Papaver orientale 'Patty's Plum'
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The sultry, willowy Patty is always earlier, flowering in the first week of May, and her unique brown-pink flowers need semi-shade - a hornbeam or green hazel backdrop sets her off
- Position:full sun
- Soil:moist, well-drained
- Rate of growth: fast-growing
- Flowering period: May to July
- Hardiness: fully hardy
A really luscious oriental poppy with deep reddish-purple flowers in early summer and bristly, grey-green leaves. The silky, pleated petals of this popular variety have been compared to the faded silk of antique ball gowns. Although the flowers of all oriental poppies are ephemeral, they are easy to grow and each plant will produce several flowers. If cut back after flowering, they may even produce a second flush. Plant it in a sunny border, as part of a cottage-garden scheme, alongside grasses or late summer-flowering perennials, such as dahlias, which will provide interest when the plant has died back. 'Patty's Plum' contrasts particularly well with silver foliage plants. It will need staking, as it has a tendance to sprawl.
- Garden care: Cut back to ground level after flowering. Lift and divide large clumps in autumn.
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Q:I received 5 a few weeks ago and have planted in an ideal sunny spot. The only food added was garden compost in the potting holes. Normal foliage but 3 have no buds and the other two have black crusty buds that will not open. Please advise, have I received a duff batch?Asked on 10/7/2016 by Nightgardener from Essex
With all the rain we have had, it has not been a great year for poppies. They are however prone to something called pedicel necrosis, which causes the stem just below the bud to die back - and subsequently the bud itself will die. This is usually brought about by the plant putting on lots of lush green growth (a sign that they are getting plenty of nitrogen), but not enough potash (which encourages the formation of flowers). Given time and the right conditions however there is no reason why your plants wont flower normally, but perhaps next year you could apply some sulphate of potash in spring to give them a bit of a push.Answered on 20/7/2016 by Helen from crocus
Q:I planted my Pattys plum about 6 weeks ago and it seemed to be doing great initially. It grew a central stalk with one bud and then we got constant rain. The bud has now gone black and part of the stalk underneath the bud as well. I have cut away the bud and the dead stalk and wondered if I should just cut the remaining of the long central stalk down as well as I can't see how this could now grow buds? Lots of healthy foliage but can't see any other buds? Any advice would be appreciated.Asked on 3/7/2016 by dockdaisy from Usk
Poppies are prone to something called pedicel necrosis, which causes the stem just behind the bud to die off. This then results in the death of the bud. It is usually brought about by a surge of soft growth that is often caused by the use of too much nitrogen-rich fertiliser. I would cut back the flower stem to the base, and perhaps next spring apply some sulphate of potash, as this will promote flowers rather than leafy growth.Answered on 20/7/2016 by Helen from crocus
Q:This year my pattys plum has produced seven buds,two of which are showing colour but the remaing five are going brown and aborting.
The plant is growing in an ideal position. I have top dressed the border with growmore this spring and am wondering if this has anything to do with it!Could it be too much water?Asked on 27/5/2016 by Snowyboy from Dorchester Dorset
These plants are susceptible to pedicel necrosis, which causes the tissue just below the bud to shrink inwards. This is usually a result of the plant rapidly putting on lots of new growth after the application of fertilisers high in nitrogen, but it can also be brought about by drought, too much fertiliser, or a lack of potassium. As growmore is a balanced fertiliser, it should not be too much nitrogen, so I wonder if you have simply overdone it.Answered on 31/5/2016 by Helen from crocus
Q:For the second year running my Pattys plum poppies have produced nothing but foliage. What am I doing wrong? They are planted in semi shade. Could the soil be too rich?Asked on 9/5/2016 by patricia from United Kingdom
I suspect it may be a little too shady for it as although they will tolerate a little light shade, they do flower best in a really sunny spot.Answered on 12/5/2016 by Helen from crocus
Q:As a novice gardener when you say to cut oriental poppies down to ground level when they have finished flowering does that mean flower stalks and leaves or just the flower stalks?Asked on 19/6/2015 by novice gardener from kenilworth warwickshire
You will find that most of the leaves will have started to die back by mid- to late July, so all of these should be removed too. The plant will then usually put on some new leafy growth in late summer or autumn, which can be left intact until the following year.Answered on 24/6/2015 by Helen from crocus
Q:Exactly the same problem. Patty's Plum have blowsily dominated the border in previous years and have now shrunk to a couple of miserable little yellow leaves. Will they resurrect themselves next year?Asked on 27/5/2015 by nutcrackers from border of Northamptonshire and Rutland
It is difficult to say with any certainty, as it will really depend on how severe the damage is.
I'm sorry not to be more help,Answered on 29/5/2015 by Helen from crocus
Q:After successfully growing Papaver Patty's Plum for many years, both my plants this year are not thriving. The leaves are stunted, yellow and there is no sign of any buds. Can you suggest what may have caused this and if there is a remedy. If the time has come to replace them, is it wise to replant with the same cultivar in the same position? Thanks!Asked on 29/4/2015 by One of the Buds from Devon
I suspect this may have been caused by the unusually dry spring we have had, as this has caused lots of plants to be much more compact than they would be normally.Answered on 15/5/2015 by Helen from crocus
Q:Is it ok to plant new poppies out now in March? Are they hardy enough to withstand frosts or would it be better to wait a month or two?Asked on 10/3/2015 by JenkyCat from Malvern
This poppy is fully hardy so as long as the ground isn't frozen or freezing outside you can plant out now directly in to the garden.
Hope this helps.Answered on 27/3/2015 by Anonymous from crocus
Q:Can I grow Patty's Plum in a pot? If the answer is 'yes', please could you advise what type of compost and size of pot I will need. Thank you.Asked on 14/6/2014 by absolute novice from West Oxfordshire (with clay soil and dog
It may be possible using John Innes No2., however this plant will be much happier planted out in the ground.Answered on 19/6/2014 by helen from crocus
Q:Can I grow Tricyrtis formosana 'Dark Beauty' in a pot and Poppies at the bottom of the garden?
Hi, We have a tiny North facing shaded garden and I'm looking for some Autumn colour for our patio. Can I grow Tricyrtis formosana 'Dark Beauty' in a pot? If so how big should the pot be? If not can you recommend something else please? Also I'd love to grow some poppies, we get a fair amount of sunshine in the spring and summer at the very end of the garden will I be able to grow Papaver orientale 'Perry's White' and Papaver orientale 'Effendi' here? Thank you SallyAsked on 21/10/2009 by Sally Reay
A:Hello Sally, These do well in pots, and I would say one about 40 x 40cm filled with John Innes No2 would be suitable. As for the poppies, these flower best in full sun, but they will also grow in a little light shade. I'm afraid though it may be trial and error to see if your spot is sunny enough. I hope this helps. Helen Plant DoctorAnswered on 22/10/2009 by Crocus Helpdesk