Digital Dimdima
The Blue Himalayan Poppy
-By Rani Iyer

When my friend showed me a hairy plant with unremarkable leaves, I wondered why she was so excited about it.
"Can't you see it is the Himalayan Poppy!"
"Himalayan Blue Poppy!"
"Never mind, wait till you see it in flower!"
Fascinated by its nodding blue flowers, I raced to the library to learn more. Himalayan Blue Poppy, I learnt was an herb that grew in the alpine meadows of the Himalayas. Called Meconopsis grandis, it is found in the Himalayan ranges of India, Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. The leaves are in basal rosette, and when flowers appear in the summer it stands on slender stalks that are 15-20 cm long. Vast carpets of blue flowers in the alpine meadows, including blue poppy are common in Himalayan flower meadows.

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It was not until I saw them growing in freezing conditions in Edmonton, Canada, that I realized that the species had traveled a long way. I was curious to discover how they grew it and propagated it.
They are very easy to grow from seeds scattered on the surface of well-drained soil. In nutrient rich conditions, such as when fertilizers are more, the plant behaves as a monocarpic plant and dies after flowering once. In well-drained soil and in partial shade, the plant lives for many years.
Two species of the blue Himalayan Poppy are known: Meconopsis betonicifolia and M. grandis. The former species is more common in Tibet, Burma and China. The only other species of mountain poppy is known as Welsh Poppy, Meconopsis cambrica. The flowers of this species are yellow in color. Whenever I encounter the nodding blue poppy in gardens elsewhere, I remember my country, India with pride.

User's Comments                     
I have a two year old Himalayn Poppy. We live in Nova Scotia Canada, and it loves where it is growing. Partial shade, cool air, fog...lots of frost...It hasn't bloomed yet......can't wait until it does. Thanks for the information.
I am an avid gardener and have many heritage plants from Dartmouth Nova Scotia. I have for five years tried to start a blue poppy from seeds that I purchased in a seed packet They are very expensive and after five years of trying I have given up. But I know there are blue poppies growing around me and I really want to acquire some seeds from those poppies to spread in my meager garden to see if finally I can get a blue poppy to grow. I have lovely heritage poppies of purple and pink that look like peonies in bloom and I know a blue one would grow if the seeds came from one grown here. Can anyone help me? I will trade seeds gladly. Anyone interested please let me know, thank you so much, Carrie
Carrie, I have a great (and LARGE) blue poppy that I got at a local greenhouse 2 years ago. For two seasons it just grew bigger, but this spring it grew stalks and flowered in the most wonderful way. In fact, now in July, there are still 4 flowers left, although it is near the end. It has fared very well in my micro-climate (Anchorage, Alaska) and would likely grow where you are. I am interested in sending you some of the seeds, and maybe you would send me some from your purple poppys? -Tim Trawver
joan pacheco
Where can I order seeds for the blue himalayan poppy? Your website was the only one with info on it everyone else makes it out to be elusive. anything will help.
I saw the Himalayan Blue Poppy for sale in the Van Bourgondien catalog ( It is the only place I have ever seen it. They say that it is hardy in zones 6-8 (US). I've wanted to try one because I love the true blue color, but I live in So. California, so I don't think it would like it here. Anyone have any luck with it in zone 9?
I live in northern CA and have tried to germinate the seeds of several different species, so far, only one m.graandis is alive. I have ordered live plants, only to have them die of crown rot. Is there anyone in the San Fransisco area that has successfully gotten these beautiful plants to grow here or am I just wasting time?
Peter Hartland
Saw my first Poppy in a famous Garden Centre in Hampshire UK. The sun was shining through its blue flower & looked so lovely. See photo I took
I purchased two plants this spring and have tall stalks of three blue flowers each. When I purchased them, I had planned to plant them in my southwest flower bed, but was told they would not like all that sun. So I planted them on the east side of my house where they get the cool early morning sunlight and are protected in the heat of the afternoon. I was also told they like humousy (sp?) soil, so I planted them with lots of compost mixed in and they are thriving. Oh, I'm up in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle, Washington.
Just today, May 29th, our first blue poppies are beginning to burst with such vibrancy I feel as if I've gone to blue heaven. We live atop a windy high hill and the plants are in deciduous shade. We bought 2 plants last year in Maine, covered them with pine boughs during our long Vermont winters, and Voila!, they made it with many, many blooms.
Hi, in BC, Canada, you can get them from the butchat gardens seed shop. $3.25 canadian for them.
While visiting Seldovia Alaska, I saw the Himalayan poppy. What a wonderful and beautiful flower. The colour is so outstanding that I was amazed beyond words.
My blue poppies is alive through 2 winters, but so far no flower, I live in Rochester.N.Y., zone 5 I plant them in an area with filter sunshine, rich soil, etc., what kind of fertilizer should I use ? HELP
Nancy O.
I bought 3 plants about 2 inches high. Planted them in a shaded area on the north side of my house. 2 died immediately the third one is about 6 inches high. I live in New England and would love to have this poppy thrive. We traveled through Norway and they grow like weeds there. If any one can give me some tips on their survival please e-mail me.
Carlyn Morse
I live in Edmonton, Ablerta, Canada. I purchased mine from a greenhouse here that I find has very good quality plants. It has survived it's 2nd year of blooming (3rd year since planted) in a wide open north side of the fence where (lots of cold winter wind) and snow drift. However, I believe the trick is the highly acidic soil, because there are 2-30yr. old spruce trees about 10 ft. away from it. I retrieved the seeds from the first year and planted about 2 inches deep to no avail. I will scatter this year's seeds to simulate nature and see if that will work. The 1st bloom produced 3 flowers the first being the largest and the last being rather small. The 2nd bloom this past summer ('05) produced 5 blooms, and again the first being the showiest. It is definitely the pride of my garden! It is the next best thing until the blue rose is available! And also the next best thing to have a bit of the east in the new world! Enjoy growing it, with a little bit of patience.
I have also tried to grow blue poppy from seed to start indoors is where I had the best luck. My suggestion is to try growing from a plant.. and not to start from
Please I want to subscribe hard copies. I am still waiting for your response about mode of payment. Thank you Rama sivaram
I live in central Ohio, has anyone had luck growing poppys there? Also is it too late to plant the seeds, it's the first of May. Thanks for any help, I love these and would love any advice.
Susan Labonville
I have successfully wintered over several bue poppies purchased from PALMER ALASKA. I have also been successful with growing them from seed and these are about to flower from last years seedlings. I am located in NH in zone 4. I have been attempting to have a blue poppy garden for about five years and I have succeeded.
I live in Fot collins, Northern CO. I have seeds of the blue poppy both from the grower in Palner, AK Any tips on how I should go about getting these started? I have kept them in the refridgerator to keep them cool until i figure out how to amend my alkaline, clay soil. I am a greenhorn gardener, not sure what a high middle # in fertilizer means, or what kind of organic fertilizer to purchase, or compost. Apparently they like an acid soil, ie the pine needles, but do nursureys sell these? It is just before Thanksgiving, '08, any tips when and what I should do to get these off on the right start? Many thanks, Thiah
Hi, I live in Newfoundland, Canada. I would love to do a trade for Himalayan Poppy seeds. I have many annual poppies and a multitude of other seeds to trade. Canada only please.Thanks :) sunnybun
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