How to Grow California Poppy (Beginner’s Care Guide)

Ever drive on the sunny countryside roads of California and see those pretty yellow flowers in the fields?

(Antelope Valley, anyone?)

California poppy, the state flower of CA, is one of the few plants that can be adapted to nearly any garden even across the US.

Those just may be California poppies!

These perennial flowers create amazing fields of flowers on grassy hillsides or mountains. It really makes it look like you’re in the wild!

You can now take some of this wild and bring it into your garden. California poppies are easy to grow and require very little care.

They’re also drought-tolerant and hardy to nearly everything. They can adapt to your garden’s conditions provided you’re not too outside of the hardiness zones.

What do you think? Sounds interesting? Let’s dive right in so we can learn about how to grow and care for California poppies.

Quick care guide: California poppy

Plant typeHerbaceous perennial (higher zones).
Annual (lower zones)
OriginWestern North America, Mexico
Scientific name Eschscholzia californica
Other namesGolden Poppy, California Sunlight, Cup of Gold, Cups of Flame, California Golden poppy, Desert Gold, Mexican Poppy, Amarilla, Amapola del Campo
Soil typeFertile, loamy, sandy, well-draining
Soil pH5.5-8.0 (acidic to neutral to alkaline)
Sunlight requirementFull sun, at least 6-8 hours per day.
Partial shade is OK for hotter climates.
Bloom seasonEarly spring to summer
ColorsPink, yellow, white, red, and orange
Max height18 inches
Max width18 inches
Low temperature tolerance15F
High temperature tolerance80F
Ideal temperature range50-70F
HumidityLow (25% or lower)
Watering requirements0.50 to 1 inch of water per week when germinating from seed, then reduce as needed
Fertilizer requirementsLow, use max dosage in spring/summer, use high potash or potassium for more flowers
Plant food NPK5-10-10 or 10-10-10
Days until germination14-21 days
Days until harvest60-80 days, seeds are harvestable
Bloom time50-75 days after planting
Speed of growthModerate
Hardiness zonesUSDA hardiness zones 5-10
Plant depth0.25-0.50 inches for seeds, scatter planting recommended for zones 7 or higher
Plant spacing5 inches
Plant withGlobe gilia
Baby blue eyes
Lupines
Petunias
Corn poppies
Flowering tobacco
Gomphrena
Celosia
Iceland
Cornflower
Baby’s breath
Sylvia
Zinnia
Globe amaranth xyz
Alpine
Lisianthus
Dahlia
Nicotiana
Cosmos
Sunflowers
Sweet peas
Borage
Lavender
Russel lupins
Hosta
Marigolds
Don't plant withVegetables, roses, or other poppies that are too close together
Propagation methodFrom seed (scatter planting, direct sowing), pre-grown from nursery
Common pestsAphids, whiteflies, thrips, hoopla beetles, spittlebugs, snails, slugs, leafhoppers
Common diseasesDowney mildew, powdery mildew, gray mold, Botrytis
Indoor plantNo
Outdoor plantYes
Grown in containerYes
Flowering plantYes
Beginner friendlyYes
Care levelLow (very easy for beginners)
Best usesBordering, pathing, lattices, decor, hedges, designer plants, backdrops, drought-tolerant gardens, xeriscapes, wildlife gardens, birds/bee/wildlife attractant

What’s a California poppy?

The California poppy is California’s native version of the infamous poppy flower! What else is there to know, right?

California poppies are known for their bright, cherry petals that grow all over the grassy hillsides of CA.

Poppies can be orange, yellow, or red. They can even be hybrids that combine these colors into an awesome blend of hybridized flowers.

Regardless of which color you like, you’ll be astounded by the reflective petals of these flowers in your garden. Driving over fields out in rural CA is breathtaking.

But once you plant them in your own garden, you’ll be able to harness that flourish of dazzling color. Once you see how bright those petals are on a sunny day, you’ll know what I mean!

The California poppy, Eschscholzia californica, is beginner-friendly and easy to grow. Once you sow them in your garden, they’ll come back every season. It’s a perennial so you can get year after year of that nice, bright color.

Believe it or not, many species in the wild depend on the poppy for their source of food or habitat. This wildflower helps bring in wildlife, especially bees like honeybees, bumblebees, or sweat bees. It also attracts deer, butterflies, herbivores, omnivores, and other pollinators into your garden.

Once you get a lot of them going, you can really transform your garden into a wild habitat.

Types of California poppy

Unlike a lot of other wildflowers, E. californica only has two subspecies to choose from.

This can make your decisions a lot easier rather than having to choose from dozens of different types. The two species are:

  • Californica
  • Mexicana

The only difference is where they’re located natively. Mexicana is found in the Sonoran desert. Californica is found in a lot more places.

Mexicana is generally yellow with lighter shades and a smaller receptacle rim below the petals. Californica is larger with shades of orange and has darker coloration.

There are cultivars within each group.

Whichever one you choose, you can’t go wrong.

California poppies aren’t only found in California though. This wildflower is home to Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, New Mexico, Sonora, Baja California, and of course California.

It grows in hillsides, woodlands, valleys, meadows, coastal dunes, plains, outskirts, deserts, forests, and even by the roadside.

If you’ve ever seen pretty colorful flowers poking out from a near-dry bush by the road, it could be California poppy! Up in the Antelope Valley there’s a HUGE poppy field that spans endlessly. This is a tourist attraction because of how amazing it is.

Why should I grow it?

Why not? It’s a hardy, beautiful flowering perennial that requires very little care.

It’s good for beginners that are looking to get into the hobby but haven’t earned their green thumb badge yet.

California poppy helps bring color to your garden, attracts wildlife, and can take care of itself even in dry conditions which any desert native knows how it’s like.

How to propagate California poppy

Poppy petals macro shot CA poppies grown in garden.
The bright orange petals are the signature look of Cali poppies.

California poppy is super easy to start from seed.

You can buy a packet of poppy seeds for cheap at your local nursery or online (see Amazon).

Be sure to read the packet so you get the right cultivar for your hardiness zone. Propagation by seed is highly recommended because you get the most flower for your buck.

Purchasing in flats where you just get a few plants per flat is expensive with the benefit of skipping the germination period. But I think if you start from seed, you’ll find it much more rewarding!

Starting from seed

Get your packet of seeds and wait for the temperatures to remain stable. The outside temperatures should be at least 60F on the low end. But temperatures above 80F will be too high.

So look for an average temperature between the two extremes. Either way, you’re not going to control the weather so just plant when the forecast looks OK.

Sow seeds directly into your garden. The plot you choose for the California poppies should be planted in full sun with rich soils that are well-draining.

Soils that are chock full of nutrients are perfect since these flowers will drink it up quickly. If you’re literally in the desert with minimal water to spare, you can plant in partial sun.

Yes, it can grow in partial shade, but it won’t thrive.

It’s a light-loving plant. But too much light will burn it. California natives should be OK with just planting in full sun without issue.

The spot you choose should be wide enough to accommodate their expanse. Poppies are wide when fully grown, so you need to make sure that plants nearby won’t get shrouded by them.

Sow seeds in early spring for summer blooms that last until early autumn.

Seeds can be scattered into the soil. There’s no need to dig out holes for each seed. Just grab a bunch of seeds then randomly scatter them into the dirt. This makes for that randomness, full look of flowers EVERYWHERE.

But if you want a more controlled and tidier-looking garden, then consider sowing them carefully in rows or plots.

This can give you a sense of control in your garden if you dislike the whole “wildflower” thing. Plant each poppy seed about 0.25 inches deep and cover it with soil.

Space each seed 5 inches apart to allow for root extension. If rain is expected before germination, cover the seeds with soil rather than scatter planting. This will help them stay in place from rain or wind.

Water generously so the soil is moist, but not wet. Provide them with watering once or twice a week until they sprout.

If the seeds start to rot or flow down the water stream, it needs more soil to hold them in place. When watering, use a watering can. Do NOT use a hose or you’ll blow them out of the water.

California poppies can also be started indoors using seed starter kits, but it’s often more work because moving a dozen poppies to the garden soil is a tasking experience.

So I suggest just sowing directly into the garden unless your zone is experiencing some weird weather.

Poppy also doesn’t like to be moved once it’s established, so you may want to consider starting in a greenhouse or just waiting until the temperatures are warm enough.

You can also grow in containers if you wish. Use a pot that’s at least 12 inches wide with at least 10 inches of depth.

It’s possible to grow multiple California poppies in the same pot, but give each one at least 10 inches of space (wide). Use a moist, well-draining potting mix. Sow each seed 0.25” deep with 5” of space.

Note that once you start germinating them in their pot, don’t move them later. They get plant shock easily.

When sown correctly, most poppies will germinate within 14-21 days. Keep the soil moist and watch for rot. If it’s dry, use a humidity dome to preserve the water from evaporating too quickly. Blooms can be expected within 50-75 days, but it depends on sunlight, water, soil quality, temperature, and more.

Seedlings can be thinned by at least 5 inches in height.

Thin the smallest, weakest seedlings from the bunch by gently uprooting them. Thin to 10 inches apart. While you may wanna keep them all, it’s important to thin to avoid crowding.

How to grow California poppy

California poppies growing in the garden.
This field of poppies can be yours.

This section covers some general guidelines on how to grow and care for California poppies. Depending on which poppy type you have, your care needs will vary.

Use these guidelines as a general care sheet so you know what’s in store for you in terms of poppy care. If you have questions, you can post them in the comments section at the end of this guide.

Hardiness zone

California poppies are hardy in USDA zones 5-10. If you’re outside of these zones, that’s OK. You can still grow it even in cooler or warmer zones as annuals.

These plants can be perennials or annuals depending on the environment. They’re not fussy about their growing conditions, so you don’t need to be precise with these guys.

They’re extremely adaptable to most environments and will thrive when basic TLC is provided. You may have seen them growing randomly on the hillsides through rural areas.

They’re a significant habitat wildflower for native pollinators like sweat bees, bumblebees, or mining bees. Animals, birds, and other wildlife will eat the seeds as a food source. Poppy pollen is loved by bees and birds.

Butterflies, moths, and other insects will feed on the pollen too. So if you want these beneficial pollinators in your garden (perhaps your other plants can use some help getting fertilized), then you’re on the right track.

California poppy is also drought-tolerant and helps control erosion on hillsides. So not only does it bring in beneficial wildlife, but it can also help you out.

Soil

Use a well-draining, fertile soil that’s rich in organic matter. California poppies will do well in lean soils that are chock full of nutrients.

If growing in containers, use a potting mix dedicated for just that. If growing in the garden, use high-quality garden soil for that.

Poppy plants love themselves some lean soil that’s light and loamy. This lets them expand their root systems outward to grow the flower.

Well-draining soil that’s sandy will do excellent for this herbaceous perennial. Poor soil can even be adaptable. Drip irrigation is recommended for heavy soils, such as those on hillsides, sandy plains, or other grasslands.

Poppy soil pH

California poppies do well in slightly acidic to alkaline soils. It has a pH range of 5.5-8.0, so it’s well tolerant to shifting pH levels.

This allows gardeners that have acidic and basic (alkaline) soils to grow it. Not many plants can do that. This is one of the few that has tolerance for both sides of the pH spectrum.

Acidic to neutral is ideal for optimal blossoms because it’s what is found in the natives.

Seed spacing

Seeds can be scattered one seed per 3 inches for proper germination, then thinned later.

If garden sowing, space each plant 4-5 inches apart. If scatter sowing, sow 20 seeds per square foot for a nice, dense plant cover.

Seed depth

Plant poppy seeds up to a half-inch deep.

Scattering seeds also works. If germination doesn’t happen in 2-3 weeks, replant with less depth per seed.

When planting close to the soil line, be sure to not blast them with a hose, or else the seeds will be washed away with the water runoff. Don’t forget the rain too.

Temperature

California poppies prefer temperatures that are moderate. Temperatures between 50-75F are ideal for proper growth and flowering.

They can tolerate temp dips as low as 15F and be OK if it’s not prolonged. But if temperatures remain this low, they may enter dormancy.

Use a few inches of mulch to help insulate the plants from dormancy, but remove it when temperatures pick back up or else you may overheat your poppies.

If temperatures are too high, the plant can tolerate it, but it may stunt blossoms or even cause poppies to enter dormancy until it cools down.

When temperatures are too low, they’ll stop blossoming as well as it signals winter. If your zone is averaging around these temp ranges, then you’re good to go.

If not, you can make adjustments to maintain it such as adding mulch if cold or pulsating in partial shade if too hot.

Humidity

Humidity should be moderate to low. If it’s too high, it can be prone to rot or fungal issues.

Regular watering should be enough to keep the humidity level where it needs to be.

These are desert natives where there isn’t much humidity. There’s no need to keep it sky-high.

Water at the base of the plant, not the leaves or blooms because this can pose an infection of bugs or pathogens.

If humidity is too high, you can prune the leaves to dial it back a bit. This will help with evaporation.

Fertilizer

Poppy will benefit from regular dosing of fertilizer. Work in a 3-inch layer of vegetable compost or manure with some soil conditioner to help increase the nutrient profile.

Some organic supplements include bonemeal or liquid plant food. Look for something that has an NPK ratio of 10-10-10 so it’s balanced.

Poppies may also like 5-10-10 for more blooms. If your poppy is leggy and has too many leaves but not enough blossoms, get something with less nitrogen.

Watering

California poppies require very little water once they establish themselves. These are desert natives so they know how to thrive with minimal rainfall.

Give them about 0.5 inches of water per week until the plant is fully grown. Then reduce to just 1 inch per 2-3 weeks, depending on local conditions.

If you notice drooping, wilting, or other signs of lack of water, then increase watering by 0.5 inches per week or so until it’s fixed.

California poppy thrives off rainfall in the wild, so regular watering will likely be too much for this perennial wildflower.

There’s no hard and fast rule for this. If it’s hot, then water more. If it’s cold or rainy, then water less. Common sense, right?

People overcomplicate things because they want a rule of thumb that works in every scenario. This doesn’t exist for watering plants!

These are excellent for drought-tolerant xeriscapes. Sporadic rainfall is what they’re accustomed to in the wild during their active growth period. If you’re not getting rain during the summer, then use your watering can.

If you’re paranoid about making sure your poppies are getting enough water, then consider getting a water meter for your soil (check Amazon).

Other signs that they need water include drooping, yellowing, or scorching. But this doesn’t happen even with minimal rainfall. Think about the desert.

How often does it rain in California? Poppies will get all the water they need from rainfall.

Sunlight

Provide your poppies with at least 6-8 hours of full sun per day. This is what they’re used to in those flower fields up in the valley.

If you’re in zones 6-10, this native wildflower will do just fine. Direct sun will help encourage blooms.

Poppies grown in shady conditions will look more rugged with leggy growth.

They’re also less likely to produce those pretty blooms and will have fewer blooms with smaller petals. California poppies will grow quickest and have the biggest flowers in direct sunlight.

This is why they’re a native of CA where it’s sunny 99% of the time! (Kinda serious.)

Flowering

The bloom time for California poppies is around the middle of February or mid-March. The blooms will remain in place until May.

Poppies will generally bloom for 10 weeks with 3 peak weeks between March and April. This varies depending on the temperature, rainfall, and other local conditions.

It’s hard to keep California poppies blooming beyond this period. They don’t bloom all summer.

But will rebloom every season as they’re naturally perennials. Note that California poppies aren’t good for groomed gardens.

They’re not pretty after they bloom, so people tend to deadhead them rather than let them sit there ragged and jagged like they just woke up.

Have you ever seen a poppy field in the autumn? It’s quite spooky.

They get weedy post-bloom so they’re not something you wanna keep around. Trim them back or deadhead them to encourage flowers to bloom next season.

Pruning

This plant requires very little care once you get it going.

When it builds strong roots, it can withstand drought, wind, rain, and even depletion of nutrients. However, it’ll benefit from cutting off the spent flowers.

Deadhead you poop regularly to encourage more blooms in the season. Wildlife gardeners will tell you about how little care they need. It’s often ideal to NOT disturb them.

So try to let them do their thing. Prune off spent foliage. Cut off flowers or leaves that are extending to areas you don’t want them to be. But sometimes, it’s nice to see it grow like crazy.

Overwintering

California poppies can be shielded by putting a layer of mulch if you’re in a cooler zone.

This can help them withstand the cold for those in zones 6 or 7. Mulching with a layer of organic mulch or chopped leaves with grass cuttings will do. Mulch to 3-4 inches deep.

Remove the mulch in the spring. Don’t let the mulch touch the stem of the plant. Leave a small clearing. This can help stop rot or fungus.

This plant will winterize itself and enter dormancy if left alone. If you’re in a warmer zone, there’s nothing you need to do. The plant’s roots are safe under the soil. It’ll even reseed itself.

Depending on where you live, you can sow in late summer and then move them out in early fall to overwinter and then flower in the springtime.

But for those of us in warmer climates, California poppies need no overwintering for the winter. That’s how easy it is to care for!

Pests

While California poppy is generally resilient to insects, wicked ones may be vulnerable to insects or pathogens.

Some common bugs that’ll attack your poppies include thrips, aphids, whiteflies, hoplia beetles, spittlebugs, snails, slugs, or leafhoppers.

Since these are “wildlife” plants, you can expect “wildlife” to come to find them. Thankfully, most pests on this list can be controlled by using insecticides.

If you want a natural approach, try using dish soap spray and then wiping with a sponge. Dish soap can be mixed with regular water in a 1:10 ratio.

Some pests can be removed simply by spraying them off with a hose. Pruning off infested parts and then monitoring for insects. Other bugs can also be controlled by natural predators like birds, which love this plant.

Diseases

California poppy is generally hardy to plant issues, but weakened ones that have been poorly dad raised will be vulnerable to diseases.

Some of the most common poppy issues include downy mildew, powdery mildew, gray mold, fusarium wilt, verticillium wilt, and general mold or fungal problems.

These diseases generally stem from overwatering or high humidity. When water pools because of poor drainage, it can raise humidity and then give your plants wet feet.

This is inviting for pathogens that will cause these problems.

Never overwater your plants! Use well-draining soil. Water the base of the plant only. Not the leaves. Fungi can infect your leaves and make them turn color or powdery white. Myecila may be present.

Spores will grow on the leaves or stems. Some mildew caused by the Golovinomyces orntoii fungi can make a powdery white look on the leaves.

Some mildews don’t need high humidity to thrive. Even temperatures between 60-80F are enough to foster powdery mildew to suffice.

Gray or brown spots on stems or leaves are signs of Botrytis cinerea, which is a key fungus in mold problems. They’re more active when temperatures are warmer.

Your poppy may be covered with gray fuzzy mold. Prune them off and then use a fungicide carefully. Read the directions before you use it.

Other mildew like downy mildew which comes from Peronospora sparsa comes from too much water. It’s white and shows up on the leaf bottoms.

When it’s wet/humid outside, it’s perfect for the fungus. Reduce watering. Use a fungicide. Prune off infected foliage immediately.

Companion plants

California poppy has a lot of friends it can grow with. Poppies pair well with flowering plants that have contrasting colors.

It can also be used with taller plants as a foreground plant or a background plant. The flowers shoot out from the bunch so it looks eye-catching. You really can’t go wrong with it.

Here are some ideas to companion plant with the California poppy:

  • Globe gilia
  • Baby blue eyes
  • Lupines
  • Petunias
  • Corn poppies
  • Flowering tobacco
  • Gomphrena
  • Celosia
  • Iceland
  • Cornflower
  • Baby’s breath
  • Sylvia
  • Zinnia
  • Globe amaranth
  • Alpine
  • Lisianthus
  • Dahlia
  • Nicotiana
  • Cosmos
  • Sunflowers
  • Sweet peas
  • Borage
  • Lavender
  • Russel lupins
  • Hosta
  • Marigolds

Don’t plant with

There aren’t many plants that you can’t plant with poppies, but some will hinder the growth of both plants. Here are some plants you should avoid putting next to poppies:

  • Vegetables (unlike garden veggies which require high fertility soil, poppies thrive in the opposite low fertility soil)
  • Roses (poppies can choke roses)
  • Other poppies (don’t plant poppies too close together or they’ll compete for nutrients)

These plants grow in western California up to 6500 feet in open areas or the grasslands of the US. So think of other plants that grow in these conditions.

Saving poppy seeds

California poppy seeds can be collected and then saved for the next season. If you’re growing poppies as annuals, then this ensures you’ll have some to plant next year.

That way, you don’t have to keep going to the store to buy more seeds or plants. This plant is very productive in the seed department.

The seeds are located in the seed pods (how convenient). You’ll know when to harvest when the pods turn brown or when the veins show up on the pods. Each pod can produce up to 100 seeds each! That’s 100 poppies for next season.

Harvesting

Harvest the seeds by gently pinching off the seed pods. Collect them when they turn light brown. There should be some visible pod veins on the sides.

Get a bucket or something to contain them. Then gently pick them off by twisting them. Do NOT pull on them to remove the pods. This may damage your plants.

When you’re done harvesting, put the container somewhere safe. The seed pods will sprout on their own.

Remove the empty seed pods then save the seeds in a mason jar or other airtight vessel to keep them from spoiling. Store seeds at room temperature out of direct light. Seeds will be fertile up until next season.

Growing poppies in pots

Poppies can be grown in containers, but you must provide adequate space per plant. Each plant will need at least 5 inches of space between one another.

Use well-draining, high-quality potting mix supplemented with some soil amendment to help increase the nutrient content. The container should be wide enough to accommodate all of them so they get enough room to grow their roots. Don’t just focus on the width.

If your container is too small, your plants will suffer. The plants may fail to bloom or have very few blossoms. The flowers may also be smaller with weedy foliage.

If the roots start coming out of the drainage holes, it’s time to get a bigger planter. Poppies don’t’ like to be uprooted, so you may as well just harvest the seeds and then replant them in a larger container for next season.

Container-grown plants need more watering and fertilizer compared to garden-sown plants. They also grow smaller and produce fewer flowers in general. But you get the benefit of moving it around anywhere you want.

Not enough sun? Put it directly under it. Cold night? Bring it inside your house.

Growing poppy indoors

Poppies will not grow indoors well.

The conditions in a household are just not optimal for proper growth. You don’t get enough light for them to prosper unless you’re using a powerful grow light.

It’s also definitely not enough space to enjoy that wildflower field thing.

Unless you’re rich with an indoor garden, chances are you’ll likely want to keep your California poppy outside in the natural environment.

Usage scenarios

There are so many different ways to put poppies to use that it’s just too difficult to list everything.

People use poppies for a variety of purposes including bringing birds, bees, moths, deer, wildlife, and other animals to their garden.

It’s so easy to put into your garden to instantly spruce it up.

Whether you’re looking for some more color, or just want to create that wild feel, poppies are excellent choices.

They can help improve the look of meadows or woodlands as well if you’ve got some acreage. They also can help control erosion when planted on hillsides or sloped surfaces like ranches.

With their bright blooms and compact size, they can also be used in pots or as border plants.

How to care for California poppy

This section covers some frequently asked questions that we get from readers. You may find what you’re looking for here.

Didn’t find it? Use the form at the end of this page to post your questions! This perennial is so simple to care for that you don’t even need a green thumb!

How long do California poppies take to grow?

California poppies are quick growers. They only take about 14-21 days to germinate from seed.

Then they take about 50-75 to start budding and producing those gorgeous yellow flowers we all know and love. Once the blooming period is over, they’ll die back on their own for the winter dormancy.

You can harvest the seeds during this time for next season.

If you’re growing poppies annually, you’ll want to do this so you don’t need to keep buying them every season from the local nursery near you.

Is it illegal to grow California poppies?

No, it’s perfectly legal to grow California poppies. There lies confusion between growing or picking the California poppy because it’s the state flower of California.

While it’s illegal to pick flowers from state preservations/reserves, it’s fine to buy a pack of seeds and plant it yourself. This is not legal advice. Do your research.

Can I just scatter poppy seeds?

Yes, you can just scatter seeds all over your garden, but choose locations that receive enough sunlight to foster germination.

A rate of 20 seeds per square foot is a good enough amount. Thin the plants to the strongest few every 5 inches upon sprouting.

Can I grow poppies in my yard?

Yes, you can grow California poppies in your yard. It’s legal despite all the confusing rep it gets. There’s nothing wrong with growing California poppies for the sake of gardening and just enjoying the view.

Do you need to cut back California poppies?

It’s not required, but trimming the plant’s flowers back after they’re spent is good practice. It helps encourage blooms by refocusing the plant’s energy to produce more flowers.

Trimming can also help it get ready to grow again next season, stop pests, and eliminate pathogens. Cut back and deadhead poppies after they’re done flowering.

Some people cut them back to the soil line to encourage new foliage or blooms.

Putting some fertilizer after you cut it back will help rebloom next season. Trimming poppies after they bloom is in your interest.

Note that poppies will close up when it’s overcast, raining, or nighttime. This behavior protects the flowers from damage.

How many colors of California poppies are there?

There are many colors that span across pink, yellow, white, red, and orange. There are also hybrids that combine the colors.

How tall do poppies grow?

California poppies grow up to 18 inches in the wild. In captivity, they generally reach around 12 inches, depending on local conditions like the soil quality, watering, plant food, crowding, sunlight, etc.

How wide do poppies get?

California poppies can grow up to 18 inches wide, so they’re just about as tall as they are wide. They’re relatively compact so you can plant a bunch in your garden to make it look fuller. Or you can keep them tidy and organized if you wish.

Further reading/references

These resources can be handy for more info on CA poppies:

Poppies – Stanford

Eschscholzia californica – Wikipedia

Grow California poppy in your garden

California poppies growing in Antelope Valley
This field of poppies is dreamy, no?

Congrats, friend. You know the basics of how to grow and care for California poppies so you can enjoy that garden full of wildlife and wildflowers!

California poppies are a wild bunch that shows off a ton of color. Brightening up your garden has never been easier.

They’re easy to grow, easy to care for and look amazing in bunches when planted in proximity.

If you have questions about growing these poppies, just post them below using the comments form.

Or if you’ve grown these before and have some words of wisdom to share with other fellow readers, let us know!

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