Meconopsis horridula Hook. f. & Thomson
Meconopsis bikramii, Meconopsis guilelmi-waldemarii
Color: Sky blue
Bloom Time: Summer
Meconopsis aculeata is a biennial or monocarpic plant with a prickly stem that grows up to 2 feet (60 cm) tall. Basal leaves are up to 10 inches (25 cm) long and up to 2 inches (5 cm) wide, irregularly pinnatifid, bearing straw-colored spines. Flowers are sky blue, often overlaid with iridescent purple, 4- or sometimes 6-petalled, and up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter.
USDA hardiness zone 6a to 9b: from −10 °F (−23.3 °C) to 30 °F (−1.1 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Full sunlight (cool areas only); full or partial shade. Acidic soil. Add grit to heavy soils. Nutrient-rich soil, add manure, leaf matter, or compost if necessary. Moist soil. When planting, supply mulch of manure of bark chippings to help maintain moisture; do not cover the crowns. Regular watering during dry periods in summer to keep the soil moist. There is no need to water in the winter as the plant prefers dry soil while resting. Cut back to the ground in autumn. Replace regularly as Meconopsis plants do not live for a long time.
When growing Meconopsis plants in the garden, it is very important to keep the soil moist in the summer. Once the growing period has finished, cut back the Meconopsis plant to ground level (autumn). If you require more plants, they can be propagated by division at the start of spring.
The seeds of the Meconopsis should be sown on the surface; this can be done just before the last frost of spring or towards the end of fall. Blue Poppies prefer to grow in a shady or partially shady part of the gardens but tolerate sunny areas in milder climates. They like rich, acidic soil. Ideally, the soil should be kept moist in the summer but dry in the winter.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Meconopsis.
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