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Peony poppies are one of the most popular annuals and are featured in flower gardens, poetry and art all over the world. It is symbolic of wealth, fertility and spring. They grow naturally in Asia, Europe and North America. This variety produces frilly double blooms. These "cloud" white flowers bloom in June-July and will reach up to three feet in height. Each plant produces multiple flowers and has bluish green foliage that resembles lettuce. The dried pods are sometimes used in floral arrangements and will contain plenty of seed for the following year. However, they will most likely hybridize if planted with other varieties of poppy unless precautions are taken to prevent cross-pollination.
These seeds are easily grown outdoors in full sun by scattering the seeds on the surface of the soil and pressing them in. Some growers actually prefer to mix the seeds with a loose, fine soil or sand and then scatter the mix. Sow the seeds in early spring or in the fall if your bed is prepared before the winter. Sowing in the fall may not work if the winters are especially cold. Seeds sown in the fall will germinate the following spring when the temperatures are right. An early start is important because the seeds will germinate best at temperatures of about 60 degree Fahrenheit. Transplanting is not recommended unless it can be done carefully without disturbing the roots. Shirley poppies are considered to be particularly sensitive to transplanting. A light, well-draining soil is important. A mix of compost, sand, peat moss and vermiculite will work. Add lime if the soil is acidic. Keep well-watered, particularly until the plants are established. Fertilize monthly with a high-phosphorous fertilizer