Green Circle Growers Blog

Iceland Poppy Good Choice for Poor Soil

Green Circle Growers - Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It can be exceedingly difficult to find an attractive flowering plant that will thrive in poor soil areas. Because most plants grow poorly in poor soil, becoming either stunted or straggly, these sections of your garden can look anemic and uncared for. Many gardeners decide to throw in the towel after several years of failed plantings and plant these areas with indestructible English Ivy (Hedera) or cover them over with Sod-Grass.

papaver by green circle growersWhile ivy and sod-grass do an adequate job of hiding poor soil areas in your garden or yard, Papaver (Papaver), also known as Iceland Poppy, provides a much lovelier and more colorful option. An old-fashioned favorite, Papaver grows close to the ground, blanketing garden areas with large, showy, cup-like blossoms all summer long. Native to the subpolar regions of North American and northern Europe, Papaver blooms in a mixed profusion of bright oranges, yellows, pinks and whites. Perched delicately on thin, 12- to 24-inch grass-like stems, large round petals surrounded by cheerful yellow centers nestle between teardrop-shaped green leaves. The effect, particularly of mass plantings, is stunning.

Papaver thrives in poor soil and actually does best in somewhat gritty, sharply drained soil. Heat and drought tolerant, Papaver is an easy-care choice for casual gardeners who desire a beautiful floral display that doesn’t require a large commitment to care.

Papaver does best in full sun, requiring 6 or more hours of sun per day. Planting in spring or fall allows the plants time to become established before summer blooming season. Application of a slow-release fertilizer after planting or in the spring for established plants will ensure dependable color and blooming all season long. Remove faded blossoms to prolong display.