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Papaver Somniferum Seedlings: From Pods To Seeds & Plants

Papaver Somniferum Seedlings have distinct characteristics that separate them from other Poppy seedlings.

Generally, Papaver somniferum seedlings are 1-3 inches tall and bear wavy, blueish-green cotyledon, rosette leaves, and hairy stems. Although the seedlings are smaller in size, it develops into mature plant of 2-5 feet in height under proper conditions.

You can grow Papaver somniferum for gardens to enjoy its beautiful blossoms, but it’s illegal to produce Opium seeds inside the US.

So, if you are into colorful poppy blossoms and want them in your summer garden, read this article to learn how to grow them from seedlings.

How Do You Identify Papaver Somniferum Seedlings?

It may be a little challenging to identify Papaver somniferum seedlings as they resemble other poppy varieties.

When Papaver somniferum germinates, it develops wavy, blueish-green cotyledon leaves, and true leaves appear in rosettes.

Papaver somniferum seedlings
Papaver somniferum seedlings are smaller than other Poppy seedlings.

Moreover, the true leaves are bluish-green, lobed, and come out directly from the soil, unlike other poppy leaves emerging from the stem.

Furthermore, you can notice the hairy and rough stems that differentiate Papaver somniferum from other poppy seedlings.

Additionally, Papaver somniferum seedlings are smaller than other Poppy seedlings, and the height ranges from 1-3 inches.

How To Grow Papaver Somniferum Seedlings?

Papaver somniferum seedlings are smaller than other Poppy types but can grow about 2-5 feet tall when they mature.

However, before planting the seedling, ensure it’s legal in your region, as some regions have banned Ophium production.

But if it’s ok to plant Ophium in your region and you are just using it for garden decoration, here are some tips to grow the seedling.

  • Harden off the seedlings in increasing sunlight for 7-10 days.
  • Select the sunny spot receiving full sun with well-draining soil.
  • Amend the soil with organic compost after working on it 8-10 inches deep.
  • Remove the seedlings from containers ensuring the roots are safe.
  • Plant the seedlings at the same depth as the container providing 5-6 inches spacing.
  • Ensure the soil is moist but not soggy to prevent root rot.

Your Papaver Seminiferum seedlings will mature within 80-90 days after you plant them.

Tips To Care For Papaver Somniferum

Papaver somniferum needs 6-8 hours of direct sunlight to thrive well. Thus, you must provide 16-18 hours of artificial light if natural light isn’t available.

  • Water the seedlings every 4-5 days only when the soil is 2-3 inches dry.
  • Apply organic mulch around the plant’s base to retain moisture.
  • Maintain a temperature of 60-70°F and use frost blankets if the last frost hasn’t appeared yet.
  • Apply balanced all-purpose fertilizer once during the growing season.
  • Prune the damaged and diseased parts regularly to prevent disease spread.
  • Apply pesticides, fungicides, or neem oil to avoid further invasion of pests and diseases.
  • Use wind barriers to protect the growing plant from strong winds.
  • Deadhead the spent flowers regularly to encourage flowering.

While harvesting the seeds for another year, make sure to cut the seed pod carefully with a sterilized cutter to prevent infection.

From Editorial Team

Opium Poppy Seeds Are Strong!

Papaver somniferum produces tiny seeds that make it difficult to handle and sow them on the soil.

However, each seed has the awesome ability to germinate, develop as a selling, mature and produce beautiful Poppy flowers.