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 to save calendula seed

How to grow annual climbers from seed

How to sow zinnia seeds indoors

Related offers

SAVE 20%

Save 20% on seeds

Stock up your seed stash with this 20% discount on all seeds. Plus, buy five seed packs and get the fifth pack free and also receive two free seed packs with your order.

Use code: GW16ENL1

Order now

FREE P&P

Subscriber only content

Perfect tulip collections

Enjoy harmonius colour combinations next spring with Sarah Raven's tulip collections. You'll get free p&p, worth £4.95, on tulip collections with this offer.

Unlock now

Offer

Subscriber only content

Save £11 on trilliums

Trilliums are great for shady gardens. Save £11 when you buy three trillium plants for just £22, plus receive 50 free Anemone blanda bulbs with your order.

Unlock now