Papaver somniferum ‘Bowling Ball’


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Papaver somniferum ‘Bowling Ball’

Papaver somniferum

All our seed is the latest harvest and super fresh.

Papaver somniferum ‘Bowling Ball’ are the most pollinator friendly plants I have ever grown, the flowers are surrounded by bee’s.

In early June flowers start to unfurl in shades of vibrant magenta red, purple and lilac.

After the petals drop giant seed pods start to develop, swelling up to 6cm in diameter (in my garden this Summer).

This is really like growing two plants in one, you have the flowers, then you have the seed pods to enjoy. Seed pods can then be used fresh in arrangements, or dried for everlasting stems to use in the Winter.

How to grow: 

Sow seed into modules in Autumn for best results.

Seeds need light for germination, do not cover with soil. Seeds will germinate at temperatures of at least 15°C, a cold greenhouse in autumn should naturally provide perfect conditions.

Like Larkspur, Poppies in general resent root disturbance, sow only one seed per cell.

I will pot on in late winter before planting out into their final positions 20-22cm apart in March/April depending on the weather.

Plants grow vigorously, by May plants will have huge green foliage.

By early June the first of the flower spikes will appear, peeling open to reveal show stopping flowers.

Seeds pods are very heavy once fully formed and a bit top heavy so provide support to keep stems poker straight and upright during heavy rain and wind.

The giant stems are nearly as big as bamboo canes so these work well for staking, tied in with garden twine.

For more detailed growing instructions join our ‘Grow-A-Long’  and for busy gardeners you can now plan ahead with our Autumn Jump Starter Handbook

Variety: Papaver somniferum
Type: Hardy Annual
Position: Full sun
Sow: Autumn
Germination: Up to 30 days
Height: 75-143cm (143cm height achieved here at Swan Cottage from an autumn sowing)
Harvest: June/July onwards
Seeds per packet: 500

Cutting /Vase Life:

Grown for the seed pods, stems can be used fresh in arrangements or cut and hung upside down for use indefinitely.