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Are Poppies Annuals Or Perennials? [Know The Growth Habit]

Poppies are a great addition to garden decor, but whether they are annuals or perennials is still a query.

Generally, more than 70 Poppy varieties can be annuals or perennials, depending on the species. Annual varieties include Corn Poppy, Opium Poppy, Red Poppy, etc., whereas California, Iceland, Oriental Poppies, and many more are perennial Poppy varieties.

You have to reseed the annual varieties yearly, but perennial ones come back yearly from existing roots and reseed themselves.

So, if you are into Poppies and want to plant them according to your USDA zones, you at the right place to learn about them.

When To Plant Poppies?

Growing in the full sunlight, Poppy’s vibrant and showy blooms make your outdoor garden incredible in the spring and summer.

For this, you must sow their seeds during fall so that they will bless you with heavy blossoms after some winter cooling.

However, you can plant some other edible varieties native to North America, like California Poppies, only in the spring after the soil is workable after winter.

Red Poppy Flowers
Planting Poppies in late fall encourage healthy blooms as they establish their roots in winter.

Also, depending upon the varieties, some Poppies can grow with seeds directly sown on the ground, while some propagate only through the cuttings.

You can also plant Poppies in containers and hanging baskets and enjoy their beauty even if you don’t own an outdoor garden.

Fall or early winter will be the best time to plant Poppies, as the winter cooling will help in effective root establishment or seed germination.

However, you can also sow them early spring or a month before the last frost date.

Remember that Poppies suit well in cool or moderate temperatures and can’t establish or germinate well in temperatures above 105℉.

Are Poppies Annuals Or Perennials?

Poppies are from the Papevaraceae family, having more than 70 varieties that may be annual, biennial, or perennial.

All annual and perennial Poppies belong to temperate zones and have four thin, fabric-shaped petals resembling paper.

Annual Poppies

The annual Poppy varieties include Corn Poppy and Opium Poppy, Red Poppies, and Shirley Poppies, with vibrant red, pink, purple, and bicolored flowers.

Both varieties are hardy in USDA zones 3 through 11. But you have to replant them yearly as they don’t come back every year.

To encourage the blooms and avoid unwanted throughout the growing season, deadhead the spent flowers and prune your Poppies timely.

Perennial Poppies

Poppies like California Poppies, Iceland Poppies, Oriental Poppies, and many more are perennial plants that grow back every year.

These varieties thrive in USDA zone 3 through 10 in clusters as a perennial but grow as annuals in USDA zones other than that.

However, some varieties, like Iceland Poppies, are more susceptible to diseases and pests. So farmers prefer that they grow as annuals.

Perennial Poppy varieties bloom throughout the summer and establish their root system to further bloom next summer.

You can also harvest the seeds after the bloom dries in the fall and reuse them to grow other perennial Poppy plants.

Likewise, you can also find other tall perennials like the Celandine Poppy and Himalayan Poppy hardy in USDA zones 4-9.

From Editorial Team


You can grow annual Poppies only from the seeds. But most perennial varieties can be grown from seeds, division, and cuttings.

However, some perennial varieties like Oriental Poppies are sterile and the only way to propagate them is by root cuttings.

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