Poppy Seed Harvesting

When the flowers are pretty much gone it’s time to harvest the result: seeds! Saving seeds is a great way to reduce your plant budget for next year, especially when the plants you save seed from are known for easy germination. Recently I collect some poppy seed from our red poppies in the self-sowing garden. Some of the seeds I’ll collect and others I’ll sprinkle around wherever I may want poppies to grow next year. They bloom from spring to early summer (I did have one orange one bloom this week even though it should probably be finished) then they fade away.

Even when the poppies have faded away they offer some interest in their seed pods. They resemble little cups with lids. The lid is actually made from the stamens that have dried on top of the fruit to create an enclosed seed pod.

Harvesting the seed is very easy. All you need to do is peel off the top of the seed pod and pour the seeds out! There are quite a few seeds in each pod. I won’t take the time to count the seeds but an estimate in the 100’s wouldn’t be far off.

Now there are two choices to make, I could store them for the winter and sow them in spring or sprinkle them around where I want them to possibly spring up in the future. I think I’ll do a little of both!

Disclaimer: Please note that I am not collecting seeds for baking uses or for development of illegal substances. Nor should you!

4 Replies to “Poppy Seed Harvesting”

  1. Thank you Dave for the useful information! Sometimes, I miss the time and the seeds are gone from the pods… Do you think it's OK to collect the pods and let them get brown and dry somewhere in a safe place and then collect the seeds?

  2. I've had little success getting poppies to grow here…either poor drainage or not enough sun. But I will try again! gail

  3. Tatyana,

    I would let them dry on the plant as long as possible just to make sure that they have matured then collect them and store them in a dry spot. Most of mine I'll be sprinkling all over the gardens!


    I can save some of the seed for you if you like the red poppies. Are you trying them from seed or planting them as plants?

  4. Dave, I read you often. I see you have a little bridge on your list of things to do. Here is the one my husband build for us.


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