Sparrow and Finch Gardening SUNSHINE IN THE GARDEN



Want to add a little extra sunshine to your garden this year? I want to introduce you to the California poppy. This lovely perennial is easy to grow and provides a lot of beauty! This pretty poppy will make a great addition to any garden. Learn how to care for it and grow it.

Color is what makes me happy in my garden. They say that color alone can energize you and bring joy. I agree with them! This is why I have been inspired by the California poppies this month.

Create a wind spinner to add light and movement to your garden.


As fall approaches and the dreary weather is about to arrive, I choose to look ahead! There’s no better way to bring in the sun than by preparing your spring garden.

I have written about poppies in the past, but I wanted to dedicate an entire blog to my favorite poppy. If you want to know more about the different kinds of poppies, read this article.

Will show you the best way to get beautiful blooms, and I’ll share their many uses. California poppies are worth the space they take up!

Meet the California Poppy

California poppy is native to the Western United States. It grows in various habitats in Mexico, the U.S., and Canada.

This poppy is easily identified by its yellow and orange flowers, with a darker orange center. Lacy, blue-green leaves accompany the four smooth petals of this poppy. The plant can grow between 0.5 and 2.2 ft high.

Golden flowers are famous for their golden glow but also because of the many health benefits they offer.

California Poppies Identification

I was convinced for an extended period that I had California poppy plants in my garden. Imagine my surprise when I discovered I was growing Welsh poppies instead of those named for the sunny state. These wildflowers are equally beautiful and grow in abundance.

Even though they may look similar, it is easy to tell the difference. California poppy petals glow as if they contain a light source. Welsh poppy petals, on the other hand, look like paper.

The leaves of the Welsh poppy are feathery, fernlike. California poppies have leaves more like geraniums.

California poppy seed pods also differ from the typical seed heads of other poppy flowers. The seed pods are long and resemble a cross between a stem and a poppy pod. Mature pods have a brown color.

California Poppy Health Benefits

California poppies have been used medicinally for a long time, dating back to California’s indigenous people. The tradition of herbal medicine has carried on this tradition. The herb is usually taken as a capsule, tincture, or tea.

California poppy benefits include:

  • Stress Reduction
  • Sleep aid (for insomnia)
  • Aids muscular-retention
  • Anti-anxiety
  • Natural antidepressant
  • Beneficial for nervous bowel disorders
  • Hyperactivity and Aids
  • Relieves headaches, migraines

California Poppy: How to Grow it

This pretty poppy requires little effort! This colorful flower can be easily added to your garden by following simple instructions.

Planting from Seed

Seeds will germinate better in the fall as they are exposed to the natural cycles of freeze-thaw. The soil can warm up in the spring, and the rain will help seeds germinate.

Seeds should be sown 8-10 inches apart, 1/4 inch deep. The seeds should start sprouting within 2 to 3 weeks.

After germination, remove weeds and thin seedlings if they are too close together (less than eight inches). California poppy seedlings have a blue-green tint to help you distinguish them from weeds.

You should expect your seedlings to reach maturity in 55 to 75 days.

In warm climates, poppies bloom all through spring and into early summer. The bloom will last for about ten days. Once this happens, the tops become dormant. You can deadhead poppies to ensure they flower for a long time (though this is unnecessary).

Planting in Pots

California Poppies do well in potted containers! Many gardeners like it because they self-seed.

  1. Fill the pot with all-purpose potting soil.
  2. Do not cover your seeds. Sow them on top of the earth. They need lots of sunlight.
  3. Keep the soil moist during the entire growing process.
  4. Ensure your poppies get enough sun (at least six hours per day)
  5. Thin seedlings once they reach 5 inches to avoid overcrowding. At least 6 inches of space should be left between the most vigorous seedlings. They can grow!

California Poppy Care

This plant is highly resilient and can survive in less-than-ideal conditions. If you want your poppy to thrive, consider a few tips.


California poppies only require a little watering. Water only in extreme conditions of drought or dryness and let spring rains do most of the work.

However, seedlings and young plants will require a little assistance until they are self-sufficient. Let the soil dry between waterings before you water young plants.


California poppies need full sun (at least six hours!) Plant your seeds as close to the sun as you can.

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