How to sow California poppy seeds outdoors

Do it:

Mar, Apr, May, Aug, Sep, Oct

Takes just:

15 minutes

At its best:

Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct

California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) are hardy annuals that bring a vivid splash of colour to summer borders. After their long flowering period the plants will also readily self-seed.

You will need

  • California poppy seeds eg 'Golden Values'
  • Bamboo cane
  • Trowel
  • Plant labels
  • Pencil or waterproof pen
  • Watering can with a rose

Advertisement

Make a straight drill of even depth by pressing a bamboo cane into moist soil. Rows need to be about 15cm apart, in a sunny site.

Take pinches of seed and scatter thinly along the drill or you will waste seed and spend more time thinning out.

Use a trowel or your fingers to cover seeds with 0.5cm of soil. Label the rows and water using a watering can with a rose attachment.

Thin seedlings out once they're about 4cm tall and again at 8cm, so that they're spaced about 15cm apart.

Advertisement

To get the best possible display of poppies, keep plants well watered until they are established.

Discover more ideas and inspiration

Related content

How deep to sow seeds

Where to sow seeds

How to save calendula seed

Related offers

Offer

Subscriber only content

Save £10, plus free gift

Help your garden birds with this special winter feed pack from Wiggly Wigglers, plus get a free suet block feeder with your order. Pack contains 3kg peanuts, 3kg seed, 10 suet balls and three suet blocks, all for just £19.95 (saving over £10).

Unlock now

Offer

Apple 'Ellison's Orange'

An excellent alternative to Cox, ‘Ellison’s Orange’ is much easier to grow and is self-fertile and does not require a pollinator. Buy a bare root tree for just £17.50 (saving £3) with this offer.

Order now

Offer

12 for £19.50, plus free gift

Create a big impact from winter to spring with beautiful 'Double Ellen' hellebores. Buy six for £12, or save £4.50 when you buy the collection of 12 plants for just £19.50. Plus, receive three free Christmas rose plants (worth £14.50) with your order.

Order now