Meconopsis baileyi. Perhaps one of the most beautiful flowers in the world. This relative of familiar corn, field, and opium poppies has spectacular, vivid blue flowers that only last a few days. For those few days it puts on a show almost unique in nature. No other flower demonstrates the absolute true blue found here. Himalayan poppies are famously challenging to grow from seed, but it helps to always use fresh seed. Like other poppies, these plants respond poorly to transplanting, so it is best to attempt growing them where they are to live. They prefer rich, free-draining soil in partial shade, with protection from wind. Prepare the bed by digging to a depth of 45cm (18"), and adding a mix of soil, finished compost (or finished manure with no smell), and finely milled bark mulch. Add a balanced organic fertilizer to promote strong growth. Sow the seeds in late winter and prevent the bed from drying out during the growth phase. It is recommended to pinch off the flower buds during the first year in order to establish strong roots. Once established in the right setting, Himalayan poppies may self sow.
This is a challenging plant to grow, even for experienced and professional gardeners. With other kinds of poppies, one can just sprinkle the seeds and a few weeks later, like magic, the flowers appear. This is not the case with Meconopsis, which is considered difficult to germinate and grow. The plant is native to shady, humid forests in the Himalayas. Please follow our How to Grow Meconopsis instructions closely for the best results.