In the wild, Iceland poppies grow only yellow flowers, though sometimes they grow red-scarlet. It was only during the late 1800s that horticulturists were able to create a wide range of colours through selective breeding. Iceland poppies originate from Siberia and the North American Arctic, so they are very cold-resistant. Hardy to zone 3 in Canada, they are a short-lived perennial, and thus usually grow as biennials in warmer regions. In any case, they self-seed readily, so plan a dedicated area for them to bloom for years to come.
They offer a colourful mix of delicate 2-4’’ wide papier-maché blooms that range from white to pink, yellow, peach, red and fuchsia. The plants grow to 12-16’’ and will reward you with magnificent flowers all-season long. Iceland’s Finest Mix poppies make stunning fresh-cut bouquets, as their flowers tend to last longer than other types of poppies. Beloved by honeybees, bumblebees and other beneficial pollinators, Iceland poppies are a gorgeous long-lasting addition to your cut flower garden. Or try growing them indoors to liven up any room in your home.
- Latin Name: Papaver nudicaule
- Life Cycle: Perrenial
- Canada Hardiness Zone: 3-9
- Days to Maturity: 65-80
- Planting Depth: 2-3 seeds 5 mm deep or broadcast directly
- Plant Spacing: 15-30 cm
- Growth Habit: 30-60 cm tall
Poppies typically bloom from late spring to early summer. They hardly require any maintenance once established and will acclimate to almost any climate over the course of a few seasons.
The easiest way to propagate poppies is to let them do the work! Poppies freely self-seed from one season to the next and will eventually become naturalized to the area in which they grow. But to get a new crop started, sowing directly into the garden is the best option.
Transplanting poppies is a difficult task and is not recommended. Still, it is possible if the correct precautions are taken. Poppies germinate quite easily, but quickly develop a central taproot that does not like to be disrupted. By planting seeds in biodegradable peat or coco pots, this problem can be avoided.
Four to six weeks before the last frost date, plant two or three seeds per pot and lightly cover with soil. Mist and cover with plastic wrap to retain heat and humidity. Pots can be placed on a heat mat and seedlings should appear in about two weeks. Remove the plastic when germination is apparent. When seedlings are about 5 cm in height, thin to a single sprout. Provide bright, filtered light for seedlings. Gradually acclimate young poppies to the outdoors by hardening them off. Prepare the garden bed and dig planting holes (30-45 cm apart) large enough to accommodate the entire pot. Plant the poppies, backfill with soil and water well.
The planting site should be in full sun to encourage strong growth and abundant blooms. If the site is well-drained, poppies can adapt to many types of soil. They’ll even survive and grow in poor soil, but to achieve outstanding results, the addition of a little organic material will go a long way.
Established poppies require little water to thrive. Too much water can quickly lead to leggy, weak stems. Your watering duties are likely to be taken care of by mother nature if you receive regular rainfall. Deadheading spent flowers will prolong the blooming window. Poppy flowers are not frost tolerant, but their seeds will endure cold winters and sprout reliably next spring.
- Iceland poppies are also sometimes called ‘’Arctic Poppies’’ because they are perennials that thrive in subarctic conditions.
- Poppy seeds will remain viable for 4 years if stored in a cool, dark place, ideally between 4 and 10⁰C. After that, the germination rate may start to go down.
OUR SEED GUARANTEE
You know that a lush, fruitful garden needs good soil, frequent watering, and sunlight to grow, but it’s the seeds that really make the harvest.
Picked and bagged for 2023 the vast majority of our seeds have germination rates of over 85%. The seeds are all-natural, non-GMO, non-hybrid, untreated, and open-pollinated for seed saving.
We have put a lot of thoughts into the design and packaging of our seed packets. Our seeds are all carefully packed in food grade kraft paper/aluminium zipper lock bags, and then are shipped in eco-friendly padded mailers.
We heat-seal each of our seed packet for even more protection from moisture, odour and light, allowing you to store your seeds for up to 3x longer than paper or plastic. Plant them all, germinate some indoors, save some for next season - it’s up to you!