California poppy is a herbaceous plant that gives yellow flowers similar in shape to poppies. It is very common in North America and is used both for decorating gardens and for medicinal purposes.
herbaceous flowering plant that has no particular difficulties in its cultivation, the california poppy has prostrate stems that create lush bushes. Its yellow flowers remain open only if illuminated by the sun. The leaves are silver-green in color and the most common species has yellow flowers. Some varieties have double flowers with colors ranging from pink to white and yellow to orange. The maximum height reached by this plant is about 50 centimeters. To grow well this plant should be placed in full sun and have a well-drained soil. The california poppy begins to bloom at the end of April and continues to bloom its flowers until October.
California poppy does not need to be planted in particularly fertile soils. However, if you want to grow in pots, it is preferable to add a liquid fertilizer regularly to prevent the soil from becoming too weak. Young plants need regular watering but little water stagnation. During the flowering period it is best to water regularly to encourage the production of flowers. The capsules and the dried parts must be removed regularly. The plant can be used in rock gardens or to create flowery borders. To obtain prolonged blooms you can sow different plants at regular intervals of fifteen days, from March onwards.
Diseases and care
This plant is particularly sensitive to excessive moisture. In fact, it is easily attacked by fungal diseases that rapidly proliferate in hot-humid conditions. Some viruses cause a quick yellowing of the leaves and prevent the plant from developing properly. Among the parasites less tolerated by the california poppy there are surely the snails: they devour the leaves up to compromise the health of the whole plant. Also aphids are attracted to this plant and if present in important quantities, they ruin the blooms. Against the infestations of the aphids it is necessary to resort to specific chemical products to be used according to the instructions on the package.
California poppy is a plant very used in herbal medicine. It possesses important spasmolytic and sedative substances. It can significantly improve the quality of sleep without negatively affecting mental alertness. It is found in many herbal preparations that are taken before falling asleep and is also used in the manufacture of drugs that have relaxing properties.
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