Papaver paenoiflorum | Peony Poppy ‘Oase Red’
Poppies are a large family of flowering plants that include annuals, biennials, perennials, and even semi-shrubs and small evergreen trees. They are found all over the globe, and in a wide range of environments, but predominantly in the northern hemisphere. Botanists have divided poppies into almost 800 different species, grouped into 42 genera. And those are just the wild species! Plant breeders have been working with poppies for thousands of years now, and the variety out there today is nearly endless. They are prized for their delicate, silken petals that glow in the suns rays. They don’t last long which makes them that much more beautiful to see. They are also highly regarded for the copious amount of seeds produced by each seed pod, making sure to reseed itself and come back the following year.
Peony Poppies, named for their fluffy, peony-like blooms, are another annual variety considered to be a ‘Breadseed Poppy’. Unlike pure peonies, which can take a few seasons to get going, peony poppies will bloom the summer after a fall or winter sowing.. They grow to an average height of 3 ft. ‘Oase Red’ is an award winning peony poppy that has unusual frilly bright red, fully double blooms. The bluish-green lettuce-like foliage, curly stems and large seedpods add to the plant’s interest. The big blooms attract an array of beneficial insects to the garden including butterflies, bumblebees, ladybugs & even hummingbirds.
To start seeds indoors, sow seeds 6-8 weeks before last frost, cover with a humidity dome and keep at 65-70°F until germination, then move to 50-60°F. Poppies prefers a cooler climate, so is best to plant outside on the last frost date. Poppies roots do not like to be disturbed, so be careful when transplanting.
To start seeds outdoors, which is the recommended method, direct sow seeds 4 weeks BEFORE last spring frost, or in late autumn if in zones 8+. One can choose to mix seed with fine sand to scatter thinly over prepared soil to avoid overcrowding. ‘Oase Red’ will enjoy an area of full sunlight in cool regions and partial shade in warmer regions. Does best in well-drained, loose soil.
When dried, the large seed pods are prized by florists for flower arrangements and other crafts.
Sun exposure: Part shade to full sun
Mature height: 3 ft
Mature width: 18 inches
Hardiness zones: All