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How to Grow California Poppies – Guide

The California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) is a plant native to California as its name suggests, it is also found in Mexico in the part of Baja California. Today we will explain to you how to grow California poppies step by step.

In nature it is found in large meadows, in the Antelope Valley (California) there is a natural reserve of this plant.

Characteristics of the California Poppies

It is an annual or perennial herbaceous plant depending on the area and the amount of water it receives. The California poppies can measure between 12″ and 24″ (30 cm and 60 cm) in height, its flowers have four petals and are yellow or orange.

california poppy land

How to Grow California Poppies – Step by Step

It is a plant that is easy to grow and does not need a lot of care. Follow these steps and you will learn how to grow California poppies.

1- First place the poppies seeds in a glass with water, leave them overnight. The next day you will see the seeds that serve at the bottom of the glass, the ones that float, discard them.

2- Prepare a seedbed with a universal substrate and add 30% perlite. Make sure the seedbed has good drainage.

3- Place the seeds on top of the soil and then cover them with a very thin layer of soil. Poppy seeds should not be buried.

4- Water the seedbed and place it in a place that receives sunlight.

In approximately 7 to 10 days the seeds will germinate.

When the seedlings are 2″ (5 cm) or more you can repot them into larger pots or directly into the garden.

how to grow california poppies

How to Take Care for California Poppies

You have just learned how to grow California poppies, now we are going to explain how to take care of them so that your flowers grow properly and you have a beautiful garden.


California poppies love the sun, they need to be located in full sun and should receive at least 6 hours. If they receive too little sun, they can develop diseases.


It has no soil requirements, it can grow in poor soils, but it does need good drainage. We should never fertilize California poppies, if we want we can add some organic matter to the soil.


California poppies tolerate drought very well, generally, rainwater is enough. If we live in a very dry area, we can water it approximately every 10 days.

Common Pests/Diseases California Poppies

California poppies are healthy plants, but when there are excess rain or water (overwatering) diseases such as mildew can occur. It is best not to overwater these plants and to always have full sun with well-drained soil.

pests disease california poppies

Are California Poppies Toxic?

Some people use poppy to relieve certain pains or reduce tensions. California poppy has some toxic properties to both people and animals when ingested. The effect depends on the amount ingested and the size of the animal or person ingesting it.

flowers poppies

About Julia Morgan

Julia Morgan is an agronomist and a master gardener. In her previous roles, Julia was an advisor promoting large-scale food growing in urbanized areas, introducing the concept of chemical-free produce. She is an expert in putting her hands in the soil, developing organic foods, and improving production processes for decades. Julia is a natural teacher and encourages every person in her way to grow their own food. She split her days between writing and reviewing for The Garden Style Website and offering assessments to cure edible land. Julia enjoys connecting with The Garden Style Community.

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