Scientific Name: Eschscholzia californica
Common Names: Californian Poppy, Californian Sunlight, Cup Of Gold, Golden Poppy
Californian poppy is native to parts of the Western United States of America and Mexico. It has become naturalised in parts of the United Kingdom.
The flowers of Californian poppy are one of the richest sources of pollen of any garden plant, this makes them extremely attractive to all bees but planting them is almost guaranteed to attract native stingless bees to your garden if there is a hive nearby. The pollen of Californian poppy is heavy, it doesn't become airborne as the flowers are not wind pollinated, so it's unlikely to cause hay fever or trigger allergies. Suitable for planting in cottage garden and rockery borders. Can be planted in containers and pots.
The natural habitat of Californian poppy is open grasslands with little in the way of canopy cover, so for best growth and flowering plant them in a full sun location. Californian poppy grows well in a wide range of soil types and pH provided drainage is good. Californian poppy is tolerant of nutritionally poor soils so it's unlikely to need any fertiliser to grow and flower well. Over-fertilisation may result in extra leafy growth at the expense of flower bud formation. Californian poppy is drought hardy once established and capable of growing in coastal regions. Frost tolerant. Self-sows readily especially if the ground is dug, mulch around plants and keep on top of weeding out any unwanted seedlings. Californian poppy produces long, explosive seeds pods full of seeds so cut these off before they ripen if self-sowing becomes an issue.
When To Sow
In cold and mountainous regions of Australia sow Californian poppy seeds from September to November. In temperate regions of Australia sow Californian poppy seeds from February to April or from September to November. In subtropical areas of Australia sow Californian poppy seeds from March to May or from August to October. In tropical regions of Australia sow Californian poppy seeds during the dry season from April to August.
How To Sow
Sow Californian poppy seeds 3mm deep directly where they are to grow or in punnet cells. Sow several seeds per planting hole and thin or divide the seedlings once they are large enough to handle. Californian poppy plants spaced about 20cm apart will grow outwards and merge into a continuous mat of flowers.
Californian poppy germinates readily with seedlings taking between 10 and 16 days to emerge after sowing.
Time To Flowering
Californian poppy grows quickly only taking between 11 and 13 weeks to reach maturity and begin flowering. Dead head and remove seed pods as flowers finish to prolong the flowering time.