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Meconopsis betonicifolia Himalayan Blue Poppy (Meconopsis betonicifolia) Info
The archetypal blue Moon, this poppy is a native of southeastern Tibet.  In some ways it has a strong Saturn influence--it enjoys growing in partial shade, in the woods, in rocky areas, and in the mountains.  It grows about 3-5 feet high and gets stems with 4-5 flowers each in early summer.  If you live in a windy area, grow it in a peony cage so it doesn't flop over.  Mulch with bark or composted pine needles (this will help increase soil acidity).  This plant needs a cool, rainy summer, as in the Pacific Northwest, coastal California, the mountains (will grow in NC mountains, for instance), Canada, or the UK.  They can survive harsh winters if they have a good snow covering, but if the summer is hot, they will only live one year.  An alkaline soil will result in more lavender flowers.  This Meconopsis tends to set more seed than M. grandis, its larger cousin. How to grow it  Top

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2004, 2014 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission 

 

How to grow Himalayan Blue Poppy:    Sow in a paper towel that has been wet and wrung out. Fold seeds inside the towel and put in a baggie. Store in fridge for 4 weeks. Then gently press the seed into the surface of wet seed-growing medium--this seed requires light for germination (but no sun!). Growing temperatures should be no more than 65F/18C. Bottom water or gently mist; don't let it dry out.  Start 2-3 months before your last frost date to take advantage of the coolest part of your year. Or sow on Winter Solstice (see the Solstice Sowing page). This plant hates heat and is perennial only in climates with cool summers. As with any poppy, watch for damping off; scant sowing, good ventilation, or a sterile soil mix like vermiculite and peat help prevent that. Transplant to rich, moist soil (dig in plenty of Black Cow and some peat for acidity) and dappled shade or morning sun and afternoon shade).  The flower's coloring is connected with the soil pH--a more acid (peaty) soil means more blue coloration. Mulch well to keep soil moist.  Watch out for slugs.  Keep well fertilized and deadhead to promote more flowers.  The flowers will develop into seed-filled pods.  Divide the plants every third year. General growing info Top