BUY BLUE POPPY SEEDS
If you are looking to purchase blue poppy seeds then you are in luck as the blue poppy - Meconopsis baileyi is now part of the standard stock range at the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop.
Although the flowers are similar in design to true poppies, and the genus closely related as it from Papaveraceae family, they require significantly different conditions if they are to thrive. True poppies are from the genus papaver, the majority of which have evolved to survive long, dry summers. However Meconopsis require cooler and far wetter conditions.
The Himalayan blue poppy has been dogged by reports of poor performance for many years but this is only because the conditions of its native habitat are rarely taken into consideration.
Using a modular seed tray, fill with a good quality compost such as John Innes 'Seed and Cutting', but consider mixing in a couple of handfuls of horticultural grit-sand before hand to improve the drainage further.
Sow one seed per module and gently press in to the surface of the compost. Meconopsis seeds require light to help initiate germination so cover the seed with a light sprinkling of compost or vermiculite. Gently water with a soft rose or partially submerge the tray into a large bowl of water to allow the water to naturally soak through to the top of the compost. Place the tray outside in a cold frame or cool, sheltered position. You will need to keep the compost moist, not waterlogged, and protect from heavy rain which can knock the seed out of the compost. It is fine for the seeds to be exposed to frosts as this will help to break dormancy.
Germination can be erratic but once the seedlings have established a decent root system their module can be popped out and potted on into 3 inch pots containing ericaceous compost.
After 6 weeks or so hardened them off of 10-14 days before either potting them on into 2-3litre pots or planting them into their final position. Blue poppies prefer a deep, moist loam in a sheltered semi-shaded position.
For related articles click onto the following links:
Gardeners World Meconopsis
HOW TO GROW THE HIMALAYAN BLUE POPPY - Meconopsis betonicifolia - FROM SEED
THE CALIFORNIAN POPPY- Eschscholzia californica
THE ORIENTAL POPPY - Papaver orientale