Another flower of the old-fashioned set, Oriental poppies have been garden staples for centuries. There are now over 100 named cultivars on the market, but it's rare to see many of them available for sale. That's probably because poppies are ephemeral and the plants disappear during the summer months. For our cutting garden, they are planted in the back row, behind some Helenium that will fill in the gaps.
Many gardeners don't think poppies can be used as cut flowers, since just breathing on them can cause the petals to fall off in the garden. But if you cut them just as the outer green calyx covering them begins to crack and the buds are beginning to open, they do quite well in water. Early morning or evening is the best time to cut them and they'll do even better in water if you remove the calyx. <>Don't be afraid of the vibrant colors of Oriental poppies. They will be long gone before nearby flowers begin blooming and competing with them.
Papaver orientale - Oriental Poppy (USDA Zones 2 - 9, 2-3' x 2', Orange, Red, Pink, Off-White Blooms: Late Spring / Early Summer)
- Papaver orientale 'Allegro' - 18 - 20" tall, Scarlet Flowers, Can be grown from seed.
- Pizzicato hydrids - 20" tall. Mixed colors including: white, pink, salmon, orange and red. Sturdy stems and wind resistant petals. Can be grown from seed.