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I have rather rashly bought three plants of meconopsis, proposing to plant them in ericaceous soil  in a cultivation station by Potty Innovations which is a plastic raised bed with compartments in about 12" deep by roughly 8½" square but now, having seen how high they grow am having doubts.  Does anyone know whether this would be enough space for them to grow, please?


I had 4 plants in a similar space in a shady border, but sadly last year had to dig them up as couch grass had invaded the root balls. They don't like disturbance and i lost the lot. I have now replaced with seeds I grew myself a couple of years ago. The only problem will be that they like a little moisture but not be soggy. They like to be shaded and not too exposed. And for a success rate, don't let them flower in their first year.

To Backyardee. 

Thank you very much for your reply and advice, you have given me the confidence tol now go ahead and plant my meconopsis plants and hope for the best.  I am sorry to hear you lost yours and hope we both have luck this time.


I am often losing them due to the couch grass that invades the borders, that is the problem with turning a paddock into a garden. and not wanting to re turf the whole lot. but i always propagate from collected seed. so i am never without.

Alina W

Backyardee, you are aware that meconopsis baleyi (or betonicifolia) is monocarpic? In other words, they flower once and then die. You're not losing them, they're behaving normally.




That's why they are listed as perennials, they flower every year from the same crown. They don't always produce flowers in the first year. But as they 'mature' they produce more flower heads per stem.

baleyi is reference to Capt. Bailey plant finder early 1900's.

betonicifolia   reference to betony like leaves.

But you can treat them as annuals if you like............................

I have had a  mecanopsis for 6 years now.  It had very large flowers at first but after moving it in 2010 it has flowered this year with smaller flowers and is not as tall.  There was around 7 buds on the plant and it is still a lovely blue colour.


I've tried growing them from seed a couple of times with no success.  I'll try again next year - third time lucky perhaps.


Lisa j, Next time you try to grow them from seed, Try the fridge treatment. 1 month in, 1 month out.

Alinaw. Thankyou for your link. I was interested to see that they can be annual, biennial or perennial. But I can assure you the ones I have are perennial and flower from year 2 and usually continue for several years. Increasing the number of blooms as they mature. But then I have collected my own seed for years. So before the introduction of new varieties that produced shorter living plants, they were termed as difficult perennials. I am interested in the trials they are now doing on the Meconopsis as Harlow Carr and await with slightly baited breath at the results in 2013. 

Alina W

Backyardee, it's interesting that you have collected your own seeds - presumably you were lucky enough to get one of the true perennials. There was an attempt to improve the strain recently by collecting fresh seeds from the wild, and this seems to have produced shorter-lived plants. The best way around it is to buy the sheldonii hybrids, which are usually true perennials - I have a beauty that has been flowering for many years.

I have 3 meconopsis got thm last year from t&m survived the winter outside in pots put them in flower bed under a hawthorn tree and one is now flowering brilliant blue chuffed to bits infortunatley something knocked the bud off another but the last one is catching up!

Help I have planted a himilayan blue poppy young plant in a pot  I have had it for 2 weeks now when I planted it it had 2 leavves and another stalk  with no leaves but now the two leaves have died leaving just the stalk ..Have I killed it .Can I hav some advice please.xx



I've not grown Mecanopsis myself, but I know that they need ericaceous compost as they cannot tolerate lime in the soil.  For this reason I would assume that if you live in a hard water area they should not be watered with tap water - however this site recommends using tap water to avoid the risk of bacterial infections - I suppose that presupposes that the water isn't hard.

There's lots of information on that site - what is obvious is that Mecanopsis do not take kindly to long hot summers such as we've been having this year .  They prefer well-drained gritty compost, a moist atmosphere and cool dappled shade in the summer - perhaps that's why your plant is looking unhappy.  

Good luck 

I have a group of several species of mecanopsis which are growing in a bed with a large hedge to the west side and a pear tree which covers them in the summer. They are in a dampish peaty acid soil and produce flowers for several years before succumbing to age. Have a look at the web pages of the Mecanopsis Society for a lot of information on the growing of these beautiful big blue poppies.


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