Growing Papaver Rhoeas
The Common Poppy Soil Requirements, Climate Tolerances, and Propagation Methods
Papaver is a plant genus comprising about 100 species of annuals and perennials that are native to North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. One species that is particularly popular among gardeners and landscapers is Papaver rhoeas. This perennial flowering plant is commonly known as the common poppy. It grows to 3 feet in height and spreads about 1.5 feet. Its foliage consists of gray-green leaves. The bright red flowers of this plant make it the perfect plant for flower beds and borders.
There are several things to consider when planting and growing the common poppy. The condition of the soil, the climate, and certain pests or diseases can affect the health of Papaver rhoeas.
This plant thrives in hardiness zones 3 to 9. It prefers full sunlight, rather than partial shade.
The common poppy grows well in well-drained fertile soil. Poorly draining soil will lead to root rot, which is a condition that deteriorates the structure and function of the plants root system. It is adaptable to several types of soils including loamy, sandy, and chalky. It prefers neutral and alkaline soil pH. It is a good idea to add mulch to protect it from the elements.
Watering and Fertilizers
This plant is adaptable to many types of soil, even dry soil. Avoid over-watering this plant. Additional chemical fertilizers aren't necessary to promote growth.
The best way to propagate this plant is by sowing seeds during the spring or fall. It isn't recommended to cover the seed once it is placed in the soil.
Pests and Diseases
The leaves and branches of the common poppy may be infested with aphids, which are tiny insects that secrete a sticky residue. It usually attracts sooty mold spores. Another problem is fungal infections. Powdery mildew spores cover the leaves and appear white. Insecticidal sprays and fungicides may be required to treat the plant.