The Poppy Plant
Poppies are part of the Papaver genus, which includes over 70 different species of flowering plants. The two most commonly grown poppy species are Papaver somniferum and Papaver rhoeas. Papaver somniferum is also known as the opium poppy, and it is grown for its seeds, which are used to make poppy seed oil and other food products. Papaver rhoeas, on the other hand, is known as the corn poppy and is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens.
Complete Sun and Good Drainage
Before you start growing poppies indoors, it is essential to understand the growing conditions that poppies require. Poppies need full sun to thrive, so placing them in a location that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily is essential. In addition, poppies need good drainage, so make sure to use a well-draining soil mix when planting your poppies.
Growing Poppies Indoors
Now that you understand the growing conditions that poppies require, let's discuss the steps to grow poppies indoors:
Choose a Container: The first step to growing poppies indoors is to choose a container. Poppies do not have deep roots, so you can select a shallow but wide container. Ensure the container has drainage holes at the bottom to ensure proper drainage.
Prepare the Soil: The next step is to prepare the soil. Use a well-draining soil mix that is rich in organic matter. You can also mix in some perlite or vermiculite to improve drainage.
Sow the Seeds: Sow the poppy seeds directly into the soil, following the instructions on the seed packet. Papaver somniferum seeds should be sown thinly and covered with a thin layer of soil. Papaver rhoeas seeds can be planted more densely and covered with a thicker layer of soil.
Water the Seeds: After sowing the seeds, water the soil gently to moisten it. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot.
Provide Full Sunlight: Place the container in a location that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. If you do not have a site that receives full sunlight, you can use grow lights to provide the necessary light.
Water Regularly: Water the poppies regularly to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Poppies do not like to dry out completely, so water them before the ground dries.
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Types of Poppies to Grow Indoors
Several types of poppies are ideal for indoor gardening. Here are some of the most popular types of poppies to grow indoors:
Papaver somniferum: Papaver somniferum is a widespread poppy grown for its seeds, which are used to make poppy seed oil and other food products. It is a beautiful plant with large, showy flowers in various colors, including white, pink, red, and purple.
Papaver rhoeas: Papaver rhoeas, also known as the corn poppy, is a popular ornamental plant often grown in gardens. It has bright red flowers with black centers and is an excellent choice for indoor gardening due to its compact size and ability to thrive in containers.