TIBETAN BLUE POPPY
There is nothing horrid about meconopsis horridula (except perhaps that it is prickly – hence the botanical name).
Instead it is breathtakingly beautiful. With deep blue silken petals shot with rich purple.
Flocks of spectacular poppies
The petals are translucent and pleated, like the finest silk. And when the light shines through they are like jewels.
And each bloom is highlighted with a boss of creamy stamens which entrance the bees as much as they dazzle us.
This amazing plant forms clumps of hairy sage green leaves.
Then strong 60cm. stems rise bearing heads of the gorgeous poppies in spring and summer.
Treasures for the shade
Meconopsis horridula enjoys a sheltered, shaded, cool spot in the garden or in a pot.
And all Meconopsis love humus rich, damp, well drained neutral to acid soil.
The secret is to find a place where you can keep the humidity in the air up – so a shade house or fernery area is perfect.
Once you have your treasures happily settled into the right spot, they will self seed for you to form colonies of breath-taking flowers on stately spires.
And then you take photographs from every angle, open a Facebook account, and brag unmercifully.
Even though they are only a short lived, monocarpic perennial – it does not matter – they are worth everything just to see Tibetan Blue Poppies flower in the flesh.
Monocarpic means the individual plants flower, set seed, and then snuff it.
So it is worthwhile giving them their happy place, so they can quietly self seed. Or gathering a seed pod or two each year to sow and perpetuate the next generation.
But even if you only ever see Meconopsis horridula flower once – it is one of life’s great experiences.
60cm. High stems of fabulous flowers x 30cm. Wide flat rosette of furry blue-grey foliage.
SEED SOWING ADVICE:
Meconopsis seeds can be sown at any time in good quality seed raising mix.
Cover seeds thinly with river sand or sieved seed raising mix.
Then moisten the sown punnet well by standing it in a water bath so the moisture percolates all the way through to the surface from the bottom.
Now place the sown, moist punnet in a cool spot.
No artificial heat is needed as this can cause rapid germination and fungal attack, or make seed go into a deeper dormancy.
Seedlings usually appear within 3 to 6 weeks but some can take much longer. But this is a normal process in nature to stagger germination, to ensure some seeds will germinate into a variety of conditions. So do be patient and do not discard the punnet.
When the seedlings have a set of true leaves, pot on into small pots and protect from hot sun.
Then plant out in a shaded, moist humus rich slightly acid soil. It is natural for some Meconopsis plants to be herbaceous and die down to a large resting bud.
SEED COUNT: 30 seeds per pack approx.
(We always aim to exceed the stated seed count, and give a generous serve).