Papaver somniferum Hens & Chickens (Poppy) seeds
Very popular Poppy for dried flower arrangements due to its most peculiar seed heads. The main seed pod is surrounded by masses of little pods hence the 'Hens & Chickens'. This lovely annual has masses of lovely lilac flowers all summer. Can be sown directly outdoors.
Flowers: June - August
Position: Sun in well-drained soil
Packet of 250 seeds
When to Sow: Sow February to April, or August to September.
Outdoors: Scatter the seed on well raked soil, rake in lightly and water. If sowing in rows, leave 30cm between rows. Germination varies with the time of year and conditions, but generally takes from 10-30 days.
Indoors: Sow on the surface of moist compost and cover lightly with a fine sprinkling of compost, vermiculite or perlite. Keep at 15-18C. Germination takes 10-30 days.
Growing: When the seedlings are large enough to handle, thin to or plant 30cm apart. To prolong flowering and prevent self seeding, remove the seedheads just as the petals start to fall. Otherwise, when flowering has finished in autumn, remove the dead plants, shake well to scatter the seed and rake the area lightly.