Grow Mission Bells, California Poppy from fresh Eschscholzia californica wildflower seeds. Mission Bells will produce beautiful, semi-double and double blooms in all sorts of colors. These colors include apricot, orange, pink, red, white and yellow. Mission Bells, California Poppy matures to a height of roughly 12 to 18 inches tall and can spread to a width of 6 to 12 inches. The flowers themselves will span 2 or 3 inches in diameter.
California Poppies are often grown as a tender perennial, but more so as an annual flowering plant. They will grow quickly, bloom profusely, later dying with the first killing frost. They can later return the following year from seeds that drop to the bare ground beneath. California Poppy flowers are made up of 4 main flower petals. Each petal is usually 2 inches long and surround a yellow center. The stems, as well as the leaves are slender. Each main stem will branch off into a smaller stem producing 3 to 5 blooms per plant. Unlike regular Oriental Poppies, Iceland poppies, Shirley Poppies & Corn Poppies, the stems of the California Poppy will remain smooth and hairless.
California Poppy is best established in masses and looks great in the garden. It is among one of the easiest flowers to establish directly from seed and can be one of the most rewarding as well. However be aware that the California Poppy is also considered toxic, if consumed on a high level. Keeping this plant away from livestock and other animals & pets is recommended.
- Type: Flower
- Color: Mixture
- Height: 12" to 18" Tall
- Width: 6" to 12" Spread
- Season: Tender Perennial
- Zones: 3 to 10
- Environment: Full sun
Sowing The Seed
California Poppies don't like to be disturbed and will develop taproots, so they are best sown directly in the garden. Begin sowing when the weather is mildly cool and all danger of harsh frost has passed. Viability percentages may increase if you introduce the seeds to cold storage for 2 to 4 weeks prior to sowing. Scatter the small round seeds directly to the surface of the soil, allowing direct sunlight to reach the seeds. This is crucial because Eschscholzia californica seeds prefer direct light when germinating.
California Poppy seeds grow best when they are in an area of full sunlight for the majority of the day. Temperatures can be excessively warm, showing little effect on the plants as they are pretty drought tolerant. Although this variety is not picky on soil conditions and textures, it does need to be sown in a medium that is well draining. To improve drainage, we recommend adding a light compost mixture to the sowing area. Water daily so that the soil is moist, but avoid overwatering or soaking.
Germination & Growth
Germination will typically take 7 to 14 days, but can take up to 28 days to occur. The plants will mature quickly to a height of roughly 12 to 18 inches tall and 6 to 12 inches wide. The plants are best sown in masses and can be spaced roughly 4 to 6 inches apart from one another. When fully grown, you will begin to enjoy the masses of beautiful, semi-double & double blooms known as "Mission Bells."