BEST TO START DIRECTLY IN THE GARDEN
Sow seeds directly into a finely textured, well drained garden bed in full sun as early in spring as the ground can be worked. Plant as early as possible in spring, as poppies can handle light frost and bloom best and longest when plants get a good start in cool weather.
Except in very poor soil, these California poppies will grow and flower readily with no added fertilizer. Space seeds several inches apart, cover 1/4 inch deep, and firm soil gently. Keep soil moist as seedlings emerge. Weed young seedlings carefully. If seedlings come up very thickly, thin poppies early but delay final thinning until seedlings are well established in spring. Final spacing should be 3 to 4 inches apart as plants need room to grow and bloom.
When mature, poppy plants can handle dry conditions, but they will always bloom longer if regularly watered. Poppies are pretty cut flowers if brought indoors just as buds begin to open. At season’s end, allow spent flowers to form pods and drop seed if you want poppies to self-sow for next years flowers.