Myths About Opium Poppy Seeds That You Should Disregard

Opium poppy seeds produce gorgeous blooms that enhance any garden. Unfortunately, there are a number of myths specific to the opium poppy plant. Officially known as Papaver somniferum seeds, some people bypass this plant for another because of something they heard. Instead of getting caught up in the myths and misconceptions, you deserve to know the truth. After all, poppies are stunningly beautiful.

Opium Poppy Seeds

How Long Does It Take to Grow Poppy Plants? — One myth is that growing poppy plants from seeds takes a long time. When planting a garden, most people want to see relatively fast results, so they choose a different type of plant. In reality, most varieties of the opium poppy plant start to bloom in 9 to 12 weeks. However, several hybrids produce blooms in only 50 to 55 days.

Are Poppy Seeds Illegal to Purchase and Grow? Because opium is a drug, many people assume that purchasing and growing these seeds is illegal. It is true that all Papaver somniferum seeds contain alkaloids, like codeine, morphine, oripavine, and thebaine, used by pharmaceutical companies to manufacture prescription medications. These alkaloids are also used to make illegal street heroine. However, when the seeds are used for aesthetic or culinary purposes, they are legal to buy and grow.

Poppy Flowers Are Only Red — This myth probably comes from the fact that in the famous “Wizard of Oz” movie, the field leading up to the Emerald City consisted of nothing but bright red poppies. Although red is among the more popular colors, opium poppies come in many colors, including white, blueish-black, and even solid black. There are also oriental poppy seeds, which come in dark brown to black.

Poppies Are Not Very Hardy Plants — Again, this is nothing more than a myth. In fact, this plant is extremely hardy, growing well in hardiness zones 8 through 10.

Growing Opium Poppy Plants from Seeds Is Difficult — While not difficult to grow from seeds, it is important to remember that every plant has preferences. As long as people pay attention to those preferences, growing this plant is no more difficult than any other plant. For optimal success, opium poppies prefer cooler weather over hot, and the pH level of the soil should be around 7. In addition, the soil needs to be loose and well-drained.

For the best poppy seeds on the market, including both opium and ornamental, Stover Seed is the place to go. We offer a wide range of poppy seeds, along with seeds for other decorative plants, fruits, and vegetables. For a full listing of our products, you can visit our website. If you need additional assistance, simply give us a call.

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