Our second post about flowers; I hope the vegetable-growing readers won’t mind.
I recently discovered some flowers growing in the Stoney cracks around my shed. They had self-seeded from a neighbouring allotment – I was quite happy, free flowers. After using Google lens, I discovered they were Papaver cambricum aka ‘Welsh Poppies’.
Welsh Poppies, known scientifically as Papaver cambricum, are an enchanting addition to any garden. These captivating flowers are native to Western Europe, and their bright yellow or orange petals bring a dash of colour to the landscape. In this article, we will guide you through growing and caring for Welsh Poppies in your garden.
Choosing the right location for your Welsh poppies
Selecting the appropriate spot for your Welsh Poppies is crucial to their growth and well-being. These plants thrive in partially shaded areas, where they can receive some sunlight but are protected from the scorching heat.
They also prefer well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. To ensure the best-growing conditions for your poppies, consider planting them near trees or shrubs, which can provide the necessary shade and nutrients.
Planting Welsh poppy seeds
Welsh Poppy seeds can be sown directly into the ground in spring or autumn. To plant the seeds, prepare the soil by gently removing any weeds or debris and loosening it.
Scatter the seeds evenly over the soil surface and cover them lightly with a thin layer of soil or compost. Water the area well, ensuring the soil remains consistently moist until the seedlings emerge.
If you prefer, you can also start the seeds indoors in pots or trays before transplanting them to the garden. To do this, fill your chosen container with a well-draining potting mix, sow the seeds, and keep them moist until they germinate. Once the seedlings have developed a few true leaves, they can be transplanted into the garden.
Caring for your Welsh Poppies
Once established, Welsh Poppies are relatively low-maintenance plants. Water them regularly, particularly during dry periods, and ensure the soil remains consistently moist. However, avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot.
Feed your Welsh Poppies with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in early spring to encourage healthy growth and prolific blooms. Additionally, you may want to apply a layer of organic mulch around the base of the plants to help retain moisture and suppress weeds.
Pruning and deadheading
To prolong the flowering season and promote the growth of new blooms, deadhead your Welsh Poppies regularly by removing faded or spent flowers. This will also prevent the plants from self-seeding excessively.
Welsh Poppies readily self-seed, meaning they will naturally propagate and spread throughout your garden. However, if you wish to control their growth or share them with friends and family, you can collect the seeds from the mature seed pods and store them in a cool, dry place until you are ready to sow them.
Brian Sheridan has an allotment in Edgbaston and is a competitive grower. Brian is also a keen photographer and loves cooking. Brian and his wife Mary will also be running a stall at Edgebaston artisan market this year, selling products made from the allotment, including his award-winning relish!