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How to Grow, Harvest, and Use Breadseed Poppies

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Several years ago, I saw Breadseed Poppies advertised in a seed catalog and just had to give it a try.  They’ve been part of my garden every year since.  They’re beautiful and tasty.  A gardener needs a big patch to get any sizeable harvest, but a small harvest is worthwhile and makes those holiday poppy seed cookies take on an every deeper meaning.  The flowers are beautiful too and that is reason enough to have some growing in your garden.  If you want to include them in your garden plans for next year, here’s how to grow, harvest, and use breadseed poppies.

Poppies are a beautiful addition to any garden. Learn how to grow, harvest, and use breadseed poppies for a delicious harvest

How to Grow Breadseed Poppies

These poppies do best with a cold start.  Plant the seeds as early in the spring as the soil can be worked.  The seeds are small so plant them in a row or broadcast in a bed.  As the plants sprout, thin them to 6 to 8 inches apart.  The plants like full sun and moist, rich soil.

How to Harvest Breadseed Poppies

After the flowers bloom and the petals fall off, the seedpods form.  Allow these to dry on the stalks.  The seeds will shake inside when the pods are dry enough to harvest.  If you wait too long, the pods will crack and seeds will spill on the ground, this will allow for self-seeding for next year but robs you of seeds for baking.

How to Grow, Harvest, and Use Breadseed Poppies - Homespun Seasonal Living

Cut the pods from the stalks and bring them inside.  Cut the tops off and shake the seeds out into a bowl.

How to Grow, Harvest, and Use Breadseed Poppies - Homespun Seasonal Living

To be extra safe, spread the seeds out on a baking tray for a week just to make sure they’re completely dry.  Store in an airtight jar until ready to use.

How to Grow, Harvest, and Use Breadseed Poppies - Homespun Seasonal Living

How to Use Breadseed Poppies

Traditionally poppy seeds were used in place of nuts when they were more expensive or difficult to find.  Feel free to use poppy seeds in cookies, breads, muffins, and more.

How to Grow, Harvest, and Use Breadseed Poppies - Homespun Seasonal Living

Here are a few ideas to get started:

What’s your favorite poppy seed recipe?

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Sue Votapka

Monday 11th of April 2022

Looks like great fun! I grew poppies last year and saved the poppy seeds. Hope to talk to you this evening for our event May 28th.

Lazy K

Saturday 15th of January 2022

And don't forget, the poppy seeds in the spice isle of your grocery store are Breadseed poppies. Lots of seeds for a good price.

Connie HAmblin

Monday 11th of February 2019

How well do they grow in pots.containers?

Kathie Lapcevic

Thursday 14th of February 2019

I haven't tried it but I imagine they would just fine but they need room so don't crowd the pot.

Cynthia Trader

Wednesday 23rd of January 2019

Your article was so helpful. I am a home gardener and love growing all types of flowers from seeds. I don't have much of a yard so 99 of what I plant are in pots. I'm going to plant my Breadseed Poppies in pots and hope they bloom beautifully. Thank you so much for the great information. Oh and I didn't know that the seeds could be used in baking - a double treat!!!!

Kathie Lapcevic

Sunday 27th of January 2019

I'm so glad this was helpful to you. Happy gardening!


Friday 25th of May 2018

Great article! I am wondering how big a bed is needed to have a decent harvest? These look wonderful!

Kathie Lapcevic

Saturday 26th of May 2018

Admittedly to get a large harvest, you're going to need a big bed. I plant two 30 foot rows and harvested about a pint of seed for baking.