Growing Poppies, Honoring Heroes

As we head into April, we start thinking about ANZAC Day.

It's a time when New Zealanders remember and thank the brave people who fought for our country.

One thing that stands out during this time is seeing poppies in full bloom. But there's more to these flowers than just their beauty—they have a special meaning and can teach us about resilience and history.

The Soldier Poppy

The soldier poppy, also known as the Flanders Poppy, is something you might see a lot around ANZAC Day. It's easy to spot with its deep red petals and dark marks.

These poppies remind us of the battlefields in Flanders, Belgium, where they grew after the fighting stopped.

They're a symbol of hope and gratitude for those who served in wars. If you want to learn more about them, you can visit

Growing Poppies In NZ

Growing poppies in New Zealand is not hard, it's a nice way to honour our past, and they look beautiful in our gardens.

They're pretty generous flowers. Once you plant them, they often come back each year, not because they live a long time (they’re annuals), but because once they are finished flowering they go to seed.

And as they germinate so easily from seed, you will see them pop up again in the next season.

How To Plant Poppies

Poppies love full sun, well-drained soil, and can do well growing in pots and containers.

They don’t like root disturbance, so try to plant once and avoid replanting.

Try not to bury the seed when planting as they need a good amount of light and moisture to germinate. A thin layer of soil is more than enough.

Flanders Poppies

The Flanders poppy (Papaver rhoeas) also known as the corn poppy, red poppy, or soldier poppy, is typically planted in New Zealand in the autumn (March to May) or early spring (September to October), depending on the climate zone.

This timing allows the seeds to germinate and establish before the harsh conditions of winter or summer.

Iceland Poppies

Iceland poppies (Papaver nudicaule) are best planted in New Zealand during late summer to early autumn, around February to March.

This variety of poppy prefers cooler temperatures and may not thrive in the hottest months. As annuals, they complete their life cycle in one growing season.

Oriental Poppies

Oriental poppies (Papaver orientale) are best planted in New Zealand during the autumn months, typically from March to May.

Oriental poppies are perennial plants, meaning they will return year after year, so ensure they have enough space to grow and spread.

Once established, they require minimal maintenance but benefit from occasional watering during dry periods.

Need Advice?

Need advice on what to plant in your garden?

Get in touch with our team and we can help you get the best out of your garden!


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