June 11, 2020

Can I Plant Matilija Poppies Now? June…

Can I Plant Matilija Poppies Now? June….Bob Sussman

It’s not surprising that every year when the poppies go into full bloom that’s the time when we sell more than any other time of year. You can’t get a better advertisement then seeing these in you neighbors garden. Still, what is the best time of year to plant them? Fall/winter is the best time to plant these. In planting them there roots are very sensitive but in fall/winter if you have an unfortunate accident you’re probably still in business.  

In the “old days” this was the time of year when we used we to propagate them by taking horizontal root cuttings.  If you plant them at this time of year they’ll likely flower nicely in their first spring.

But but but people see these blooming away and want to give it a shot…..can it be done and how? Okay, so you don’t want to wait and spending $12 isn’t the end of the world for you. Got it. Here’s what you HAVE to do:

  1. Figure out where in your garden to plant them. Should be a sunny spot.
  2. Dig a hole such that the poppies out of the container will sit even with the surrounding soil.
  3. NOW fill the hole you just dug with water 1 or 2x letting the water drain out. Next, water the poppy in it’s pot. Let it drain out.
  4. You are ready to plant. Turn the pot upside down supporting the plant and push on the bottom of the pot lifting it off like a big jello mold. Place the plant in the hole without without without breaking the root ball. Cover in around the sides and water, water, water.
  5. Now, depending on how hot it is you’re going to water your new poppy at least 2x/week and if it hot…3 to 4x. 
  6.  What to look for?  If, over the course of summer it looks well, sort of “not so good” with leaf spots and dropping leaves you’re doing just fine. 

Here’s what they look like in 1-gallon pots this time of year.

If they hold on to early winter ….you are home free, water now 1x week and you’ll see new green shoots. They’ll grow quickly and with luck, just a little , they’ll flower the first spring.

Share this page on your favorite social network

Featured Plant

salviapenstemonoides copy 2


Botanical Name

Salvia penstemonoides

Common Name

big red sage


Flower Color


Mature Size

3' tall × 3' wide

Climactic Requirements


Full Sun / Filtered Sun / Part Shade


Drought Tolerant / Occasional
Profile Availability

Copyright © 2023 Matilija Nursery. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Disclaimer

8225 Waters Road • Moorpark • CA 93021 • p 805 523-8604 • f 805 523-2298

Website designed and developed by SCWD