Many of the annual specimens of poppy are known to easily self seed but it isn’t always something that Oriental poppies are recognised for. At the end of the summer season many Papaver somniferum, Papaver paeoniflorum and Papaver laciniatum varieties will drop their petals, creating gorgeous ripe pods and offering hundreds of seeds for you to collect. However, Papaver orientale are not often propagated in this way, partly because they flower and then die back mid gardening season. This means that pods aren’t normally allowed to ripen as there is too much else going on in the garden.
You will find that, if you look carefully around the base of your matured Oriental poppies, there will probably be a number of smaller plants. These may have self sown or even developed from the mature plants roots. It is important that you remove these little plants and pot them on. Leaving them in place will compromise both the mature specimen and growing seedlings as they compete for light and nutrients, and to give the young Oriental poppies their best chance a little nurturing is required.
You’ll be able to dig up the seedlings quite easily and, as they’re so small, it is best to plant them into small pots until they’ve matured a little more. Keep them well watered and topped up with a good fertile soil and you’ll be able to plant them back into borders the following year when they’ve grown. Looking after these little plants is always a good idea as even perennial plants will not last forever. And by give a little love and care to young Oriental poppies you’ll ensure that your garden is never without their stunning bloom.