get them around germinating in warm weather.

Thin seedlings by cutting off the tops with a scissors, leaving only the 2 or 3 healthiest looking per peat pellet. Pot them up pellet and all when they at least have their first true leaves, which are the second pair. I usually let my plants go until small roots are coming out the bottom or sides of the pellet.

While the papaver somniferum seeds are just coming up, watch out for damping off (fungus); when this happens, they suddenly keel over in unison. To avoid this, make sure they get air circulation (you can use a slow fan on the sprouts, which will strengthen stems also) and that they are not sopping wet. Another way to avoid damping off and build strong stems is to just lightly brush your hand over the tops of the plants every day. Most plants enjoy human contact.

Pot in soil that is not too heavy; mix sand, vermiculite, peat moss in if the soil is full of clay. Garden soil is too heavy for pot-bound plants. I get the best results with high quality potting soil, like Scott's, with some Black Cow Composted Manure mixed in (it doesn't smell). If you want good plants, it is worth it to invest in good soil.

Poppies can be grown indoors with lights (but keep temps cool). papaver somniferum seeds can be sown in fall if your winters are mild and you can give them some protection, or they can grow indoors in a cool sunny room (a sunporch is great). Outside, grow them in full sun and good soil that is not too wet. They will also grow well outside during the winter in the Deep South.

Poppies hybridize easily. If you do not exclude the pollen of other varieties, and you save the papaver somniferum seeds from year to year, eventually you will get more and more poppies of the dominant types--single-petaled lavender and white. If you want to preserve the seeds of a particular strain, then choose your biggest or earliest or healthiest, and as soon as the bud begins to open, cover it with a light cheesecloth or cheap muslin sack, the type used for small amounts of pot pourri or tea, or just make one from a bit of thin, white cloth. Tie lightly. Some people use little paper bags; others clip the petals closed. This is just to keep the bees off. Replace them when it rains so the plant doesn't get waterlogged. Take it off every day to fertilize the flower by brushing the pollen from the stamens (wiry things) to the ovary (in the center) lightly with an artist's paintbrush. When the petals fall, you can take the sack off, and the seeds produced by that pod should be the pure strain.

You can use this same technique to make your own hybrids, taking pollen from one type and putting it on another, which you cover in order to exlude all other pollen. What you get will be a mixed bag, but that is the fun of hybridizing. If you get something you really like, make sure to keep that plant self-fertilized until you get a good dependable seed for it.

Fruiting plants (which includes producing a papaver somniferum seeds pod) need more sun than any other kind of plant. Keep this in mind if trying to grow poppies for their papaver somniferum seeds pod indoors. You will need very good growing lights to get decent "fruit" production. General growing info.

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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