Opium Poppy Seeds
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Marsh Funderburk
Posted on: November 12, 1999

I recently planted some poppy seeds that I bought from the grocrey store, in hopes of aquring some poppy seed plants. None came up. What’s the difference in your opium poppy seed?

When poppy seed are harvested in commercial quantities for food use, it is much faster to heat them to dry them, rather than waiting for complete airdrying as is done for seed destined for the seed trade. Also poppy seed do not keep their viability for very long and need to be discarded after one year. No such problem exists with flavour for food seed. Therefore the seed often is too old to germinate even if it has not been heated.

Also make sure you you surface sow the seed and only press them into the surface without covering them with soil. The seed needs light to germinate.

Further the seed needs some frost to germinate as well. Therefore sow in fall or earliest spring.

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