Companion Plants to Oriental Poppies


If you want the gorgeous blooms of Oriental poppies (Papaver orientale, USDA plant hardiness zones 3 through 8) to become the star attractions of your yard, it’s smart to give some thought to poppy companion plants as well. You may have heard of people planting Oriental poppies in their vegetable garden to attract pollinators and deter pests. However, if you intend for the gorgeous blooms of Oriental poppies to become the star attractions of your yard, it’s smart to give some thought to poppy companion Companion plants are like the side dishes at a Thanksgiving buffet; they may enhance the main attraction and perhaps lead you to hopscotch to plants you may not have considered before. Companion plants are like the side dishes at a Thanksgiving buffet. Having just a little bit of creativity is all that is required, and given your background in gardening, you are probably a natural when it comes to knowing where to dig for that.

When Do Oriental Poppies Bloom?

A star attraction such as the Oriental poppy deserves star care; nevertheless, many individuals inadvertently contribute to the plant’s early death by committing a fundamental planting mistake: they do not sink the plant far enough into the earth. This error may cause the plant to wither and die. According to White Flower Farm, the long, carrot-like roots of the poppy need to be buried at a minimum of ten inches underground, and twelve inches is preferable.

Poppy seeds that are planted at a shallow depth will have just as much trouble germinating and growing as poppy seeds that are placed in soil that is excessively damp. They thrive best in well-drained soil that retains a consistent level of moisture but does not pool water, with the exception of the time immediately after the intense rainfall in April that encourages the poppies to blossom profusely in June and July.

If you plant your poppies in an area where they will get eight hours of direct sunlight each day, you shouldn’t have any issues with the soil being too wet. Poppy plants are remarkably resistant to the effects of drought, so you won’t have to worry about the soil drying up either. The leaves, regardless of the temperature or precipitation, will turn brown in the early summer, fall off, and then reemerge in the early autumn. This growth behaviour could assist guide your selections of companion plants, specifically so that you can fill up the gap that occurs when the poppies are momentarily dormant during the growing season. [Citation needed]

Choose From Top Poppy Companion Plants

There is a wide spectrum of hues present in oriental poppies, from muted pastels to vibrant neon red, orange, and purple. Plant the poppies behind taller, more established plants such as the Siberian iris (Iris sibirica, hardy in zones 3 to 8) which can reach heights of up to 4 feet, or herbaceous peonies (Paeonia), which can reach heights of up to 2 feet and are hardy in zones 4 to 8. This will ensure that the poppies are dwarfed by the larger plants. Plant phlox (Phlox subulata, hardy in zones 4 to 8) or Hollycock if you can’t get enough of perennial flowers (Alcea rosea, zones 2 to 9).

Annuals such as dahlias (of the Dahlia genus), nicotiana (Nicotiana benavidesii), or the beautiful cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) may be used to finish out the display wonderfully. Just make sure you’re ready to secure these potentially quick growth once they become too tall; else, they could fall over. According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, their average height is from one to three feet, however there have been documented cases of them reaching heights greater than their human caregivers, reaching up to six feet in height.

What Greenery Goes With Poppies?

This is where we could see the “hopscotch factor” manifest itself. Natural partners for cosmos and, by extension, Oriental poppies include petunias, particularly the Petunia ‘Ustuni6001’ SUPERTUNIA VISTA BUBBLEGUM (zones 10 and 11) and sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima, zones 5 to 9).

The same line of thinking can lead you to look at additional varieties of iris, not to mention lupines (genus Lupinus, hardy in zones 4–9) and cannas (Canna, zones 7 to 10). This genus is capable of rapid expansion as well, reaching a width of up to 6 feet and a height of up to 8 feet. In order to maintain this companion’s position, you will need to have your pruning shears close at hand. You may want to err on the side of caution and go for white flowers until you acquire a taste for certain types of oriental poppies. In addition to delicious alyssum, you won’t go wrong with the Anemone x hybrida ‘Honorine Jobert’ (zones 5-8), Rockjasmine blossoms (Androsace septentrionalis, zones 5 to 8) or summer hyacinth (Hyacinthus, zones 7 to 10). (Hyacinthus, zones 7 to 10).

Don’t forget that you may broaden your horizons even further by making use of Oriental poppies in another winning way: as fresh-cut bouquets. Your creativity might lead you to construct any combination you can imagine, but don’t forget that you can extend your horizons even further by doing so. And if you’re looking for a suitable mate, peonies are unrivalled in their attractiveness and versatility.