January 31, 2019

California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)

This stunning sherbert, almost fluorescent orange flower is also known as the Golden poppy, California sunlight or cup of gold. Native to the United States and Mexico, it became the official state flower of California in 1903. Green tendrils sprout from the ground, and grow in hearty, sandy well drained soil. The bright orange flowers of this ornamental plant begin in summer, with brilliantly colorful cup-shaped flowers in radiant shades of red, orange and yellow. The California Poppy petals can be used as a garnish or eaten as food in salads.

The West coast is famous for massive meadows illuminating entire hillsides, their brilliant orange blooms can be planted and enjoyed almost anywhere.

Pollen Production

Enjoy this powerful pollen producer in your garden this season by purchasing our California Poppy seed balls that contain 100% pure, non-GMO and neonicotinoid-free seeds that are guaranteed to grow.  We recommend this golden state flower of California to help support the native bees who bulk up on pollen it generates 

California Poppy Meadow

How To Grow California Poppy Seeds

This flower blooms between late spring and mid summer, depending on which zone you are located. It covers Zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, check the zone map to determine which zone you are located. It prefers a sandy, or loamy soil type with average or well draining soil moisture. This flower is one of the easiest to grow, and is perennial in warm/moderate climates often coming back year after year. The secret to growing this wildflower is benign neglect. It doesn't like to be disturbed once it starts to sprout, so water gently, but not too much.

Site Preparation

Always remove any grasses or weeds from the area before planting your California Poppy Seed Balls. You'll find almost all wildflowers do better when they aren't competing with other grasses and weeds for sunlight. You want to ensure this is well draining, or moderately moist soil, so mix in some sandy or loam if you have hard or heavily clay based soil types.


After clearing, place seed balls halfway into the soil and keep watered daily until they are 4-6" tall, then you can step back to watering 2-3 times per week or as is needed. If growing by seeds, ensure they are placed barely covered under the soil surface, as they need moisture and warmth to germinate and will not grow successfully if buried too deep under the soil. 

California Poppy Native Map

Sunlight: Full sun
Maturity: 55-75 days from seed to flower
Height: 4 to 16 inches
Spacing: 6 to 12 inches apart in all directions

Is it illegal to pick a California Poppy?

Nope, a big fat nope. But we do recommend you leave it and grow your own California Poppy seeds if possible so you can enjoy them and pick as many as you like. However, if you're strolling along, and the Poppy or any other flower is on School, Park, a median or even outside a courthouse, please don't pick or hurt the flower. Harming the flower could be considered a misdemeanor offense, and you can be fined up to $1000 and locked up for as many as six months. 

Additionally, you are allowed to eat, smoke, pick, bend, or gather a California Poppy as long it is not located on state property or other protected areas.

Learn more about if it is legal to pick wildflowers growing by the roadside.

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