U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8b. Sunset climate zone 5

Friday, April 18, 2014

Spring Surprise In a Little Grey Box

I like to have dry plant material on my potting bench in fall and winter.
When I clean the garden, I select nice looking pieces and leave them on the bench. 
Poppy heads are my favorites.
I watch them changing their color from light grey to almost black during the winter.
In spring, they usually go to the compost pile.
Recently, I was cleaning my potting bench and reached for something on the back of one of the shelves.
I knew there were poppy heads there, but what I saw made me pause.
I've never seen anything like that - an explosion of life from the old grey boxes!

The poppy heads still had seeds inside. They got enough moisture and with some warmth started to germinate.
Here they are, two seedheads looking like green hedgehogs.
What a will to live and grow!
I divided heads into several parts and planted them in the garden. 
It was impossible to separate individual seedlings, so I planted them in bunches.
We'll see what happens. They usually don't grow well when crowded.

Even if they don't grow into good plants, it was a nice surprise.

Happy Easter to you!

***Copyright 2014 TatyanaS


  1. This is amazing! How cool!
    Pretty Lovely

  2. That is neat! I hope some of them will grow and bloom for you.

    Happy Easter to you too ~ FlowerLady

  3. That's so cool. I always plant annual poppy seeds very heavily, and it works out just fine. They fight it out amongst themselves, and the strongest ones thrive.

  4. That's amazing Tatyana, such a surprise. You may get a few good plants out of those.
    Happy Easter.

  5. That is so cool...I hope you get some wonderful plants out of them.

  6. I am continually amazed by nature's hidden agenda.

  7. I had no idea that poppy seeds would sprout like that! I wonder if they're edible? They sort of remind me of alfalfa sprouts. I hope they will grow into pretty poppy plants for you!

  8. Very cool! As soon as I saw the picture, I started thinking how I would plant them. We gardeners think alike.

  9. Happy Easter.
    I hope they grow and flower it will be interesting to watch.

    Linda C in Seattle.

  10. Thank you all so much! I will watch them and write about their behavior!

  11. Such a surprise and so beautiful Tatyana! Looking forward to see them in bloom.

  12. what a sight... it's like alarm clock awakening every little seeds to pop up and grow.

  13. I just read in the Fine Gardening magazine that I waited too late to plant the poppy seeds you gave me last year. They are supposed to be planted in the fall because they need the cold weather before germinating. I will try putting them in the refrigerator for a couple of months and then plant them. Several years ago I transplanted my orange perennial poppies and they bloomed in the fall instead of the spring. Nature is amazing. Karen Mashburn

    1. Karen, I'll be curious if your poppies will bloom in fall! I planted some seeds in winter - for the reason you mentioned. BUT, they are not showing up! Wind? Neighbors' cat which checks my garden on a regular basis and uses it for its needs? I don't know. So, I planted more seeds in early spring, and they've already showed up!
      Last year, I planted poppy seeds very late. They grew very small and miserable.
      You might want to keep some seeds for next year. They'll be OK. Good luck!

  14. How amazing!!! Thank you so much for sharing. Happy Easter.

  15. A wonderful surprise for Easter! New life from the tomb of a seed head. Cool! Happy Easter.

  16. How cool is that! You are such a talented gardener that your plants grow even when you aren't looking!

  17. What a fun surprise and a nifty experiment! Please keep us posted. I'd love to hear how they perform in the garden.


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