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As beautiful as the California poppy (also called gold poppy) is with its golden yellow flowers - unfortunately it is only an annual summer flower. So if you want to admire its flowers every year, you should sow them. But how does that work?

After the flowering period, the seeds of the California poppy can be collected in September

Spring or summer - when to sow?

The golden poppy can be sown between April and September. The earlier you sow the seeds, the more likely it is that the flowers will appear that same year. If you don't sow until June, you have to reckon with the fact that the flowers will not appear until next year. Attention: The Californian poppy must then survive the winter (hardy to -10 °C).

Does the soil need to be prepared and which location is suitable?

The soil does not need to be thoroughly loosened and enriched with compost. It is enough to remove larger roots and stones and loosen it up a bit. The location that is chosen should be in full sun. The Californian poppy needs a lot of warmth and likes it hot.

Embankments, open meadows, coastal areas and edges of fields are well suited for sowing. There is full sun. A dry floor is not a problem. As soon as the seeds get water, they start to germinate at suitable temperatures.

Sow the seeds and wait…

Now it can start:

  • Distribute seeds widely
  • alternatively make shallow furrows and distribute seeds in them
  • Seeds are light germinators (do not cover or cover little with soil)
  • Keep substrate moist
  • optimal germination temperature: 15 to 18 °C
  • Germination time: 10 to 14 days
  • later separate to 20 to 30 cm

Harvest seeds for the next generation yourself

You can buy the seeds, but you can also harvest them yourself. The seeds are mature in September. They are found in pods that are up to 10 cm long and have a cylindrical shape. When ripe, the pods open on the long sides.

The seeds are small, brown to black, elliptical and reticulated in pattern. If you want to pre-cultivate her, you can start as early as February at home. From May the plants can go outside.


In favorable locations, the California poppy likes to sow itself. The wind and animals that scatter the seeds come to his aid.

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