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Should I deadhead / cut down Oriental Poppies and Opium Poppies that the petals have fallen off to encourage new growth? I could then presumably dry the seed heads for autumn sprinkling? Or do we just leave them alone?
For oriental poppies, I wait until they have all finished in a particular patch then cut the whole plant including leaves and stems down to the ground. New leaves soon appear which overwinter. I don't think oriental poppies will send up more flowering stems in the same season, even if you cut the flowered ones out immediately.
With opium poppies I snip the heads off and they usually keep forming new buds from the lower leaf joints for a few weeks but eventually they become rather tatty and either die off of I pull them up.
Opium poppies will die following flowering, so i would leave the seed heads, as they look good until the leaves go brown.
Some oriental poppies may flower again, but even if they dont, the foliage will start to look really tatty, so I would cut them back, right to the ground, as they will then produce more foliage.
You can of course use the gaps that will be created by cutting back the oriental poppies, for planting some late season colour.
Thank you both!