Oriental poppy - Papaver orientale

Oriental poppy - Papaver orientale

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The term papaver orientale refers to a genus consisting of about one hundred annual and perennial herbaceous plants originating from North America and Asia. Most of the leaves are basal, divided, often covered with down, the plants produce long stems that carry some flowers, very large, consisting of 4-6 flowers, simple or double, of various colors ranging from red to yellow to white. In autumn the flowers are replaced by large capsules containing the seeds, which are used in the kitchen. P. rhoeas grows wild in our fields, has mainly red, simple flowers. Oriental poppy is larger than the previous one, there are many hybrids, so it can have single or double flowers and various colors ranging from white to dark purple. P. somniferum is used to extract opium. P. alpinum is a dwarf species, which grows only 15-20 cm, forming dense cushions.


The specimens of oriental papaver they love very sunny positions where they can receive the sun's rays for many hours a day, in shady positions they are hardly able to allow the development of flowers.
The perennial species belonging to this genus do not fear the cold, being of a very rustic and resistant character, even if P. somniferum must be protected, in regions with very cold winters, by using non-woven fabric or dried leaves to be placed at the base of the specimens to protect the root system from possible harmful frosts.


Oriental poppy does not need large amounts of water, being able to withstand drought even for long periods; in the hottest period it is advisable to water regularly every 15-20 days, always letting the soil dry well between one watering and another, since the oriental poppy plants cannot stand the water stagnations that can quickly compromise the plant health.
Suspend watering in winter. From March to September, add fertilizer for flowering plants to the irrigation water at least once a month so as to obtain a more vigorous and lasting flowering.
For the specimens of oriental papaver it is advisable to proceed with regular watering, always taking care to check that the soil is dry and does not allow the presence of water stagnation.


This variety of plants prefers calcareous soils, but develops without problems in any substrate, even if it is not particularly fertile, the important thing is that it is well drained, since it particularly fears water stagnation.


The multiplication of this genus of plants takes place by seed and reproduction occurs very easily, without requiring any particular care or specific cultivation techniques.

Oriental poppy - Papaver orientale: Parasites and diseases

it is often attacked by the white sore which blatantly ruins the leaves and causes the decay of the plant. In this case it is possible to resort to specific plant protection products that can be vaporized on the affected specimens to effectively and quickly counteract the problem, before it spreads and is difficult to eliminate.