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Meconopsis betonicifolia

Himalayan blue poppy

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From 7 ratings

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Key information

Plant type

Hardy perennial

Flower colour






Skill level


Meconopsis betonicifolia

Plant details

Meconopsis is a genus of plants in the poppy family, the most common of which grown in Britain are the Welsh poppy, Meconopsis cambrica, and the Himalayan blue poppy, Meconopsis betonicifolia. The flowers are a similar shape and structure to true poppies, but they can be identified as meconopsis by their seedheads. Rather than 'pepper pot' seedheads typical of true poppies, meconopsis seedheads are thin and long.

Meconopsis betonicifolia bears spectacular, bowl-shaped blue flowers with bright yellow centres, in late spring to early summer. It makes a dramatic statement when grown en masse, and does best when grown in moist, neutral to acid soil in a partially shaded spot. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Family: Papaveraceae

Genus: Meconopsis

Species: betonicifolia

Plant type: Hardy perennial

Flower colour: Blue

Foliage colour: Blue-green

Feature: Flowers

Sun exposure: Partial shade, Shade

Soil: Well-drained/light, Acidic, Moist

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Experienced

Height: 120cm

Spread: 45cm

Time to plant seeds: March to May

Reader reviews


I have two Himalayan blue poppy plants, and they have never flowered within the 3 years, that I've had them.
I've just noticed a flower bud, arising from the mount of foliage on one of my plants.
I've just realized, the reason, for the delay in flowering, after I read your plant information ; I planted my poppy plants in direct sunlight on the south facing part of my garden.
I should dig up the plants and plant them, in a shady place, under a large shrub when should I do this?


l sowed this from seed quite a few years ago and it flowered l had about 6 plants they shed seeds and these grew and flowered, but we had a very bad winter wet and damp this saw them off, l bought a packet of seed last year and l have about 6 plants ready to put out, they do like the shade not to much though. they are a very lovely plant. but they are fussy plants. and they do seem to like being left alone.


i just bought them this year will give it a go


If you grow this from seed or buy a plant, never let it flower in the first year. It takes a couple of yers for the plant toi establish. Easy to propagate from seeds collected. Sow immediately and leave to own devices in shady spot over winter, but cover with glass at angle over pot to protect from heavy rain.


Once established they hate to be moved.


I planted one last year in a border, but it came under sustained attack from snails, and was very unhappy. Have moved it to a container, stuck it in the shade, and religiously watered and fed it, mixing in tea leaves/coffee grounds to acidify the growing medium. It is now four foot tall and just flowered.

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