Memorial Day Poppies

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by Houzi, Oct 12, 2020.

  1. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member 10 Years

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    Hello all,
    I can't see anyone on the interweb who've tried this and maybe now can see why.
    I've sowed quite a few annuals very late in the season(mid August) with success before.So I thought it would be a nice idea to do a little display of 'Flanders Poppies' for memorial day(11-11)....even bought some wooden crosses and printed out the 'In Flanders Field' poem.
    I calculated that if growing normally they needed to be sown about 5th Aug to flower on Memorial Day.I sowed 3 batches at weekly intervals around that time and managed to germinate them easily indoors.They were sown in individual pots as I could see they would perhaps need to be slowed down or brought on because of different growing time period to normal.
    However since sowing they just sat there for weeks & weeks and as you can see(about 2.5 months later) they probably won't be ready in time.I've had to get them through the exta hot heatwaves and slug attacks.Now the daylight must be equal to about Feb/March time so little hope now.I thought perhaps the exta daylight during the early stage would spur them on more but was clearly wrong...perhaps they just shut down.
    Anyone tried this?
     

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  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Now you know why you only ever get paper/plastic poppies for Armistice Day! Those seedlings will be sensing the decreasing daylight, and will be using what photosynthesis they get to build up a big root system that will then set them going to a good strong flowering start next spring (a bit like winter-sown farm crops in fields). The only hope to get flowers for 11 November would be to use grow lights on an increasing light regime to make the seedlings think it is May. Probably too late to get that working now - I'd guess it would need at least 2 months preparation, maybe longer.
     
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  3. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks for the reply Michael.Think you're right as it's often suggested to sow in autumn for better display the following year.What do you think stopped them growing at all from 1st appearance to very recently? Was it the heat or too much light?...These have only started growing very recently,since it's cooled down.I have half a dozen which I didn't have room for here and they were kept in a pretty shaded area but have grown a lot better than these.Or could they sense the decreasing light,even way back in early August? cheers
     

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