September 12, 2018

How to Germinate Matilija Poppy Seeds

How to Germinate Matilija Poppy Seeds, 9/12, Bob Sussman

We’ve been asked many times how do we propagate matilija poppies (Romenya coulteri)? In the old days we used to take horizontal root cuttings in fall and you can do that and they’ll grow just fine but to time consuming.

We switched to seeds that we generally sow in mid-summer and burn pine needles over them. It’s not clear whether or not it the heat from the fire, the burned material, or the smoke that causes the germination but who cares it works. Note, when you used pine needles you want them to be relatively dry but not too old or the germination will be poor to non-existent. I made that mistake this year but we’ve made the correction.

You can see what all this looks like in the picture below.

They should germinate in 3 to 5 weeks. Gotta have the goods for planting season these are popular as you can guess. And trying to start mail order too.

Tip……Please don’t do this on a windy day!

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Featured Plant



Botanical Name

Hunnemannia fumariifolia

Common Name

Mexican tulip poppy


Flower Color


Mature Size

2' tall × 2-1/2' wide

Climactic Requirements


Full Sun / Filtered Sun


Drought Tolerant / Occasional
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